Hello Covenant of Grace, Pacto de Gracia, Friends, and Family! We’re headed to camp this summer and we need your help!
Here is what we are doing – we have 100 envelopes each representing the dollar amounts from $1 to $100.
Our goal is to get all of these envelopes filled with the printed amount before we go to camp.
Will you help us fill these envelopes? All you have to do is a take an envelope or multiple envelopes and commit to filling them. You may fill the envelope with a cash or check donation or you may also give online*.
We will have a table set up each Sunday after church in the foyer. We would love for you to come visit and talk to us. At the table you can pick up an envelope, but you can also get an envelope (or a “virtual envelope” if you are giving online) at any time by contacting Kirsten or Sarai.
At the table we will have a poster that shows which envelopes have been committed to and then filled. We will also keep a digital poster updated in this post. Pink means that the envelopes have been committed to and the black "X" means that the envelope has been filled.
And guess what! We want to make a commitment to you in return to making a commitment to us. First, we would love to know how we can be praying for you and will commit to praying for you each time we meet for youth. There will be a box at the table in which you can drop your written prayer requests. If you are a far away friend, feel free to Facebook Inbox your prayer requests to Kirsten Slider or Sarai Pina.
Second, after we return from camp we would love to serve you a meal to say thank you and have the opportunity to tell you all about our camp experience.
We are so excited to adventure on this journey! Will you join us!
*To give online:
· Facebook Inbox Kirsten or Sarai stating which “envelope” you are filling
· Click on the "Give Online" button below
· Enter in the amount you are giving next to the title, “Youth”
What would it look like if we celebrated a sort of "Thanksgiving" all year long? In Awake Youth a couple of Sundays ago we pondered this idea from both a biblical and worldly perspective. Our scripture that morning came out of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances." The word rejoice is also referred to as joy. Choosing joy is probably one of the hardest commands to obey consistently, but we must choose it because we cannot live without it. The joy that we talk about is not always a "happy, happy, giddiness." It is not based on outward circumstances or something that we will always feel. Sure, you can choose joy in the midst of happiness, but you can also choose joy in the midst of suffering or when things don't seem to be going so hot. Ann Voskamp said, "joy does not negate all other emotions - joy transcends all other emotions."
I think that there are many different ways that we can find and choose this joy that we talk about. One of these ways I am confident is by giving thanks in all circumstances, each and every day, over and over again, even when it's hard. The first time thanksgiving is mentioned in scripture is in Leviticus 7:11-13, "And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the Lord. If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil....." We receive the peace of God when we are thankful. When we can count the ways that He loves us, and the gifts that He gives us, our joy will begin to explode. You see the greek word for thanksgiving is "eucharisto" (Luke 22:19). The root word is "charis" which means grace, a gift. We then look at the derivative of the word "charis" which is "chara" and we find that it means joy. Joy is found in eucharisto - in thanksgiving. Ann Voskamp said, "as long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible."
And so what would it look like to start living out thanksgiving each and everyday? What if we started thanking God for the little things each day? What if we really started paying attention to the details of our day? What if we started thanking God for the hard things, trusting that He is using those moments to help us experience more of Him and as a part of the beautiful stories that He is writing in each of our lives?
You know the world is seeing that thanksgiving works. Statistics show that living out of thanksgiving makes people 25% more happier. Studies have shown that people who keep gratitude lists are more likely to have progress with personal goals, have better attitudes, and have more energy.
In the blog post prior to this and hanging on the Awake Youth Bulletin Board at church, I have put up a guide for the month of November to help us recognize things to be thankful for. Use this if you want or start a list of your own counting gifts each day. I will continue to post a guide each month. Let's choose joy today by living out thanksgiving each and every day.
Happy November! This month in Awake Youth we will be focusing on what it means to have hearts of thanksgiving. I know that November comes and we expect to focus on being thankful, but this year I believe that the Lord is asking us to look at thankfulness in a different way. This month we are going to focus and engage in being thankful for the little and unordinary things. I will share more as we go on, but for now I would like to invite you to join us in counting gifts each day.
On Friday evening we gathered together for the 2014 Lock-In. The theme of the evening was "Our Stories" and I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am of each of these students. Throughout the evening we engaged in community and team building games that left us with many laughs. We learned that a way to grow in community with one another is by sharing our stories. When we share, we learn more about one another and can encourage one another. Each of the students spent time processing through their stories on their own with the Lord and then shared out loud in a small group setting. At midnight, we engaged in corporate worship. The Lord completely took over our time of worship and ministry, it was beautiful to say the least. The late hours of the evening/early hours of the morning (however you want to put it) were spent sleeping and watching Toy Story 3, one of my favorite movies that happens to portray community in a really neat way. At 6 o'clock in the morning everyone was awakened and we gathered outside to read some morning Psalms. We ended the event gathered around a large table for family style breakfast (thank you to the Men's Ministry for coming and cooking for us)! I am truly left in awe by all that the Lord did throughout the evening: friendships were formed, stories were heard, and our King was glorified.
Last night during Bible Reading we finished the Book of Acts. It has taken us just about the entire summer to read through the book. As many of the students pointed out, Acts is not an easy book to read through and has a lot of unfamiliar names and words. I'm really proud of everyone for engaging in this book over the summer.
Here are some things we learned over the past few months:
Next we are on to the Book of Romans! Stay tuned!