Oh’ Those Summer Nights
After the long, long winter we just survived, I am looking forward to—no longing for—those warm summer evenings spent hanging out with Pearce teens. We are off the month of May and will start TNT (Tuesday Night Thing) on June 30 with a picnic at Hamlin Beach. TNT is intentionally casual, and is designed to help students going into 7th grade through 12th grade to build relationships and give them a tool to invite friends to a safe, non-threatening event. Stay tuned as we are confirming the schedule for the entire summer and we’ll get that out to you ASAP.
Question, Question Number 1, Question
For those who have participated in the long history of Bible Quizzing, this phrase is extremely familiar. I am so proud of the Pearce quizzers who show up for their tournaments each month, familiar with their passages and with their quotes memorized. The teens have really taken God’s Word to heart, and the way they connect with the other teams is fascinating to watch. In particular, the two Pearce Young Teen Vet teams competed against each other in a battle for the ages. It was tied going into the final question, a question that Tim Ockrin answered correctly to seal the victory. The next tournament will be in June and will be the regional finals. If you get the chance, check it out.
A Ministry for the Ages
Recently, I have been doing a bunch of research on ministry models. It has become well known that we are seeing a relatively large number of folks who, by the time they finish college, have left the church. It has long been believed that they will return, especially once they begin having kids. While this is somewhat true, it is in smaller numbers than most of us would like. Barna, Mark DeVries, and the Fuller Youth Institute have each found that the single factor that students who maintain their faith through college and beyond have in common is that they have grown up in inter-generational churches. What is an inter-generational church? It is a community that represents numerous age groups and works to engage them with each other. It is a church that looks to fully incorporate students into the life of the church. This week, I received a photo from Sue Preston of Allison Draper and Kaitlyn Sipes, who willingly volunteered to help Karen Teske and Sue set-up and decorate the tables for the Easter Bunch. It was an excellent opportunity for these two girls to get a glimpse of what it means to serve in a church, to try on being an adult by working alongside adults, and to make a real contribution to the life of the church body. Thank you, Sue and Karen, for investing in the lives of these young ladies. This month, our 9th and 10th grade girls made flower pots to give to some of the older generation here at Pearce. Under the guidance of Carol Wilson and Molly Zupp, these girls worked on painting and planting, in order to bring a little bit of sunshine into the lives of those who could use it. Another example is a group of teens who, last year, joined with some men from Pearce to cut, split, and stack wood for a widowed mom in our community. In the coming months, as I continue to research this model, I hope to find more opportunities for Pearce to become even more inter-generational.
Flower City Perspective
Guest Blogger Sarah Grice
My work tends to keep me in quiet spaces, often in front of a book or computer. Though there is a certain excitement to the constant pressure of paper deadlines, it is nice to have a change of pace every once in a while. When I realized I could spend a day on a Flower City work site with Pastor Mike, I was excited!
I have a secret passion for painting. I love the sound of paint being pressed between a roller and a wall. Being a part of the transformation of a tired room is such a rewarding experience. Pastor Mike did not let me paint. No! Instead he had me oversee two teenagers, three hammers, and two crowbars. After hauling trash out of the basement, our job was to tear apart a solid wood cabinet and then a basement wall. During that process, we created even more trash to take to the curb. My secret passion for painting was quickly overshadowed with the joys of swinging a hammer and the careful use of a crowbar. It is so much fun!
What was even more rewarding for me was the time that I spent with the people in that home. Watching a shy teenager’s face light up as she figured out how to knock a door off its hinges was priceless. Seeing the care of a teenage boy as he swept broken glass off the street was an unexpected delight. Mutual teasing between Roe (Mike’s dad) and me was like the icing on the cake. Even more incredible was the opportunity to work with a family who was involved with the volunteers.
So often I find that ministry can be surprisingly joyful. The more I pay attention, the more I find delight in each aspect of ministry (even on the days that I don’t get to paint walls).