Boys to Men
Recent Research, from the Fuller Youth Institute, shows that students who participate in multi-generational ministries are far more likely to hang on to their faith through college than those who do not. The premise is that while separate youth events are necessary, it is the integration of students into the life of the church that makes the difference. We raise our kids up in youth groups, and then send them off to college with the challenge to find a church. The problem is they look for a familiar church, and few of them function like the typical youth group. When they don’t find a place to connect they walk away. Those students who have grown up working, worshiping, and fellowshipping hand in hand with adults, find it much easier to get involved in the life of the church. This month, Pearce Students have had two specific opportunities to do just that.
On December 21, a group of adult men and a group of young men joined forces to cut, split, and stack wood for a widowed mother in our community. While the weather was wet, their spirits were not dampened. We worked, laughed, and ate together. The men did a fantastic job at teaching and training the boys in ways that were not condescending. The result was a winter’s worth of wood being cut and stacked in just under three hours, and a life-time’s worth of relationships being built.
The second event was the Christmas Festival at Chili Commons. The Pearce Congregation supported the teen initiated event by purchasing gifts for children, providing snacks, and by helping facilitate the event. With help from two different small groups, Buzz and Linda Mantegna, and Lynn and Duane Eich the celebration went off without a hitch. Our students served side by side with these caring adults to provide a fantastic event for a group of families in our community.
Keep your eyes and ears open for how you may get involved in the lives of our students, and if you have activities that our students can participate in with you please give us a call.
Celebrating the Season
Each December, the Pearce Senior Teens celebrate Christmas with their annual Progressive Dinner. This year our students gathered on Friday, December 20, and headed out for appetizers, salad, dinner, and dessert at various homes. The evening provided opportunity for our students to interact with families from Pearce, as well as with each other. Readings from Luke’s Gospel account of the birth of Christ, and great conversation made this a holy night. The evening ended with dessert at the Kuhlkin’s and with a chance for the students to express the ways they have seen Christ in others this year. We are so blessed to have this group of young adults in our church and community.
Go Tell It on The Mountain
As I have mentioned before, this year our teens are focusing on breathing in the word of God and then exhaling it into the community through service and love. This month, part of breathing out was an event that we called the Christmas Festival at Chili Commons. It included cookie decorating, craft ornaments for the children to put together, a living nativity that included a real donkey and sheep, and a visit from Santa who brought gifts specifically requested by the children. It was a wonder afternoon of watching teens working alongside adults, families taking joy in their children, and children experiencing the extravagant love of their Heavenly Father. What a joy it was to watch a 14-year-old open a gift that never in a million years did she think she would get, or a 5-year-old open the exact Minnie-Mouse she had asked Santa for! To these children, Christmas became real. Love had come down. Watching the parents was a true blessing as well. During the living nativity (which, incidentally, I had previously thought was going to be a bigger hassle than it was worth), the children came out in full costumes. Shepherds herded the sheep, angel’s wings got caught on everything, and the wise men’s crowns fell off. Even baby Jesus was placed rather harshly in his manager. All of this came together to make up the best Christmas pageant I have ever seen. Not long into the actual production, parents began to move to the front to get snap shots of their children. It dawned on me that some of these young children have never had this opportunity before. Some of these parents have never had the chance to take their child’s picture in a Christmas play before. It was so cool to see Christmas and, more importantly, Christ come to life for our neighbors. Thank you Pearce for supporting our teens in this endeavor and as they continue to look for ways to impact our community.
That the City Might See Jesus
We have three adults registered as leaders for this year’s Flower City Work Camp, which means we can take a total of 12 students. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis; but the teen staff reserves the right to make the final decision. To date we have four applications, leaving eight openings. If you are interested in attending FCWC over spring break (Sunday, April 13-Thursday, April 17) click on the link below and get your application in ASAP. All applications are due to me NO LATER THAN January 26. If you have questions, check out www.flowercityworkcamp.org or call me at 594-9488. http://www.flowercityworkcamp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Student-Application-Packet-2014.pdf