Gr 7 and 8! Join us for an awesome experience this summer as we serve at Kerr Street Ministries Day Camp! We have two awesome weeks for you to choose from: July 14-19 or August 5-9. This is a cross-regional opportunity for our Jr High’s at The Meeting House. This is an incredible way for you to connect with other students from across our sites as you learn to lead and serve together!
You can download the application form by clicking the link below! All of the information you might need for the week (and also about Kerr Street Ministries) is listed here as well! Check it out!
The month of May we are going to be lunching into a brand new midweek teaching series called “built2belong.” It’s a series about relationships, with God, our families, friends and those who we don’t like. We will be looking at how God wired each of us to long to be connected and cared for. We live in the most technologically connected generation in history yet we are the most lonely and disconnected relationally.
BIG IDEA: You were wired in your very core to be in relationship. You were never created to live your life alone outside of relationship. From the very beginning you were created by God with a deep longing and desire to belong to Him.
God created us uniquely. There is no one like you! Yet at the very core of who you are is the desire to be in relationship. God wired you to belong to Him and only when we begin with a relationship with God do we understand who we really are. Its like this light/wires, God wired you inside to be in relationship with Him but only when you open your life to a loving relationship with God does the light come on and you truly experience who you really are. Many people live their lives alone and separate from their creator, they’ve never turned the light on.
KEY SCRIPTURES :
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Genesis 1:26 – God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness
This month has been an incredible journey as we’ve discovered that we are sons and daughters of the most high God. Our retreat was a powerful community experience as hundreds of our youth gathered at Muskoka Woods for a weekend where we encountered the truth of our existence; that we are known by God and created for a purpose worth living for.
Week 4 of our midweek curriculum this month centered around the fact that we as children of God have been given a purpose and a mission. Here is a short snapshot of what was taught with some questions to engage your kids with.
BIG IDEA: As children of the Most High God, we are called to be a part of his mission.
- Whether you know it or not, because of our identities as children of the Most High God, we have been created to be people with a mission. We are on a mission from God.
- Matthew 28:18-20 (NIrV) “Then Jesus came to them. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.’”
- Over the night we look at people in the bible who God calls to be on Mission and they give excuses why they shouldn’t participate. Moses, Jeremiah and Jonah. We then look at a few characters who risk it all for what God calls them to do; Noah, Esther and the disciples.
- Esther 4:13-16 Esther doesn’t let an excuse stop her. She says: “If I must die, I must!” That’s living out your mission! That’s being all in and being willing to get it done.
- You know other people in the Bible who were flawed and messy, but all in at the same time—the disciples. Their mission—and ours!—is to “…Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you…”
- This is our mission. Let’s not make excuses—especially bad ones. Let’s be ALL IN. Let’s step up and make disciples. Let’s share the hope of Jesus with people. Let’s learn and grow and commit together to our mission.
Questions around the dinner table:
- Have you ever had an important challenging mission, task or purpose that someone gave you that you had to complete? What was it? How did you do?
- Why do you think we often make excuses to get out of having to engage in doing something important? Consider characters in the bible who made excuses to get out of what God was calling them to do. Moses, Jeremiah, Jonah.
- What would it look like to be like Esther who said “if I die, I die”? What would make you think this way?
- What is the mission that God is calling you on? How do you feel about it?
- What does it mean to be on mission at your school? Do you have a hard time doing what you know God’s calling you to do? Why?
This month we are entering into new series that is similar in content as what we are teaching at the spring retreat. This series is about discovering what it means that we are children of God made in his imaging and given a purpose in this life. We will be diving into issues surrounding our identity formation and helping our youth discover that who they are isn’t what those around them tell them but rather what God tells them.
Big idea – We are children of the Most High God.
Key Verse – Psalm 139 (NLT) says: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born.”
He saw us before we were born. He knows how we’ve been shaped—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He knows us at our best and our worst. He knows why we do what we do and who we really are. How different would our perspective of ourselves be if we allowed God to shape how we see ourselves.
Romans 8:14-16. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (NLT)
We are God’s children. We belong to him. We are loved by him. And our identity is found in him.
Here’s the retreat rules. Dave’s pretty pumped about his role at the retreat this year. Basically most of what he says is in reality the exact opposite
We at theUNDERGROUND hope you and your family had a great march break! We are back this week into our midweek routine and excited to be on week 2 of our Transform series. Here’s a bit of what we will be talking about.
Big Idea: God calls us to share the good news about Jesus with others and invite them to get to know him too!
Key Scripture: Acts 2:37-47 & 2 Timothy 1:5-10
What is so cool about this passage is that it’s a picture of what we talked about last week, a community that is committed to growth—to becoming a transforming community. This passage says that after they believed, people continued to learn, they met together, they shared everything they had, and lived on less so that they could give to others. That’s such a beautiful picture of a community becoming more and more Christ-like!
And that last line of the passage is one that really hits home tonight. It doesn’t say all these amazing things about how they were living and growing as a community and end with, “And they retreated and lived happily ever after”. It says, “And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”
Others were invited into what God was doing, invited to join in this crazy experience, and to be part of it! Others heard the good news of Jesus and jumped on board.
We live in an age where eye contact, quality time, and meaningful discussions are being replaced by texts, likes, and 140 character or less messages. We are more connected than ever, but do people know what matters most to us? Do they know what makes us who we are, what we’re passionate about?
If you were to ask your friends to describe you, what would they say? If they were asked what kind of person you are, what you are all about, what is most important to you, how would they respond? What makes you, you?
Right now our team is loading the vans, cleaning the bathrooms, clearing out the kitchen, and getting ourselves on the road home! The last few days were truly incredible. Friday we said farewell to the other work groups, the UrbanPromise staff, and of course the children and youth that we connected with over the course of the week. It’s always a difficult time for the team to say goodbye.
Thursday I had the special privilege to bring my friend Kyle over to have dinner with the team. He loves getting to spend some extra time with us, and the students loved playing tag and double-dutch with him!
Friday evening, we headed into Philadelphia to help serve a meal with chosen300, an organization that serves over 1000 meals per week in the Philadelphia area. It was a humbling, but truly joyful experience for our team. Learn more about chosen300 at www.chosen300.org
Saturday was our time to let the trip breathe a little bit in our hearts. We spent some time hanging out together in Philly checking out the Liberty Bell, the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and of course taking in some delicious Philly cheesesteaks. Saturday evening, we were blessed to have the Wilmington team join us for dinner and some time of debrief and worship. It was amazing to hear how God moved through both experiences. I am so glad that we gave the students time to process what they experienced and consider how this is going to shape their lives when they return home.
Today it’s all about getting home to see MY wife and son…oh…I mean for ALL of us to see our loved ones!!
Right now it’s almost 8:00 and we should be hitting the road in the next 15 mins. We told all the parents that we will be arriving back at The Meeting House by 8:00pm, but I think we will be early. Make sure to follow #theUGcamden on twitter for updates on our travel.
God bless, can’t wait to see you all!
So I’m sitting here in a church full of us, the other work group from Virginia Tech University (they’re pretty awesome) and a bunch of UrbanPromise staff and this – this is the Body of Christ at it’s best.
This is gonna be short and kind of incoherent because it’s 12:30AM – just a warning/apology in advance.
In the mornings we’ve been helping out at UrbanPromise in whatever way possible – cleaning cars, stuffing/stamping/addressing envelopes, gardening… it’s fun.
Camp has been awesome. We’ve all been doing different things, but something common across all of the camps is that we’ve been helping the kids in Grade 4 & 5 with their speeches for next Thursday’s speech contest. We’re pretty sad that we’ll be missing it, but it’s been awesome/frustrating/rewarding/sweet to work with and encourage the kids.
We did some sightseeing and dinner in Philadelphia tonight, which was lots of fun bonding and sharing good times as a team.
Like I said, right now we’re just hanging out with the UP staff. These people as so. inspiring. Wish you could all meet them because they are too awesome.
We’ve been hearing lots of great testimonies about how awesome our God is, and we’ve definitely been seeing how awesome our God is.
Wish y’all (getting my Wilmington talk on) could hear ALL the hilarious, amazing and inspiring stories, but you’ll just have to ask us when we get home.
Please pray for a good last couple days, strength to say goodbye, safe travels home and continued strength and favour for everyone at UrbanPromise Wilmington!
Much love & thanks from the Wilmington Crew!
(by Alyssa Esparaz)
The last few days in Camden have been packed with hard work and high energy fun. Yesterday our team spent most of the morning working outdoors (in heavy rain) helping unload a storage area that is going to be renovated for a local church. It was really incredible watching the teamwork of all the different groups working together. We are joined in Camden by groups of college students from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Iowa. The rainy day work project was a really great bonding experience for everyone involved. Today our work projects shifted to some landscaping and gardening work around the UrbanPromise campus. This is the kind of work that truly blesses UrbanPromise because our team literally saves them thousands of dollars in labour by helping with regular care and maintenance.
These last couple days our group has also been fully engaged in the After School Olympics. These afternoons have been loud and energetic and TONS of fun!
Overall I’ve been really impressed with the way this team has taken hold of every opportunity they are in. From basic duties around the church we are sleeping at, to our work projects and Olympics responsibilities the students from our group have made me really proud with their work ethic and encouraging attitudes. Everyone back home should be really proud of the way these young people are representing The Meeting House and Canada!
We’ve arrived safe and sound in Wilmington!
We’ve had an amazing day and a half here so far, meeting the UrbanPromise Staff and the kids at our camps, weeding gardens at the UP school and dealing with deflating air mattresses.
Yesterday morning, we met Salema, one of the staff at UrbanPromise, who led us in a devotional about surrendering our fears to God – which was a really awesome way to start the week. This will definitely be a week of surrendering any worries and fears to God.
We spent the rest of the morning hard at work weeding flowerbeds at the UrbanPromise office and school. After lunch and showers, it’s off to camp!
UrbanPromise hosts four different elementary school after-school programs throughout the city of Wilmington – Camp Victory, Freedom, Hope and Promise. All of us are at different camps for the week, hanging out with the kids, helping them with homework, and participating in whatever programs the staff has planned for the day.
Something really encouraging for me personally, was seeing kids who I met last year, and seeing so much growth. Definitely see God working through UrbanPromise here!
After camp, we had dinner at Mr. Rob’s house. Mr. Rob is the executive director at UrbanPromise Wilmington and he’s a pretty sweet guy. He really encouraged us and sent us off into this week with purpose and more knowledge and understanding about UrbanPromise.
It’s been a great day and a half, and we’re super excited for what God has in store for the rest of the week! Please be praying for good weather [it’s a little rainy here today. L], energy and health, and pray that we would really be the Body of Christ this week.
Thanks for loving us, praying for us and supporting us!
- Alyssa Esparaz for The Wilmington Crew