Senior’s Sneak Out Again
For the past six years or so, the Pearce teens have carried out a covert tradition. Each fall, at the start of the school year, our seniors sneak out early in the morning and kidnap the incoming freshmen from their warm beds. Then they bring them to my house for a hot breakfast and a time of laughs and bonding. This year, due to the fact that Jackie and I have two ninth graders in our home, we had to get creative. Their friends had been warning them that one of these Saturday mornings they would be kidnapped. Jacob was even watching the pantry for an increase in pancake mix. So to throw them off, this time we kidnapped the freshmen late on a Saturday night. The students were surprised and even nervous, but pizza, wings, and soda quickly put them at ease.
On the surface, this event has the appearance of some type of hazing ritual, but it is not at all. In fact, this event always proves to be a source of stories that get told over and over, and more importantly, it provides the ninth graders with some new relationships with our older students. It gives them some familiar, friendly faces in the halls at school and at Wednesday night youth group. If you see any of our freshmen, ask them about their kidnapping experience—many of them have found they now have Stockholm Syndrome.
Is It That Time of Year Again?
It is hard to believe that summer is truly over and that our Sunday Small Groups (SSG) are back in session. There is a certain rhythm that takes place in student ministry and with the fall, and return to school, comes the return of our small groups on Sunday mornings. September also brings a new group of seventh graders. For these junior teens, this marks their start in teens; and, with it, comes a new schedule and a change in the style of ministry. On Sunday mornings we meet for about 30 minutes as a large group (7-12 grades). During this time, a leader will teach a lesson; then we dismiss the students to their age and gender appropriate small groups. The small groups are led by adults who are given discussion questions and are charged with building community among the teens. Our first week back, we had 83 junior and senior teens and the conversations were fantastic! This semester we will be looking at the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the book of Hosea, and Messianic Prophecies. If you think of it, be praying for this group on Sunday mornings and, if you get a chance, ask the students what they are learning.
Out in the “Not So Cold” Project
Each of the last three Decembers have seen a small village of boxes and tarps form on the front lawn of Pearce. This year, you will see us out a little earlier. The weekend of October 17 is the date for this year’s “Project Out in the Cold.” Out in the Cold is an attempt on behalf of our teens to bring awareness to the plight of Rochester’s homeless, and to raise funds to help local shelters. Each year, we bring in special guests from the Open Door Mission to help us construct our shelters and to speak to the teens about what life is like on the streets. We have also had guest speakers from Rochester Family Mission, and numerous other shelters in the area. The students will be seeking donations from outside of Pearce and the money raised will be divided among the groups joining us that evening. Come and spend some time with us on October 17, or just honk as you pass by.