Hope all is well! As pools start opening, and days get longer, I hope that life feels less gloomy. I used to have a friend who used take a desk lamp during the doldrums of winter, and sit her head right under to get some sort of light affecting her. She had heard in one of her classes that sunshine and light have an affect on our moods more than we give credit for, so here is to summer!
I have been thinking over the last few months, of where does God want to take His ministry to young people and families here at Emmanuel. I went to a conference recently in the Twin Cities that helped me refine and sharpen what we hope to do here for the welfare of our young people and families at Emmanuel. Also, as Tom alluded to in his Midweek Greeting that I will be sharing this heart and vision coming up this Sunday, and Chris will follow up with the elder’s perspective the next Sunday.
However, right now, I want to share a sneak peak at what I will be sharing on Sunday to get our hearts and minds percolating a little bit today and throughout the end of the week before Sunday. Simply put, I want the abundant life for the next generation. I will be working through the beginning of Psalm 78:1-8, and in this, we get a glimpse of God’s heart for the generations. He desires the abundant life for the next generation as v. 7 puts it, “ so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” The abundant life consists of putting our hope in God, or literally the verb is “confidence” or “trust.” And, in turn, not forgetting his works, and keeping his commandments. If you do these things, you will have life, and life abundantly, as Jesus tells us in the gospel of John.
So, how will we do this? How does this happen? The rest of psalm tells us that it happens by not concealing the things of God to the next generation. The present generation is under obligation to tell the younger generation the wonders and works of God, while the younger generation is under obligation to receive (v. 4-6).
Where is your role in the midst of this? Have you fulfilled this obligation? There is no neutrality in this. Are you telling and making these things known to the younger generation, or are you concealing them? Those are the types a questions that I would like each of us to ask ourselves. If you don’t ask yourself now, I am going to ask again on Sunday, and again after that. Will you partner with me in this obligation that God calls us to, to make known the wonders of God so that the next generation would share in the abundant life? Be thinking now, where you think God may be leading you to help serve in this capacity.
Where are your gifts?
Is it behind the scenes?
Is it administrative?
Is it teaching?
Is it crowd-control?
Is it discipling?
Is it outreach?
Is it taking a group of youth out for ice-cream?
Joining a group for paintball? Six flags?
Is it high school? Elementary? Middle?
What youth has God laid on your heart?
Is it changing diapers?
What would you like for your kids? Your grand-kids?
Where is God leading you? Pray earnestly over this.
VBS- The theme this year is “ Gotta Move!” and is being held the third week of July, which is 7/15-7/19.
It is still put on by the same guys we have done in years past, which is the Go Fish group. Jennifer Walker is looking for volunteers as always. Of all the questions described above, if you answered yes to any of them, we need you for VBS! Contact either Jennifer or myself (Jeff) if you desire to be plugged in somewhere to help or you want more information so you can sign up your kids.
Overflow- I believe we will be having an event coming up in June. The date and time is yet to be determined, but I do believe it will be paintball. Come join us if you’re in high school, and invite a friend. Contact Nate and Diane Shoemaker for more information.
JAM- Have a meeting coming up on 5/22, and meeting on the 2nd and 4th Wed. in June (6/12 & 6/26). Also, a Six Flags trip will be in June as well. For more info, contact Darrel or Leesa Boyer.
Sunday School is on break for the summer, but look for it starting back up in the Fall.
Also, be looking for a new ministry coming up in the Fall aimed for children ages 3-9. A tentative group name, is Seedling. More details to come as the Summer progresses.