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Monday, June 29, 2009

Mission Kansas, Monday

We had a work day today. We used primer on the walls and ceiling of one of the houses here at MSR.

Breakfast was great, scrambled eggs, sausage, bagels, English Muffins and cereal. Lunch was all sort of sandwiches, blt's and vegetables. Dinner was hot dogs and brats cooked over a fire, followed up by s'mores.

While on a hike this afternoon, we ran into some ticks. I had one on my leg, and Ryan had 6, and was even finding them into the evening on his clothes.

We tried some volleyball tonight, it was interesting with the kids that are here. The final score was 3-2; we had two firsts...the girls won a game, and so did the middle schoolers.

We had a great evening devotion from Exodus 20:1-7, the first 3 of the 10 Commandments. The kids worked hard on their devo's this morning and showed it by having tough questions and a great conversation. This evening, Rob's wife Leslie drove down and had dinner with us and is staying the night. She's meeting a friend for breakfast here tomorrow morning.

This has been a great trip. We've had no problems with the kids and they've kept me, Kathy and Rob laughing.

Keep checking out the pictures and comments through the day.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mission Kansas, Sunday

We left Eastview right at 8am, stopped in northern Missouri in Bethany for lunch at Wendy's. When we got to Emporia Kansas, we stopped at the Wal-Mart for a few last minute food items. We also noticed that one of the tires on the trailer and a cut on the tire stem, leaking air. The tire was almost completely flat. With only 40 miles to go, we filled the tire and tried to duck tape the leak. About 20 minutes later, the tire was losing air again, so we decided to swap it with the spare. That took about 10 minutes, and we made it to Morning Star Ranch by 6pm. We unloaded the trailer, and then attended an evening worship service here. Afterwards, we had some free time and then ate dinner, Papa Murphy's pizza. Had some more free time, and then reviewed the week with the kids. Everyone's just chilling out for the night.

We start our work project tomorrow morning. Be sure to check out the feed (at the right) for pictures and comments throughout the week!

Mission Kansas, trip 2

We'll be leaving for Morning Star Ranch outside of Florence Kansas in about an hour or so. Come back often for updates throughout the week!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Early Summer Update

I thought I’d just give you a brief update of the goings-on for our ministry over the next few months.

Here are a few pictures of “Big Purple” (our van) and our newest purchase, a 6’ x 8’ trailer:












































Speaking of events:

LAST WEEK was Middle School Camp for 9 of our students. We talked about the concept of thirst and water as found throughout scripture. Specifically, we talked about the Exodus from Egypt and how the Israelites were constantly thirsting for water, we talked about Noah and the Ark, King David and his “mighty men” bringing him water from a well in Jerusalem and then Paul “being poured out like a drink offering” in Philippians 2.

NEXT WEEK (June 28-July 3) is our second mission trip to Morning Star Ranch in Florence Kansas. We’re taking 6 of our middle school students (Ryan Carmody, Kelsey Zieser, John Mulholland, Tyler Wright, Beth Frederick and Brianna Scott) and 3 adults (Kathy Thomas, Rob Frederick and me). We’ll leave early next Sunday morning and be home by mid-afternoon on Friday, July 3. For our devotional times, we’ll be talking about the 10 Commandments and how God desires our obedience to His Law as a way to honor and love Him.

THE WEEK AFTER (JULY 5-11) is our high school week of camp. As of right now, we have 4 high school students going (Samantha Holley, Jenai Holley, Nathan Mulholland and Heidi Dickerson) and one adult (me). We’ll be focusing on chapter 4 from the Gospel of John and how Jesus truly meets all of our needs. He knows everything about us and simply wants us to allow Him to fill us. It’s going to be a great week!

FINALLY, JULY 26-AUGUST 1 is our high school summer conference trip to CIY MOVE on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale Illinois. We have 12 students (Samantha Holley, Jenai Holley, Katie Mulholland, Nathan Mulholland, Brittany Kiley, Ashley Heald, Heidi Dickerson, Amanda Williams, Courtney Des Forge, Kayla Buffington, Nickie Smith, Breanna Smith) and 4 adults (Betty Dickerson, Monna Kreher, Steve Novak and me). This year, the focus will be on following God where He leads, and He always leads us close to Him.

AUGUST will find our team re-tooling and preparing for the BIG CHANGE to a “Two-Night” youth group model in September. We’ll be moving our high school night to Sundays and middle school night will remain on Wednesdays. Also in August, we’ll have our ministry team retreat to get away, plan, recap and train our youth workers.

As you can see, I’ll be out of the office much of the summer, and when I am in Cedar Rapids, my time will be spent with my family. If you need to get in touch with me, the best way will be through my cell phone (319-389-5384). I’ll also be using our parent website for some “on the spot” event updates (especially during Kansas and CIY-our camp has dial-up!), so be sure to check that out a few times during the summer.

As always, our ministry covets your prayers. We’ll be putting a mile or 2 on big purple, and God will be speaking to many of our students in ways they have not heard. Don’t forget our sponsors; these events leave them tired, mentally, spiritually and physically, and God speaks to them, too.

Look for another update in 3 weeks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

HELP! My Kids Just Got Back From...CAMP/CIY/Mission Trip

Thanks to Twitter, I found a GREAT blog post about how to respond to your kids when they get home from a youth trip...

"When your camper gets home, I suggest you do three things:

1. Let them sleep. Let them sleep a lot.
Fatigue is an enemy and they'll be at their best when they have had some rest.


2. Don't tap the brake.
Fight any temptation you may have to "temper" their enthusiasm for Christ. Even if they make bold and unusual statements like, "I'm going to win all my friends to Christ," or "I'm going to start carrying my Bible to school with me." Even then, don't yield to your temptation to suggest they calm down, slow down or lower their expectations. Let them dream. Let them step-up to a new level of devotion and commitment. Let them feel your support - even when they're attempting something that can only happen if Almighty God steps in and makes it so. (Because Almighty God just might!)

3. Say, "That's great," or "That's awesome," a lot.
When they tell you a story about camp, say, "Tell me more about that." When they talk about the steps they took toward Christ, say, "That's wonderful. I'm proud of you." Your encouragement means more to them than mine. Your encouragement means more to them than the encouragement of their camp counselors. Encourage them - and watch them grow!"



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Final youth group for the summer

Well, last night was it. We had 27 kids and 5 adults at the Dickerson's last night for our cook out. We played games, ate food, had some s'more's...a great night. The summer schedule starts this week, no weekly youth group meeting until September. Our Fall Kick-off will be held August 26th, time and location to come. In the meantime, here's part of a blog post from tim Schmoyer, a friend of mine who happens to be a youth pastor about what can happen when you take the summer off, and split your group into 2:

"About two years ago we had around 20 jr. highers involved in our “go deep” Bible study...It sounds like a great program, except that the kids who came were only there because their parents forced them. The jr. highers felt like they were learning very little and the amount of life change we saw coming out of that Bible study was very disheartening.

So, we stopped the program for a summer and did a lot of hard evaluating, refocusing, and renewing the vision for what it should be like. In short, we decided that it was too academic and needed to be more intentional about connecting God’s Word to jr. highers’ individual lives. The plan was to take the curriculum out of the classroom and put it into small groups where two adult leaders could co-teach gender and grade specific groups of about 5 to 8 jr. highers for two years....

But two years later I can look back and say it was definitely worth it. This past year we had about 110 jr. highers actively involved, 24 adult leaders passionately teaching in small groups, and amazing stories of life-change like you wouldn’t believe!"

You can check out his whole post here.

Did you catch the increase? In 2 years, they went from 22 to 110 middle school students.


Change...is coming.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Eastview Parent Weekly, June 7-13, 2009

Dear Parents,

This website will be the main source of information over the next few months. I’ll make every effort to update that website by Tuesdays through the summer.

“Change is Coming”:
  • Our ministry team met this weekend, and has decided to pursue splitting our youth group. This was a unanimous decision by the 10 people in attendance. While the final decision will be made at our July ministry team meeting, our senior high youth group will meet on Sunday evenings from 6-8pm, and our middle school youth group will continue to meet on Wednesday nights, from 6:30-8pm. There are a few details that remain to be nailed down, and we’ll be meeting in July and at our ministry team retreat in August to finalize those details.
  • We are still taking questions and concerns about this. Please direct them to me.

Upcoming Dates

June 10 (this Wednesday) is “Celebration”, our final youth group night for the year. We’ll be meeting at the home of Betty Dickerson, one of our youth leaders, in Alburnett. There will be a caravan leaving Eastview promptly at 5:30pm and we’ll be back at Eastview by 8:30pm. Guys-bring chips and snacks, gals-bring a salad or dessert.

June 14-19 is middle school camp week #1 at our camp, North East Iowa Christian Service Camp. Here are the names that I have for this camp:
John Mulholland 3, Spencer Kiley, Brianna Scott, Beth Frederick, Kelsey Zieser, Ryan Carmody, Kyle Hoback, Kyle’s friend Matt, and Kelli Williams

If you do not see your child’s name on this list, and they are going and need a ride, I need to know immediately. With the 4 leaders going, our van is 3 seats away from being full. Our church van will be departing Eastview next Sunday afternoon between 1:30 and 1:45 in the afternoon, and will be driven by Kent Speake. Please be at the church by 1:15pm so it can be loaded and ready to roll. We’ll return to Eastview the following Friday between 12:30 and 1:00pm.

June 28-July 3 is our Kansas Mission Trip to Morning Star Ranch in Florence Kansas. We’ll be leaving Eastview by 8am on Sunday, June 28, and return by mid-afternoon on Friday, July 3. I have the following students registered:
Brianna Scott, Beth Frederick, Kelsey Zieser, John Mulholland 3, Tyler Wright, and Ryan Carmody.

July 5-11 is our high school camp week at North East Iowa Christian Service Camp. Here are the names that I have so far:
Nate Mulholland, Sam Holley, Jenai Holley, and Heidi Dickerson.

If you do not see your child’s name on this list, and they are going and need a ride, I need to know immediately. Our church van will be departing Eastview Sunday afternoon, July 5 between 1:30 and 1:45 in the afternoon. Please be at the church by 1:15pm so it can be loaded and ready to roll. We’ll return to Eastview the following Saturday between 12:30 and 1:00pm.

July 26-August 1 is our senior high conference in Carbondale Illinois. We’ll be leaving Eastview by 8am on Sunday July 26 and return to Eastview mid- to late- afternoon on Saturday August 1. More details coming soon.

Wednesday August 26 is our Fall kick-off. We’ll have more details in the coming months.

Sunday August 31 will be our first high school youth group night. We are finalizing start times.

Wednesday September 2 will be our first middle school youth group night. We are still finalizing start times.

Have a great summer!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Youth Group Recap, June 3, 2009

Game:
Kickball, Middle School vs High School, High School Wins!

Teaching Series
:
Wineskins, Have we grown?

Topic:
We watched "Spilt Milk", a video from 36 Parables. We talked about how we should be changed once we've encountered Jesus. We also talked about the need for our ministry to change, we're not the same group we were 2 years ago, so we should stop doing youth group the way we did it then! We also gave the kids a survey, which asked them questions about their growth over the past year.

Key Verses:
Matthew 9:9-19

Attendance:
31, 124% of same week last year.

Main Group Testimony:
See Topic (above).

Small Group Time:
We went through the survey, and then had prayer time with our students. I'll be posting some results from our survey in next Monday's parent email, as well as some correlations.

Closing Challenge:
Change is coming. Be ready for it.

Questions You Can Ask:
Whe is the last time you did not change something because you've "always done it that way"?

Coming up next:
Sunday School (June 7)
Youth Group (June 10, @ Dickerson's)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Eastview Parent Weekly, May 31-June 6 2009

Dear Parents,

Today is the day! If you are hoping to get your kids to NEICSC sometime this summer, TODAY is the last day that the cheaper rates apply. Remember, if you want to use student accounts or scholarship funds, I MUST sign the registration form. Registration forms MUST be postmarked with today’s date. There are great things being planned at camp. We hope your kids will be joining us!

Today is also the due date for scholarship requests to be turned in for CIY Summer Conference. I’ll be here at Eastview most of the afternoon. Please get these turned in to me TODAY!

Next Wednesday night, June 10, is our final youth group for the year. We’ll be traveling to Alburnett for a year-end cookout at the home of one of our youth leaders, Betty Dickerson. Transportation will leave Eastview at 5:30 and we’ll be back by 8:30. If you cannot be here by 5:30, you’re welcome to join us in Alburnett. If it rains, we’ll meet at Eastview and eat here.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve dropped all sorts of hints about changes coming to our youth program for the 2009-2010 school year. We are looking at separating our group, and moving high school youth group night to Sunday night from 6-8, and keeping middle school youth group night on Wednesday night at it’s current time. This would eliminate our Sunday night d-group study. To see the thoughts behind the switch, click on the “Change is Coming” link to the right. I would love to hear your thoughts, questions and concerns. I was asked the other day if this was a “done deal”. The honest answer is “no”. Our ministry team is meeting this Saturday, from 9am-noon. While we have many things on the agenda, this will be a large part of the meeting. After the conversation, our ministry team members will decide if we are going to pursue it further and make a recommendation to that effect. After that, we’ll take a few weeks to pray through it, and a decision will be made by our July ministry team meeting so we can communicate these changes. Again, we would love to hear your thoughts, so please, contact me this week, prior to Saturday. If you’d like to attend the meeting and be a part of the discussion, please let me know that as well.

Have a great week.