December Curriculum in theUNDERGROUND

December Midweek: For the first two weeks of December we’ll be wrapping up our UNBROKEN series – looking at how brokenness invades our lives in may forms. God wants to restore us and make us whole. He makes beautiful things out of our brokenness. We’ll finish the semester with a big Christmas celebration together!

 

This week! –> Week 1: “What Jesus Says about Sex” – the big idea this week is: Sexuality is something God made as good, but it has been broken. God wants to help us get to a place of wholeness, as we come to understand sexuality. We’ll be looking at the best way to consider sexuality through a Jesus-focused lens and will be encouraging students to:

  • Find trusted spiritual mentors (or parents!) to have conversations with about stuff you struggle with or just questions that you have
  • Consider how your choices, your decisions, your thoughts impact your relationship with Jesus
  • Pray about it. That may feel or sound weird, but God cares about your sexuality. He created you. Have a chat with him.
Week 2: Guys Night / Girls Night – this is an opportunity to gather just as guys, and just as girls, to chat through the struggles we face, do some Q&A with leaders and really look at what it means to become the men and women God created us to be as we learn to follow him.If you have any questions or would like more specifics about what this will look like at your site please always feel free to be in touch with your site youth coordinator! They’d love to connect!
Week 3: Christmas Party!! Connect with your site youth coordinator (or check out your site tab on the website here!) for more details! :)
Sunday Morning Jr High | Adventing
Join us in Jr High on Sunday mornings as we start a new series, “Adventing” and look at the life of Jesus as we head into Christmas. As always, learn more at parents.themeetinghouse.com

Sr High Compassion Trip

 Sr High Compassion Trip with Urban Promise
March Break | March 15 – 21, 2015

Head over to www.themeetinghouse.com/srhighcompassiontrip for more info & to apply!
Students will be learning from and serving alongside Urban Promise staff in Wilmington, DE at children’s after school programs and hands on work projects.
Underground_Compassion_Teams-FB.jpg

What is the Purpose of a Compassion Trip in theUNDERGROUND?

There are four main reasons that theUNDERGROUND has decided to offer this compassion trip to Wilmington, Delaware with Urban Promise:

Awareness.  We realize that students are aware of the major issues in the world around them such as health issues, poverty, and lack of education, but awareness grows in experience as well.  In a trip such as this, the transition from awareness to the desire for more information on these issues develops quickly – which brings me to the second reason: education.

Education. Our students will be educated through training, by Urban Promise staff, and through experiences in regards to urban issues and how so many people are affected.  This awareness coupled with further education will then lead students to the third reason for this experience: action.

Action. This experience allows students to go beyond simply talking about compassionate living to actually roll up their sleeves and dig right in.  Students will be completely immersed in the culture of urban missions and surrounded by individuals who serve in this capacity on a regular basis.

Transformation.  Our desire is that our students will continue to be transformed in Christ from the inside out and that this experience will help to shape and motivate that process.  Our desire is that our students will help to transform the lives of people who they connect with throughout this experience while they are being transformed themselves.

For more information on compassion at The Meeting House, check out:

 www.themeetinghouse.com/compassion

What is Urban Promise?

The focus of Urban Promise Wilmington is to be the light of Christ through servant leadership in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.  For full details on this ministry, go to www.urbanpromise.org.

Who Will Be a Part of the Team?

This compassion trip is a cross-regional experience; which means that we have opened the application process up to all of The Meeting House sites. Only students in Grade 9 through 12 may apply (there will be no exceptions).  This team will be composed of up to 40 students and 10 leaders.

What Will The Team Do?

While we are there, theUNDERGROUND Urban Promise Compassion Team will spend approximately half of our time working with children in the Children’s Ministry Programs. We will be serving staff by helping to run classes (Arts & Crafts, Bible, and Recreation) and by leading songs, games, skits and other parts of the program.

The remainder of the week will be spent in various physical labor projects. These projects vary considerably and may include the following: light building renovations, building maintenance & landscaping, neighborhood clean-up projects within the city of Wilmington. We will also participate in musical worship with Urban Promise staff, morning and evening devotional times, and a panel discussion with some of the Urban Promise teens, interns, and staff to increase our overall awareness of urban issues.

Head over to www.themeetinghouse.com/srhighcompassiontrip for more info & to apply!

Movie Night – This Week!
Unbroken: Week 3 | “To Save a Life”

tosavealifesqOur current series, “Unbroken” is about how brokenness invades our lives in many forms and how God wants to restore us and make us whole. We’ve been encouraged by the conversations our students and leaders have been having already.

As mentioned in this month’s newsletter,  as part of this series we are going to be watching “To Save A Life”. Check out the Trailer here.
The movie addresses some difficult, but very real topics that students do face at school, home and in their friendship circles, from a Christian perspective and we want theUNDERGROUND to be a safe place to talk about these things. The movie was written by a youth pastor, was targeted to the Christian community, and has come recommended to us by parents who are encouraging us to be having this conversation. That being said, we do also want to be very aware that they are intense topics and some parents may not be comfortable with their students watching the movie at this point and we totally understand and respect that fully.

*Junior High Parents – this movie does include some heavier subject matter, including high school parties, suicide, teenage pregnancy. It is done through a Christian lens and you can check out the Plugged-In movie review by Focus on the Family here.

The hope is to continue the conversation and help students ask questions and process through the rest of this series. Next week we’re looking forward to a panel discussion and are thankful for the amazing leaders we have who are committed to journeying with our students.

As you engage with your kids about some of these difficult topics, we want to be a support and resource to you as much as possible. A great spot for articles and resources is the Center for Parent & Youth Understanding –  http://www.cpyu.org/resources/

If we can serve you as a family in any way please don’t hesitate to be in touch!

RETREAT!!!!

theUNDERGROUND Fall Retreat is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited!! There is something so significant about retreats. They leave a lasting impact in so many ways – from friendships formed while taking the bus up, memories made while exploring nature and playing ridiculous games, to significant life-change that comes out of moments of reflection, teaching, worship and intentional discussion with trusted leaders and friends.

There are a ton of fun elements in store for this fall retreat!

  • A ridiculous amount of candy – we know it’s Halloween weekend… my theory is that candy is made @ Muskoka Woods! ;)
  • Fall Fair on Saturday afternoon – complete with cotton candy, games, pumpkin decorating, caramel apples & more!
  • Masquerade Ball theme dinner on Saturday – a chance to dress up & have fun together over a meal!
  • Star Search site competition & dance party!
  • Fantastic indoor & outdoor ‘options’ on Saturday too – skate park, climbing wall, giant games, etc!
  • So much more – you’ll have to ask your kids when they come home!

Alongside that, we are excited about what we’ll be talking about throughout the weekend. Our theme is “Unmasked”. We recognize that students these days are faced with pressures and expectations around who they are “supposed” to be, how they’re meant to act, dress, etc. In the world we live in, it can be so easy to put on masks, to present who we think others want us to be, instead of really discovering and embracing our identity in Christ. That’s what we’re going to be exploring together over this weekend – the masks we wear, and what it might look like to be vulnerable, to remove the masks and live in the identity God has given us as His children. We’re excited to have Chris Tompkins as our guest speaker on the Saturday evening!

Our hope and prayer is that every student comes away from this retreat having had an incredible time, with fun stories to share, knowing they are loved and having had the opportunity to take a step closer in their relationship with God.

You can register for the retreat @ http://www.themeetinghouse.com/youthretreat and friends are always welcome!!

Please be in touch with your site youth coordinator if you have any questions at all. We can’t wait!! :)

Jolt back to life Sept 9/10

Hey theUNDERGROUND!  Don’t miss our big fall kickoff nights next week!   This is going to be an incredible year.   We are so pumped

 

 

 

On the verge of something great

#theugfallkickoff

Every year around this time the staff and leaders at theUNDERGROUND start getting this unbearably excited feeling.  From years of experience it only means one thing….  theUNDERGROUND kickoff is right around the corner and we could not be more excited for the amazing year that is to come!
We have tons of expectation that God is going to do some very awesome things in our community this year and we are in prayer together for our students and leaders as we approach September.

We pray that:

1. God would prepare the hearts of both our students & leaders – to come expecting to grow as individuals and a whole community this year

2. That God would prepare us to be lights in our schools and wherever God has us this coming year

3. That students would discover the incredible gifts God has placed in their lives and put those to work for His glory

4. That we, as students and leaders, would be prepared to help make theUNDERGROUND an amazing place to invite friends who aren’t yet connected!

Would you join together to pray for us as staff, leaders and students as we prepare to launch theUNDERGROUND this fall!?

Can’t wait until September 9/10.  It’s going to be awesome!!

Tweet/Instagram/Facbook your favorite thing about theUNDERGROUND and hashtag #theUGfallkickoff

What to read this summer (for parents)

Hey Parents!  If your looking for something to read this summer that will help you grow in your cultural understanding, parenting skills and relationship with your kids check the latest parent blog post over at our parent blog.  parents.themeetinghouse.com

Leadership Transition

For those connected to theUNDERGROUND community we wanted to share some news with you.

With lots of prayer and discernment Phil Prendergast has decided to step out of the Youth Support Pastor role overseeing the youth ministry and take on the exciting role as the Lead Pastor of The Meeting House London.  He will work with the existing community in London to build towards a full site launch sometime in 2015. Although we are sad Phil is transitioning away from leading theUNDERGROUND we are excited for him to become a lead pastor in our community.  As some of you know Phil is from the London area and this is a big win for him and his family. He will continue to work with theUNDERGROUND team well into the fall as we launch into another exciting school year.

So now what?

We are really excited to announce that Sarah Stanley will be moving into the Youth Support Pastor role in a 1-year interim basis. Sarah has done an excellent job of leading the Jr High Ministry in Oakville for the past 4 years. She has a passion for leadership development, while asserting strong administrative and leadership skills. She will be transitioning over the summer months.

Lisa Ball has been the youth support associate pastor for 3 years and has proven herself as a strong leader with many gifts. She will be moving into a new role as the Oakville Jr High Pastor. Lisa will do an awesome job of continuing to build the Jr High ministry and reaching many students for Jesus.

 

theUNDERGROUND is a huge priority for our church and we want to make sure we have the very best leadership in place to continue to disciple students and reach youth who are far from Jesus. We have experienced growth and momentum in the past few years and we want to see that continue. Please continue to pray for our youth leadership across all our sites.

 

Summer Leadership Development Trip!

Apply online themeetinghouse.com/summeryouthtrip

 

SUMMER LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TRIP

This summer, we have the exciting opportunity to partner with Muskoka Woods to host CITYCAMP  at our Oakville location. This will be an incredible chance to grow in your faith, as you learn to serve and lead with other Jr. and Sr. High students from across all of our Meeting House locations.

Students in Grades 7-12, and those interested in helping lead this trip, are welcome to apply today at www.themeetinghouse.ca/summeryouthtrip. This trip comes at a cost of $200 per person.

WHAT IS MUSKOKA WOODS?

Muskoka Woods is a Christian youth resort that welcomes all young people to life changing experiences. Camp guests choose from water sports and athletics, media and arts, leadership and team building programs. Muskoka Woods operates all year round on Lake Rosseau and in the GTA as a non-profit youth organization. Our skilled staff are selected for their trustworthy character, ability with children and love for their Creator. Muskoka Woods is a safe place where kids grow mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. A place where creativity reigns, friendships flourish and confidence grows. FUN IS OUR TRADEMARK!

To learn more, visitwww.muskokawoods.com.

WHAT IS CITYCAMP?

CITYCAMP a mobile day camp operating in neighbourhoods throughout the GTA this summer.

At CITYCAMP, kids entering Grades 1-6 get five full days of Muskoka Woods right in their hometown. Here, guests participate in a wide variety of day camp activities delivered at their community church, school or park. Take a ride down our water slide, climb up spider mountain, take aim at the archery targets and create a masterpiece in arts and crafts. There is something for everyone at CITYCAMP!

To learn more, visit www.muskokawoods.com/citycamp.

 

WHY CITYCAMP?

CITYCAMP is a place where creativity reigns, friendships flourish and confidence grows. It’s a place where kids can be kids; discovering new possibilities and endless adventures. The goal of CITYCAMP is to inspire youth to shape their world through a safe, fun summer camp experience. By partnering with CITYCAMP, we’re able to help connect families in our community with one another and our church.

 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A LEADERSHIP-DEVELOPMENT TRIP WITH THEUNDERGROUND?

1) Hands-On Serving Opportunities

We will be supporting the Muskoka Woods staff, as they run CITYCAMP for children in our community. These kids come from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom will not have attended our church.

This is our chance to connect with hundreds of elementary students from the Oakville/Mississauga region. We’ll create a safe space where they can grow in confidence, make new friends, and share on topics like personal values, character formation and Christian beliefs. Most importantly, we’ll help CITYCAMP guests have an unforgettable week of summer camp.

2) Learning to Lead

During this trip, we will take part in leadership-development training through workshops, guest speakers, service projects, team building challenges and more.

WHO WILL BE A PART OF THE TEAM?

This team will be composed of up to 35 Jr. and Sr High students and five leaders.  If more than 35 students apply, preference will be given to Jr High students, as this is their only service trip opportunity with The Meeting House.

This trip is a cross-regional experience; we have opened the application process up to students in grades 7-12 across all of The Meeting House sites.

WHAT WILL THE TEAM DO?

During the day, theUNDERGROUND Leadership Development Team will serve alongside Muskoka Woods staff to facilitate CITYCAMP at our Oakville site.

In the evening, the team will take part in various learning opportunities, including: team building, serving the marginalized, hands on projects, and learning from experienced leaders. We will also participate in musical worship, evening devotional times, and receive training from Muskoka Woods staff to improve our leadership skills.

 

A reflection from Camden

This year I had the opportunity to go to Camden, NJ. I was nervous and excited to go. New place, new people but nevertheless excited to see how  God was working in this city. It’s hard to choose my FAVOURITE highlight but I think having Devotion every morning with the Urban Promise staff is something I look forward to every year. I am baffled each time with the commitment and love the staff have for these kids. Humility is something we often talked about. ” Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less” and that is exactly what the staff do. It takes humility to do the lame jobs or the jobs where you live in a city with broken people, a city with drug and violence and corruption issues. It takes humility to have JOY in those jobs. When I got home I looked up the difference in Joy and Happiness. “Happiness is an emotion where you experience feelings from contentment to bliss or temporary pleasure.Joy is a stronger, a less common feeling than happiness. Witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice frequently triggers this emotion. Being connected to God or to others in a great cause. ” I believe Joy and Love go hand in hand.I constantly saw Joy and Love in the staff members over the week, I constantly saw beauty in the broken, my heart was constantly over flowing with Joy, Faith, Hope and Love. But the best of these was Love.

1071206_280123548818234_1325744561_o Sarah is one of our core Sr. High students in our Uptown Toronto Youth Ministry.  She’s always got a smile on her face and is so full of joy.  Thankful for the ways she invests in other peoples lives. 

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