Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eastview Parent Weekly, the CAMP Edition

Just a few reminders about some upcoming dates:

Saturday, May 30 (this Saturday)-10am-Noon-Meeting for our upcoming Kansas Mission Trip.
-Students who wish to attend and their parents must attend this meeting.
-After this meeting, our group will be set.

Monday, June 1 (NEXT Monday)-deadline for early-bird rates at our summer camp
-registration forms and checks must be mailed by this day TO camp.
-for those of you wishing to use student account funds and/or scholarship funds, please -remember that I MUST sign your registration form. To date, I’ve only singed one or two of these.

Speaking of camp:
I am going to be in a Dean’s position at both Middle School week 1 (June 14-19), and High School camp (July 5-11), I will need to leave for camp on those Sundays, right after church. In order for us to provide transportation for those weeks of camp, I REALLY need to know if your student is attending, so we leave no student behind. Please send me an email THIS week, letting me know which week your student will be attending.

I’ve been asked a time or two about swimsuits for girls. The camp policy is one-piece suits. I understand that it is difficult to find them. In the past, tanktini’s have been allowed, with students wearing a t-shirt over them. HOWEVER, it is up to the individual pool policy over whether or not they allow t-shirts to be worn. Again, I understand that this is frustrating, but there’s not much I can do about this. If possible, find a one-piece. If not, understand that they may not be allowed to swim.

We’ll be collecting cell phones and iPods at the registration table this year. Once I know who is going to camp, I will get you contact phone numbers to call in case of an emergency.

Wednesday, June 10-our final youth group for summer
-at the home of one of our youth leaders, Betty Dickerson
-car pooling/ride leaves Eastview at 5:30 pm, and returns by 8:30
-invitations going in the mail tomorrow with more specifics
-parents are welcome to join us.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a few incidents with students using phones during our lesson and small group times to text friends, and even having conversations in the middle of a teaching time. This is completely unacceptable. These items are not welcome at our youth events. We expect students to leave them home. If they bring them, we’re going to collect them. If there is an EMERGENCY, please contact the church at 319-393-9570, or call me at 319-389-5384.

And last but not least...our ministry team is in the process of making some BIG changes to our weekly youth group (Wednesday night) program. To see what’s being considered, you can download a file here. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Youth Group Recap, April 20, 2009

Softball at Noelridge Park

Teaching Series
Worthless-A Study in Ecclesiastes

Wealth does not bring happiness or joy, just the illusion of those things

Key Verses:
Ecclesiastes 5:8-10, 1 Timothy 6:17-19

29-152% of same week last year

Main Group Testimony:
I (John) talked about my living for wealth when I worked at Best Buy and the cost of that to my familiy and my relationship with God.

Small Group Time:
We went through the above verses and talked about each verse. At the end we discussed that God richly blesses people financially in order that they will be a blessing to others.

Closing Challenge:
What are you doing with what you have?

Questions You Can Ask:
Have you thought about how you can help others?
If you were given $1000, what would you do with it? Would you give any away? Why? Why not?

Coming up next:
Sunday School (April 24)
Youth Group (April 27-Ecclesiastes, Where is our meaning found?)

Friday, May 15, 2009



Thursday, May 14, 2009

Youth Group Recap, April 13 2009

Indoor crab soccer, high school versus middle school, high school won

Teaching Series
Worthless-A Study in Ecclesiastes

Vows-keeping our word and the importance of God keeping His

Key Verses:
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Judges 11:21-40, Genesis 18:16-33, Genesis 19:15-29

35-140% of same week last year

Main Group Testimony:
We played "gross games". Five boys had a contest to see who could finish off a jar of artichoke hearts first, and five girls had an anchovy eating contest. The winner of each was promised a great prize. In fact, the "losers" received the better of the gifts. this lead into our discussion of how God always keeps His word. He is both merciful and just.

Small Group Time:
We went through the above verses and talked about why God must keep his word to His people. We talked about what the world would be like if God were not merciful, and also what it would be like if He were not just.

Closing Challenge:
Do you keep your word?
How has God kept his in your life?

Questions You Can Ask:
What would the world be like if God were not merciful? (hopeless)
What would the world be like if God were not just? (more evil and wicked than it is)

Coming up next:
Sunday School (May 17)
Youth Group (April 20- Wealth)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Eastview Parent Weekly-D-Group Retreat edition

This past weekend, 6 students and myself went to Omaha Nebraska to work with Christ for the City International. The trip itself was for students that have been involved in our d-group program on Sunday nights. While the trip has been planned since the end of 2008, the students began reading the book My 30 Days Under the Overpass a few weeks ago, and most of the students who went with us to Omaha also participated in this year's 30 Hour Famine. For pictures of the trip, click on the link on the right marked, "Urban Plunge 2009".
Here's what we did:


We left Cedar Rapids on Friday, May 8th around 10am. We stopped in Des Moines at Old Chicago for lunch, and even got to spend a little bit of time with one of our elders over the noon hour. We arrived on the campus of Turning Point Ministries about 4pm. Turning Point Ministries is on the campus of the former Omaha School for the Deaf. We unpacked our gear, and met one of our two our facilitators for the weekend, a college student named Blake. It turns out that Blake was a student at Nebraska Christian college, and we know many of the same people. From turning Point, we went to the Hope Center in Omaha. The Hope Center is located in an old Boys & Girls Club. Hope Center ministers to children by providing various after-school activities and programs. They also have a skating rink on site. Our kids loved to skate! They got to spend time with one another and with some of the kids there in the program. It was a great start for the weekend. After a meal of pizza, we headed off to the Siena Francis House, also in Omaha. siena Francis House provides clothing, food and shelter to families and individuals in need. There was another group there who stayed and help hand our food, so our group went with Angels on Wheels. Our ministry here was to pray with various people, mothers in particular who lived in Johnson Tower, a housing project in Omaha. Our kids did a great job. We returned "home" to Turning Point around 10 pm that night for our evening debrief and shenanigans. The group had a good time of fellowship, and turned in around midnight for a good, but short, night's sleep.


Saturday morning, we awoke for group devotions at 7am. We ate a light breakfast of donuts and cereal and then headed out by 8:30 am to the Mission For All Nations. Mission for All Nations is a food and clothing pantry, located in a Hispanic neighborhood. They have recently experienced a 92% (NINETY-TWO) increase in need requests! Here, our students loaded food for a satellite location in Council Bluffs, unloaded a truckload of boxes filled with clothing, and sorted food to be handed out. Following a deliciousl meal of chicken, we headed to Maple Crest Nursing Home to worj with Desert Ministries. Desert Ministries ministers to thos in nursing homes, assisted liveing and long-term care facilities. We met some great older folks, and sang some rock-and-roll oldies to them. The only disappointment was the lack of Johnny Cash songs to sing! Around 2:30pm, we left and headed to the Open Door Mission. This was yet another ministry; they had food, clothing and shelter for families and individuals. We sorted food donations, washed dishes, carried out cardboard boxes...whatever they needed our kids did! We ate our evening meal there around 4:30, soup, sandwiches, and grapes. Speaking of grapes...Nathan Mulholland got 19 into his mouth, Nicole Smith got 19, and Dillon Bisig brought up the rear with 9. Way to go, kids! From there, we headed to ABIDE, a ministry that seeks to raise up leaders for service. We got back to Turning Point for evening debrief and group time. Again, we called it a night about midnight.


We woke up (late) at 7:20am, spent some time cleaning, packing, and had breakfast. We headed down to Empty Tomb, a church the ministers specifically to the homeless and needy. We even met Dillon's great-uncle, who was the pastor there. Following that service, we went to Salem Baptist Church, a "black" church in Omaha. There were about 500 people there, and the serice was amazing. The singing was great and the sermon was also cool. The service time was about 1 hour and 45 minutes long and was exciting. We left Omaha by 1:45pm, and after a stop at McDonalds, on 80, we arrived in Cedar Rapids at 6:45pm.

What else happpend?

The trip was great. The kids who went worked hard and represented Jesus well. They served without complaint, and were a joy to be around. Personally, I was shocked at the size of the need in Omaha. At every shelter we went to, there were at least 80-100 people. We saw all ages, from young children and familes to older people. It makes me wonder what I'm missing here in Cedar Rapids. What size is the need here in CR? I was also amazed by the number of volunteers that served. One of then, a man named Ken told me that a few years ago he walked away from a sucessful career because he felt God calling him to develope a job training center for needy people. Because of his choice, his obedience to God's leading, his wife left him. He seemed calm and confident. Wow.

This was a "hands-on" trip. With the exception of ABIDE, we ministered at each place in a tangible way. Each of the students left challenged and wondering how they could serve locally. As we evaluate next year's schedule, I think that this trip will be back on the books.

Here's the list of kids who went: Beth Frederick, Brianna Scott, Dillon Bisig, Nathan Mulholland,Nicole Smith, Samantha Holley, and myself.

We thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers this past weekend. God showed up, and we met him.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 6, 2009 Youth Group Recap

Ultimate Frisbee, high school boys/middle school girls vs high school girls/middle school boys

Teaching Series
Worthless-A Study in Ecclesiastes

Friends and friendship with God

Key Verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:8-12

30-111% of same week last year

Main Group Testimony:
John told a true to life story about a friend who was lost in a mountainous area in Mexico with another person and lived out Ecclesiastes 4:11.

Small Group Time:
The small groups talked about how we can be friends of God by doing what He asks of us. We also talked about a benefit of being God's friend: He gives us the inside track into what is going on in our lives and what our purpose is for being here.

Closing Challenge:
Be a friend of God.

Questions You Can Ask:
How can we be a friend of God? (By doing what He says)
Why should we be a friend of God? ( He loves us and wants to be our friend)
How can we know if we are a friend of God? (Are we doing what He says?)

Coming up next:
Sunday School (May 10)
Youth Group (April 13- Keep your word)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How to Pray WITH your Family

Over the past few years, I've had several conversations with parents who desire to have some kind of spiritual "moment" together on a consistent basis, but they don't know how or where to start.

Here is a great place to start: the Family Prayer Guide produced by HCJB Global. It is a simple prayer calendar, which would literally take no more than 30 seconds for your family to do TOGETHER either in the morning at a communal meal time.

It's been said that there are 2 good times to plant an oak tree, 20 years ago...and today.

Plant this tree TODAY, and watch God work.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Eastview Parent Weekly, Summer 2009 Calendar

Thanks to those of you who came to our parent’s night last Wednesday. It was great spending time with you, and I know the kids loved seeing you play 7-base kickball!

30 Hour Famine Recap Video:

We’re in the home stretch for our Spring youth activities. As a reminder, our final youth group for the summer will be June 10; this means we will not be meeting regularly through June or July. We are planning on starting up again in August, we’ll communicate the date as soon as it is firm. Why do we stop meeting in June and July? We have a full summer of events.

Please read these dates CAREFULLY:

May 10th- cut-off date for Scholarship applications for High School Summer Camp

May 15th- Cedar Rapids Kernels Fundraiser- meet at Eastview by 9pm

May 17th- cut-off date for Scholarship applications for Middle School Summer Camp #2

May 20th- cut-off date for Kansas Mission trip registrations

May 22nd- Cedar Rapids Kernels Fundraiser- meet at Eastview by 9pm

May 30th- Mission:Kansas meeting at Eastview

June 1st- cut-off date for scholarship applications for CIY Summer Conference
cut-off for EARLY-BIRD rates for our Summer camp

June 14-19- Middle school camp week at NEICSC #1
-most of our middle school students will be at this camp week
-I am co-deaning at this week of camp

June 28-July 4- Middle school Kansas Mission Trip (Students may still register for this trip, cost is now $200)

July 5-11- High school camp week at NEICSC
-I am co-deaning at this week of camp

July 12-17- Middle school camp week at NEICSC #2

July 19-23 5th & 6th grade camp week at NEICSC
-there is at least one student attending this week from Eastview

July 27-Aug 1- CIY Summer Conference for high school students

About camp, while you will send your registration forms and checks directly to the camp, Big Purple will be running to/from camp for Middle School #1 and the High School week, so we can get your kids there!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fundraiser tonight is cancelled