Good morning friends!
This past week we finished up talking about whether or not the Bible contradicts itself and began to ask the question "Can I be a Christian and believe in evolution?" This next topic has a lot of potential to stir up some deeply held beliefs, and the purpose of the curriculum is to prepare students for confrontation in the real world. We aim to have a healthy discussion that fosters mutual understanding throughout. This would be an awesome opportunity to talk with your student about what you believe and why! They have been encouraged to talk to an adult in their life that they respect, and I think you might be surprised to hear what they think!
In Youth group we spent the last week of Faith in and Anxious World talking about how we were designed for community, both with God and with each other. Kevin McCleery lead us through Jesus feeding the 5000 and focused on how Jesus didn't feed them by Himself, but he also didn't leave the disciples to do it alone either. We ended our time by breaking bread with one another and stressing the importance of a good community.
This is also a good time to mention that we are going to be starting our In God's Image curriculum this next week! We hope to have three weeks of that curriculum before spring break and a small insert about what it means to be Reformed before we take off for the Summer!
Thanks for stopping by as usual!!
Two relatively heavy topics this past week, but both conversations went well. Sunday school continued to address apparent contradictions within scripture and how we reconcile them as believers. We are trying to dive into this question well, but I know that students are anxious to move on to some more culturally significant topics as well. We hope to finish up this question next week!
We had the pleasure of hearing from Nancy Mccleery in youth group on the topic of depression and how to deal with it. We encouraged students to be present to those around them and to correctly asses their feelings and seek help if necessary.
We hope to finish up Faith in and Anxious world next week and keep pushing through "Can I ask That" in Sunday school!
Good morning parents!
This past week I got back into my groove and rejoined the students in the "Can I Ask That?" material. We have just started to ask the question "Does the Bible contradict itself?" and will likely stay here for another week or two. This book is designed to facilitate discussion and help students ask themselves hard questions in a safe environment. As we continue this discussion, this would be an excellent opportunity to connect with your students about what they believe and why! You may find that your student is passionate in ways you weren't aware of before!
In youth group we are continuing to talk about faith in the midst of an anxious world. This past week Nick led us through the call of Simon Peter and we spent some time in small groups asking ourselves how we might be able to handle conflict better in our homes. I am of the opinion that 90% of student/parent communication breaks down because of a lack of "shared meaning." When a parent says "No, you can't go on a cross country road trip," its not because they enjoy making their child suffer. They are likely trying to protect their child from possible dangers or are aware that a cross country trip isn't financially viable. Unfortunately, the student may hear "My parents don't trust me," or "They don't want me to go because they hate me." This might seem a little contrived, but neither side is adding to the shared meaning. The parents are communicating love in the form of protection or concern, but the student sees it as restrictive and responds in a rebellious way.
We asked students to talk to you about the things that they have noticed help in the midst of disagreement and the things that make it worse. I would encourage you to dive into that conversation as deeply as you are willing. I'm very passionate about parent/student relationships and I think that taking the time to have hard or even potentially awkward conversations about strengths and weaknesses in times of tension can really help both parties understand one another better.
Thanks for checking in as usual!
Good morning parents!
For those of you who may not have heard, I am officially a dad now! Dynelle gave birth to our son Ezra on 2/4/20 and we are figuring out what parenting is like :)
This past week my volunteers covered Sunday school and youth group, and from what I hear it all went very well! We are still going through Can I Ask That in the morning and we will start week two of "Faith in an Anxious World" at youth group!
Ill be sure to leave a more comprehensive update next week!
Have a wonderful rest of your week!
I'm updating the website from a hospital room at 4am! So obviously, I wont be at programming this week, but programming is still going on!
This upcoming week in Sunday school we are continuing the question "Can I trust the Bible?" and in youth group we will be beginning our "Faith in an Anxious World" curriculum!
Our wonderful volunteers are going to be taking over for me for the next two weeks while I am on paternity leave, but I will try to throw a few pictures up here and update as necessary!
Have a great week!
Good morning friends!
This past week we began our new Sunday school material and wrapped up some Deep Discipleship stuff in Youth Group!
Some of you may remember the "Can I Ask That" book series we went through right when I came to FRCZ, and it's back by popular demand! The seniors who caught some of the books are still interested in going back through them, so we are going to begin by simply asking the question "Can I trust the Bible?"
This is a curriculum designed to help students think about their faith for themselves and prepare them for a world that asks hard questions. The tagline on the book is "Doubt isn't toxic to faith - silence is." This is a discussion based curriculum and has the potential to get pretty emotionally charged. My leaders and I are all ready to dive into those places, but its also helpful if you all are aware of what we are talking about. I would love to talk to you more about this so if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an email!
Youth group is going to begin Faith in an Anxious World on February 9th! This series is designed to help students identify and manage points of anxiety in their lives by putting full trust in God. I'm very excited to see how our students respond to that material and I will update you here!
Please pray for a healthy baby, and an easy delivery! Dynelle and I can't wait to meet our little guy! Have a great week!
Good morning parents!
This past week we spent our Sunday school hour talking about king Josiah and the unique nature of his reign. Without the law of Moses in hand, he abolished idolatry at the age of 16 and rebuilt the temple. There is a lot we can learn from Josiah, and its a pretty inspiring thing to know he did all of this at the age of our students! Ask your child what their takeaways were!
In youth group I tried something a little different and I just asked two questions for the teaching time. the first was "If God had it His way, what would our church look like?" The responses were pretty incredible. We talked about worship that wasn't focused on worshiping a particular way or focused on ourselves, inclusivity, and lots more. This would be another great question to talk to your students about at home! I left them with this question - "What is stopping our church from looking like that now?" I think this is a question we can all afford to ask ourselves from time to time, just to make sure that our hearts are in the right place and we are on a course charted toward Jesus.
Just to keep you all in the loop, Dynelle is going to give birth to our first child in the near future! There is a plan in place, and the High School volunteers are going to be standing in for me while I'm on paternity leave. I only intend to be gone for two weeks, but Friday nights are going to have to move! For the next 8-10 weeks I will be asking members of the congregation to host our Friday night fellowship. If this is something you would be interested in, I would love to have you check out the sign up under the "Schedule information" tab! This is to make sure our little guy can develop a strong immune system before we put him in the same house as 20 some teenagers. The new Friday night schedule will be 6pm - 10pm during this time and we will reassess how we are doing at the end of these couple months. Thank you all for the support you have already given Dynelle and I and I can wait for you all to meet this little dude!
Have a wonderful week!
We kicked off 2020 by taking some time to discuss how we feel we are doing as a youth group! One of my greatest fears as a youth pastor is that I teach material I think is valuable, but students are not interested and therefore it isn't impactful. To combat that, we have a conversation about once a year about whats going well, whats going poorly, and what we are missing. I snapped a picture of our whiteboard from youth group and if you would like to see what the students had to say you can check it out below!
I am hard at work making sure we have Sunday school and youth group planned and covered for my fast-approaching paternity leave! We will be transitioning from The Gospel Project in Sunday school to "Can I Ask That" material! If that sounds familiar, it's because we had great success with this material when I first started at FRCZ! We are going to return to the first book and start some more conversational and in depth Sunday school times!
Youth group is going to continue with deep discipleship until Baby Prins is born, and then we will begin a 4 week series called "Faith in an Anxious World!" Expect to see a lot of fun updates here as we start these topics!!
Thanks for checking in and have a great week!
Good morning parents!
Just like that we are at the end of another year. It's crazy to think about all the things that have happened over the past year and all the progress we have made as a church. We have a new pastor, and our youth group is growing consistently. I have had the opportunity to stay connected with our college students and hear about the things they are involved in. The overall "feel" of the congregation is healthy and vibrant, and our trajectory is so hopeful. I'm so thankful for the ways that God has blessed us this year!
This past week we joined the rest of the congregation in celebrating where we have been over the past year and where we hope to be going in our annual vision/budget meeting, and had our end of the year celebration in youth group! I don't have tons to report except that I am so grateful for the support that you guys provide for us as parents. Christy and I are planning our annual parent meeting for the beginning of January, and I would love to see you all there!
Say some thank you prayers and hold on for another great year in 2020!
Good morning parents!
This past week we continued in our Gospel Project Sunday school in Isaiah and talked about the nature of his prophecy in regards to setting up for Jesus. We are going to finish out this curriculum just after the new year! Ask your students for more details to keep the conversation going at home!
In Youth group we talked about the difference between joy and happiness. There are many examples of people who worship in the midst of struggle in the Bible, but we focused on Paul and Silas being throw into prison. Often when we hear that we should be "worshipful" in times of struggle, we write of the idea as idealist, and fail to see how that can be possible. We discussed the conditional nature of happiness and how our circumstance can shift our mood, but it need not shape our worldview. The joy that the Bible points us to is predetermined and unchanging, so we can be confident in the hope of salvation at all times. When times are hard we are encouraged to set our mind on things above and place our current struggles in the light of the Gospel. Paul goes as far as saying that he counts all earthly things as loss for the sake of the Gospel! Its overwhelming goodness pierces the darkness we face in this life. It's a daily choice to keep our eyes fixed above, but its well worth it!
Next week we will have our last programs of the 2019 year! I cant believe how fast this year has gone! Have a wonderful week!
I'm Noah. I do High School things. Expect this page to update every Tuesday morning!