Lake Champion

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”  (English Standard Version, Colossians 1:28) 

This year in youth group we are trying something different for our retreat. Instead of attending a winter retreat, we are attending a Spring Retreat (April 5th to 7th) for 6th to 12th-grade students. It is at Lake Champion which is in Glen Spey, NY. I am very excited for our teens to attend this event. Here is why: 

1. The retreat will have a fantastic speaker, Ken Castor, a professor at Crown College (Pastor Adam received his master’s at Crown) who has a passion for seeing the teenagers on fire for Christ. I have heard only great things about him, and of course, he is Alliance☺ He engages the students with Biblical Principles and then leaves time for the youth leaders to join with the students in a group setting. 

2. We will participate with many young people from the Alliance Metro District. It will give our students a chance to see & interact with like-minded believers of the same generation. 

3. Our students will enjoy worshipping our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King with a fantastic band. 

4. There are many things for the students to participate in during free time: basketball, frisbee, soccer, dodgeball, sand volleyball, climb the rock wall, hang out in an enormous game room, snack bar, ride the giant swing (that thing is awesome looking!), high ropes course, and weather permitting zip line into the lake. 

Thank you in advance for supporting the next generation. I ask for your support in two ways. One that you pray for us as we take this trip, that God will raise this generation to be fully mature in Christ and to “do more for Jesus than what has been done in the last 100 years.” (Dan Boal). Secondly, that you support the teenagers by attending the Spaghetti Dinner this Saturday. March 2. Not only does this raise funds to help some of the teenagers attend events like Lake Champion, but also it gives you a chance to meet some of them as they serve you during the dinner. 

Thank you for your love and care for this generation. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21) 

Circle Drive Students Update

What does the youth group do on a Sunday Night?
A typical Sunday night looks like this: announcements, games, worship, a brief message, and then we break into small groups to go over the message. 

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Why is it important that parents and church people know what we are talking about in Youth Group?
It is important for them to know so that they can be praying for the students, asking God to work in their lives. As a parent, this also gives you an opportunity to ask your teenager specifically what they learned that night. Knowing what we are talking about will also give anyone that is building a rapport with a student a chance to speak to them about what they are learning. 

What are we studying now?
We started a new four-week series on Faith, specifically Grace and how it is crucial to your Faith. Last Sunday we unpacked what Grace means and what Faith means and then we dove into how Grace does impact your Faith. During this study I have seen God work in my own life. God's Grace is something given to us even though we do not deserve it. We have never earned it, nor will we ever be able to earn it. John Stott defines it this way, "Grace is love that stoops and cares and rescues, " and I would like to add even though we don't deserve it. Stop and think about this definition for a minute. Who stooped down for us, cared for us, and rescued us? Jesus did, and not one of us deserves this sacrificial act! This term and the power of its meaning brought me often to my knees this week, and I pray that it impacts the youth and you in the same way that it impacted me. 

Grace is essential to our Faith (our trust, or belief in God) because there will be times in our lives where we may have doubts, there will be days when life is hard, and we begin to think, "Does God love me?" It's at this time when God steps in and reminds us of His Grace. He saved us from our sins, and Hell, even though we don't deserve it. He sacrificed His only Son so that we could be saved. If we can remember God's Grace in our doubts, fears and hard times, then we will remain strong in our Faith. 

Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." 

Heartwork

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A new school year has begun, and youth group has started with a four-week challenge, (Heartwork). The teenagers have been encouraged to help hurricane victims by earning money for them. They can do this by using their time, talent, and resources. The money they make from the challenge will go to CAMA, (Compassion, and Mercy Associates, part of the Alliance family) which will be used to minister to the hurricane victims by meeting their physical and spiritual needs. 

These four weeks will not only challenge the teenagers to raise money but to think about their spiritual walk with God. We have been focusing on, "spending ourselves not on ourselves," but instead "spending ourselves on others." They have been encouraged to seek what God wants, and not what they want in their own lives. We have talked about the pursuit of happiness through self-gain, and that it will only make them miserable; whereas seeking to please God by serving others will bring God’s fulfillment into their lives. 

You can support the teenagers during these four weeks by praying for them, taking an interest in how they are doing with the challenge, and by letting me know if there are any jobs that a teenager could do to raise money for the hurricane victims. Some of the ways you can pray for them are: 

  • God will use this challenge to help them grow closer to Him. 
  • They will take the challenge seriously. 
  • Teenagers would begin to see true fulfillment in serving God instead of themselves. 

    Thank you for your investment in the next generation! 
    Sincerely, 
    Pastor Moe 

Isaiah 58:10 “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday.” 

The Bridge 2017

I am writing this to you from the Resonate Conference hosted by The Alliance. It has been a wonderful time for me to grow Spiritually and to catch the vision of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The president of the Alliance, John Stumbo, reminded the pastors here that we are to be a Christ-centered Acts 1:8 family. This is a great vision but how do we become a Christ-centered Acts 1:8 family? President Stumbo informed us that we do this through “loving, proclaiming, reaching, and launching others.” When you sent the youth to The Bridge Community Center last week, you were doing exactly that. 

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The teenagers were “launched” out last week to show love to a hurting community, and they were able to do this because of your love and financial support. Thank you for investing in the lives of our teenagers, showing them Christ’s love, and for believing in them enough to “launch” them off to The Bridge Community Center. 

Our typical day started at 9 am when we arrived at The Bridge. We worked very hard prepping for crafts, and games, ripping out carpet, taking things off walls, organizing rooms that were in disarray, putting new carpet in, taking out trash, and fixing the ninja rope course. A lot of hard labor was done each morning. The students were exhausted before lunch. After lunch, children from the community would start coming into The Bridge for VBS. The teens interacted with the children and showed them God’s love through opening game time, sitting with them during the lesson, helping them during craft time and then playing with them until their parents picked them up at 3:45 pm. After the children were gone, we would have a quick meeting about the day and then clean up from VBS. I am proud of the teenagers that went on The Bridge Missions trip. They worked hard and showed Christ’s love to the children in the community of Johnson City. 

Our students also experienced seeing children come to know Christ as their Savior. There was one child, specifically that the leader of The Bridge, Pastor Arnie Buehler, was excited about because of the way the child was expressing his Salvation to his parents; how he had come from a dark place to a place where he knows Jesus loves him. 

The effect this missions trip has on the teenagers does not end on our return home. The teens are impacted by seeing and experiencing your love and support for them. It gives them an ownership in serving God in our own church and beyond. This trip gave them a chance to see that they can serve God and show Christ’s love to others. 

This trip would not have been possible without your support. Thank you!