Wednesday, December 11th will not be a typical night at theUNDERGROUND!
The Ignite Concert on Wednesday, December 11, is an event that promotes both the Care and Invite Transform goals for theUNDERGROUND. The Concert is a joint effort between World Vision and theUNDERGROUND, with Muskoka Woods also helping to provide sponsorship. The youth are inviting their friends and we are also inviting student leadership teams from area schools. We are hoping to have over 500 youth present!
It’s going to be a life-changing night. Youth will be encouraged to sponsor a World Vision child, and to speak out and encourage others to get involved in the fight against child exploitation. For more information go to igniteconcert.com.
Michel Chikwanine, a former child soldier, will be sharing his story. After being abducted from his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel endured devastating experiences until his escape. He will share his journey toward freedom and his hopes for the future. Listening to his story, youth will be informed and impacted to make a difference.
This will also be the first time our very own Rachael Bawn performs in a concert setting. Some of you have met Rachael, whose optimism, love of Jesus and commitment to inspiring young people is infectious. Rachel has been attending The Meeting House for four years and has been a small group leader for three years. She often leads worship for senior highs, at retreats, and during Sunday morning services at the Oakville site.
Neverest, one of Canada’s top rock bands, will also be performing. As World Vision Artists, they have committed their time and talent to help the world’s poorest children have access to needed resources.
Plus, our very own Michael “Pinball” Clemons will be kicking off the night with an inspiring opening message.
This is not a typical theUNDERGROUND Wednesday night program. We hope to have many youth attend who aren’t yet involved in theUNDERGROUND. In light of this, there are a number of changes to be aware of:
- Usually youth are checked-in as they enter the building for theUNDERGROUND. Due to the large numbers we’re expecting, we won’t be checking in youth for this event.
- There will be a significant number of easily identifiable and security cleared youth leaders and staff from The Meeting House.
- There will be paramedics on site in case of a medical emergency.
- As usual, parents or guardians are responsible for dropping off and picking up their youth.
This is a huge opportunity to invite a ton of new kids to check out theUNDERGROUND and we hope to mobilize more youth into a compassionate, globally-aware lifestyle. As Rachael Bawn says, we are encouraging people to stop looking in, and start reaching out to our neighbours, both nearby and around the world.
We are so pumped to host an amazing event on December 11th called IGNITE. It’s a concert with amazing music and some inspiring speakers geared to challenge youth to join the movement to end child exploitation. Hear football great Pinball Clemons and Michel Chikwanine a former child soldier from Uganda – Music by NEVEREST and RACHAEL BAWN!
This is a free invite so bring out all your friends and promote it in your school!
This past weekend our Jr. and Sr. Youth had an amazing opportunity to go on different youth retreats. The weekend was full of worship, games, and an opportunity to listen to some amazing speakers. Our goals for the weekend were to see how we are all unique, how we all have purpose, and what our mission is. We could go on for pages about the incredible stories that happened this weekend and how these different goals were achieved and exceeded! I’m sure our youth would love to share their favorite moments with you!
One story we thought would be amazing for our community to hear about happened at our East camp, Camp Medeba. The speaker for the weekend was Jimmy Rushton. He posed an interesting thought to the youth. Now is the time for you to make a decision about your faith. Either you are in or you are out. It’s time to make the call. Now some people may be overwhelmed with the idea of jumping head first into the pool of faith, but our youth took on the challenge! Christianity is about making the decision to dedicate your life to God. “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
As Jimmy discussed, either you are fully in or you are not. There is no in between when it comes to faith and we cannot be shy about it. To strike his point even more, Jimmy asked those who have made a choice to dedicate their lives, or who want to rededicate their lives to God, to stand up on their chairs so that everyone could be witness. For those who are shy or insecure, this may be a terrifying thought, but our youth proved to push against the fear. It all started with one boy from our Parry Sound site named Seth. Now someone could easily stand on their chair quietly, and not disturb the protocol. But with bravery and an overwhelming burst of passion, Seth stood on his chair and yelled, “I’m in!” These two words, although simple, started a movement. Soon kids from all over the sanctuary were proclaiming their desire for the Lord. By being vocal about their desire for God, it no longer became scary to make a public announcement of faith; it became a cry of encouragement. This revival started, all because of the faith and desire of one person. We live in a broken world, and some of us come from broken homes. This act of faith showed that all of that doesn’t matter. There is healing in the name of God, and there is support in the community of Christ. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
We as a church community can look to this story as inspiration. Be bold in your faith, and let God speak life into dry bones. In the struggles and pain of life, we can seek first God’s reviving love. By boldly proclaiming our desire to love God, we make room for others to be affirmed in their faith. This week, remember to ask the youth about their weekend away and feel free to let us know if you hear of any share worthy stories!
This past April we went on an amazing retreat focusing on what our identity is as followers of Jesus, it was called “I AM KNOWN”, it focused on youth rediscovering who God is and continue the journey towards finding their identity in Him. We walked through the idea of being made in the image of God, and that we are sons and daughters of the King.
Beginning this Friday we kick off our amazing fall retreats. We have over 400 registered with more coming in by the hour! During these retreats we have an opportunity to build on those themes discovered back in April. There are 3 new ideas youth will be diving into. The focuses are how we are all unique, how we all have purpose, and what our mission is.
Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Although we are all created in the image of God, that image reflects in different ways. Each of us is uniquely created, and God loves us each for who we are. Our uniqueness is what makes us special. This retreat is a time to figure out how God has shaped and created us uniquely in His image.
In our uniqueness, God has given each of us skills, talents, and gifts. It is how we use these skills that help us find our purpose. God has given each of us a plan that will use our gifts and talents. Life is to be lived, but lived with a God given purpose.
Now what? We’ve begun to discover our gifts and how God has made us unique. How do we apply these to our purpose? We are all called to go and do incredible things for the kingdom of God. In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus calls His disciples to go and make disciples of all people. Our God given gifts and unique talents are our vehicle for making great change in the world.
This fall we want to create a different retreat experience, we wanted our fall experience to be more intimate and based on a deeper sense of community. Our theUNDERGROUND sites are heading off to 3 different camps! Here’s the breakdown!
We do have a few spots available at each of our retreat locations!
If your late and want to sign up, do it now by talking to your site youth coordinator
WEST- [Brantford, Burlington, East Hamilton, West Hamilton, Kitchener, Waterloo]
CAMP: Mini-Yo-We (Muskoka, ON)
Speaker: Matt Collins
CAMP: Camp Crossroads (Torrance, ON)
Speaker: Dave Drinkwalter
EAST- [Brampton, Downtown Toronto, Uptown Toronto, Newmarket, Ottawa, Parry Sound, Richmond Hill]
CAMP: Medeba (Guilford, ON)
Speaker: Jimmy Rushton
THINGS TO PRAY FOR:
As a community we would ask you to support those who are putting time and energy into making all of these retreats possible. There are a few ways that we can support these awesome people, one of them being prayer. This weekend, we would ask our community to pray in a few areas.
- That the hearts of the youth would be opened to the messages they hear
- During this retreat some of the youth who are struggling and feeling broken can find healing and love
- That we would build stronger bonds and friendships
- That the speakers would be lead by God
- That small groups would grow and deepen their love for each other
- Prayer for leaders who have given up time and mental sanity to journey along side students
- For theUNDERGROUND staff who have poured many, many hours into planning and running these retreats.
If you are on Twitter or Instagram and want to track with the youth this weekend, you can! We will be using the hashtag #UGwired on our tweets and photos, and will be encouraging the youth to do the same. Search our hashtag to follow along with the events and see what’s happening!
There are some questions that are so big that you can’t avoid no matter what you believe.
There are big questions that get to the core of who we are like “is God real?” and “What is truth?”. We will journey together during this series to help us be able to articulate and understand our faith in a deeper way. We have Bruxy and Nathan Betts doing short video teaching at each of these weeks as we dive into these important topics. Don’t miss one of our midweek gatherings throughout the month of October!
One of the most exciting, important and transformational things we do here at theUNDERGROUND is host 2 retreats per year. Its at these retreats that our sense of community strengthens, our passion for Jesus grows and we make incredible memories. This fall NOV 1-3rd we will be hosting 3 separate regional retreats. Make sure you sign up early as prices go up after OCT 13th.
Camp Crossroads: Oakville
Camp Mini-Yo-We: East and West Hamilton, Brantford, Kitchener, Waterloo, Burlington
Camp Medeba: Toronto, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Ottawa, and Parry Sound
Join the Jr. and Sr. Highs for our regional FALL RETREAT!!! At this retreat you can expect to…
- chill with new friends and old ones too
- relax and get away from the routines of life at home
- experience music that is OUTSTANDING!!!
- be challenged to hear God‘s voice
- engage in outrageous wide games
- enjoy tons of activities each camp has to offer
- connect more with your awesome youth leaders
- participate in specialized gathering times for Jr. Highs and Sr. Highs separately
- $125 until October 13
- $140 after October 13
GET READY because theUNDERGROUND is back the first week of september for our welcome back parties. Check the list below for your midweek date of launch!
Welcome back party launch
West Hamilton (Brantford)
Newmarket and Richmond Hill midweek startup TBA
September midweek – FOLLOW
theUNDERGROUND is kicking off the year with a bang! We’re starting off with a fun “welcome back” night, followed by two weeks where we’ll look at what it means for us to follow Jesus and to invite others to join us in that epic journey! We’ll wrap up with a “serve fair” – allowing you the opportunity to learn about, and sign-up to serve in different ministry areas around the church!
September Jr. High Sundays – Dave’s World 3: The Big Ten
Dave’s been busy creating another epic sequel to the wildly popular Dave’s World youtube franchise. This time he takes on the big 10, the 10 Commandments and learns what it means to live out the Bible in our modern world. Laugh, cry and learn this fall with theUNDEGROUND sunday mornings.
God is pretty awesome. He has given us an amazing team at camp this week. We are well into day 3 of camp, and as this is being written a dance party is on in full force in the next room. Just prior, we had some time of singing in worship with the kids…actions and all! Each of our students has been a superhero this week in serving, loving, and developing relationships.
Our theme for the week is superheroes, and our team has done a dynamic job of presenting superhero skits each morning to the campers with Ironman making an appearance this morning! Our Bible stories have been about the superheroes in the Bible too. And kids have dressed up like little superheroes this morning. All that to say, it’s all pretty super.
Last night, our girls were able to get a little down time after they made dinner; they watched a movie and had ice cream sundaes. Our boys had the opportunity to spend the night with some sr highs from the Oakville site during a musical worship time.
Our students and leaders have also been working hard at encouraging one another in intentional ways. We have an “encouragement tree” where they are writing encouragements to one another on leaves and post them to the tree. It’s a beautiful aspect of community to see their encouragements to one another.
After a full day of camp today, our students will be heading to one location together to have a bbq and swim time. Please pray for them as we journey through the day. Today seems to be a day of some fatigue, and the campers are extremely high energy. Pray we are able to match their energy and enthusiasm!
Our students have begun to really grow together in connection, community, and hilarity. It has been an awesome week of togetherness and God is definitely at work in and through our students.
We are half way through another incredible week at Kerr Street Day Camp! As we wind down for the night, there are lots of things to reflect on! Today was a great day as we had the opportunity to walk the campers over to The Dream Centre and share in a BBQ that was being hosted at Kerr Street Ministries. The kids were well fed, played lots of fun games, and even participated in an exciting talent show! Our team of Jr High students come from all across the GTA, and beyond! We have students from Parry Sound, West Hamilton, Waterloo, Kitchener, Downtown Toronto, Uptown Toronto, Oakville, and Burlington too! It has been an incredible privilege to watch our students interact with the Kerr Street students and staff, see them perform in daily skits, become more comfortable among the other students, to see them light up as they spend time playing with a camper, and to hear them express their hearts for service and the Lord. We have been blessed by another incredible group of students to be serving with! We look forward to another great day at camp tomorrow! We have worship and a dance party to spice up the day before we wrap up the week with a carnival Friday! We would love your prayers for our students, and especially for the staff that works every week this summer with the campers. The love the staff pours out is truly inspirational. Join us in asking for patience and perseverance for them as they round out the summer at camp! Thanks for joining with us in this exciting week!
–Your Jr High Compassion Team | Week 2