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HEY NEWBIES!!!  6th Grade 2019-2020

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Get ready! 

The most intense stage for the family is the Middle School time frame, where the Parent Repellent comes out and the question becomes, “Who is this kid I used to know?”

  • Your sixth grade kid is moving from reflecting you and your family values to deflecting them in order to grow into an adult that will eventually look a lot like YOU.
  • Your seventh grade student could possibly be playing 20 questions with you to find his or her authentic faith and guardrails for life.
  • By eighth grade, we see this small, lovely child begin to grow into a physical adult body and correspond with you like an adult.

This is the launch pad for many things as they discover themselves, develop skills and talents, and decipher Spirituality in the process.

MY PASSION is to lead students to the heart of the Father by helping them own their faith in Jesus Christ and grow in an authentic relationship with Him.  My greatest joy has been to see the light turn on when a student begins to KNOW the Father through Jesus, GROW in their relationship, and SHOW the love of Jesus in their daily lives.

Opportunities during the year include:

  • Believe Weekend in January, when students spend time listening to the truth of God’s word and apply it to their lives.
  • We see friends coming to Wednesday weekly meetings and Sunday Morning Weekly gatherings to have some fun with one another, but also to connect with Jesus in a relevant way geared for their age group.
  • Our Servant Leadership Camp in June gives a nuts and bolts experience of what it means to serve with the love of Jesus and reflect on the love of Jesus on a personal level.
  • We have fun events, concerts, lock-ins, and other activities that build community and give students a place to experience a loving and accepting environment.

We are on the journey together to Know God, and grow closer to Jesus every step of the way.

First Timer Tips for Middle School Sunday Mornings

New 6th Grade Parents

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HEY NEWBIES!! Click Here for  6th Grade 2019-2020 Parent Email

Here are a few FIRST TIMER TIPS:

  • WE MEET DURING THE 9:15am SERVICE If you come at 10:45am, we suggest that your student serves in the Children’s Area or attends Main Service with the family. 
  • THE STUDENT PAVILION IS THAT GARAGE LOOKING PLACE AROUND BACK: That is where Middle School Students meet + we give FREE SHIPLEY DOUGHNUTS, pretty much EVERY SUNDAY.
  • Students can Check themselves in.  We have a welcome team that helps check your student in.
  • You Don’t Check Your Student Out.  When our time is over, around 10:30am, students are dismissed and find their parents ON THEIR OWN.
  • Plan a MEETING PLACE after FUSION. Take a moment ahead of time and plan a place to meet up.  For example… “Meet us in the Mission Hall” or “We will probably be picking up little Johnny from the Children’s building, so meet us in the foyer” or “Meet us at the car, but don’t get hit by another church member’s car” or “Go ahead and just go home with another loving church family that will feed you and house you and take you to school” (maybe not the last one)
  • We have loving Adult Leaders. Every Adult Leader present is happy to help you and your student.  We are a team and LOVE YOUR KID TOO!
  • During the School Year we break out into Small Groups by Grade and Gender: These Small Groups are Relationally Oriented for group discussion that relates to the Talk Time with Pastor Brandon (Pastor B).
  • Small Groups happen in classrooms surrounding the Branch Service Location: After Promotion Sunday, we will begin to break out Small Groups ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE CHURCH BY THE BRANCH. This means that your kid will most likely NOT be IN THE PAVILION around 10:30am.  (In fact, High School Students will begin gathering for their Sunday Meeting time and your will be very confused.) …PLAN A MEETING PLACE
  • LASTLY WE LOVE YOU AND YOUR KID: I know this transition is different and can seem overwhelming as a parent or as a new 6th grader.  With all the stress and Chaos or change, we want to help your student make Jesus #1 in their lives.  The truth is… I have seen great movements of God in our Student Ministry and I KNOW without a doubt that He has way more investment in the life or your kid than even You or I do!

Pray for MS Mission Trip @ Arms of Hope next week!

MS Mission Trip June 24-28

SUNDAY JUNE 23 – MS Mission Trip Parent Meeting is after 10:45 Service in Student Pavilion

Our Middle School Students are Intentionally Engaging the Medina Children’s Home location with Arms of Hope Ministries. We will be serving on campus in the mornings, doing yard work, and helping with various tasks to make the place better. In the afternoon, our students will run a Vacation Bible School with the theme: WALK THIS WAY. Pray that God protects us and strengthens us in the heat, unifies our team to serve, and pours out His LOVE in our midst.

MONDAY JUNE 24 – Meet @ Oakwood Monday at 10:30am to check in, gather and get on the BUS!

FRIDAY JUNE 28 – We arrive back at Oakwood around 3pm Friday.

Two Updated Packing Notes:

  1. Bring all your own toiletries and bedding
  2. Work Project Dress – shorts and t-shirt are fine, pack one pair of jeans/pants. Most of us will be helping with some renovation clean up during the week.

Commencement speaker pays student debt for graduating class

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There are more than four thousand colleges and universities in the United States. I’m guessing that none of them heard a commencement address quite like the one delivered at Morehouse College yesterday.
Robert F. Smith, a billionaire investor known as the wealthiest black man in America, told the crowd that he and his family would pay off the entire graduating class’s student debt. David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse, called Mr. Smith’s generosity “a liberation gift, meaning this frees these young men from having to make their career decisions based on their debt. This allows them to pursue what they are passionate about.” Mr. Smith’s gift may be worth about $40 million, according to Morehouse officials.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love”
Imagine that you were one of the 396 young men graduating from Morehouse yesterday. I can think of three reasons you might decline Mr. Smith’s remarkable generosity.

You could do so out of a self-reliant determination to pay your debts yourself. You could refuse to feel indebted to Mr. Smith. Or you could consider yourself unworthy of such grace.
Now let’s consider Robert Smith’s gift to the Morehouse graduates as a parable.
The Creator of the universe considers our eternal life worth the death of his Son: “For our sake [God] made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Our Father loves us unconditionally: “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37–39).
God’s love for us is unwavering: “His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26). It “surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). It is inclusive: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God” (1 John 3:1).
In short, God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Anything God has ever done, he can still do.
However, for most of my life, I have struggled to accept God’s grace. It’s not that I think I can pay my spiritual debts myself and earn my way into heaven, or that I don’t want to be indebted to God. Rather, it’s hard for me to see myself as worthy of such love.
I know my sins and failures, my guilt and shortcomings and weaknesses. I know how unlovable I truly am. You may feel the same way about yourself.
It helps to remember that God’s love for us is not based on our character but on his: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). As a result, we can do nothing to deserve or to lose his love.
But there’s another reason our Father values us so highly, one that has gripped me in recent days.
Because God knows us better than we know ourselves, he knows what we could be if we were fully dependent on him. He knows the impact we could make on our culture if we were fully led by his omniscience and empowered by his omnipotence.
He knows that what he did with his first followers, he can do with us. And he knows that what he is doing around the world, he can do in our culture as well.
I’ve witnessed physical healings in Cuba. I’ve met people in Bangladesh who experienced dreams and visions. I’ve worshiped with believers in China who are risking their futures and even their lives to serve Jesus.
Anything God has ever done, he can still do. What he is doing in one part of the world, he can do anywhere in the world. The difference is not in him but in us.

“When I am weak, then I am strong.”
I wonder if the way many of us devalue ourselves is limiting God’s ability to use us. Our performance-based culture teaches us that we are what we do. But nothing we do is good enough to earn the approval of a perfect God.
So, we settle for what we have rather than seeking all that God wants for us. And we wonder why our churches are not more effective in reaching the lost and impacting our culture.
It’s not that our God is too small, as J. B. Phillips warned in his classic book by that title. It’s that we are.
The fact is, we’re right. You and I are too fallen and finite, too frail and flawed to change our broken world. The good news is that admitting our weakness is the key to experiencing our Father’s transformational strength.
God cannot do for us what we try to do for ourselves. But when we admit how desperately we need God, we hear his radical response: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Then we can testify: “When I am weak, then I am strong” (v. 10).

Being “poor in spirit” changes everything
Jesus taught us: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). To be “poor in spirit” is to admit how desperately we need God. When we do, we make him our king and experience the “kingdom of heaven.” And we are “blessed” with his best for us and through us.
Would God say that you are truly “poor in spirit” today, that you are utterly dependent on him? If not, would you pray for a vision of what your Lord could do with your life if you were? Would you then give him all you have to receive all he has for you?
If we are not “poor in spirit” today, nothing will change. If we are, nothing will remain the same.

NOTE: God never spoke of the United States in the Bible. But the principles he set down in its pages are timeless and relevant to you today.
If you want to know the Lord’s heart for our country, the best place to start is by looking in his Word, as I have done in my new book, How Does God See America?
Please request your copy when you give today.