Author: Sarah Stanley (page 1 of 2)



We are SO excited for theUNDERGROUND Fall 2015 Jr. + Sr. High Youth Retreat- GDSLV! We can’t wait to head up to Muskoka Woods November 27-29, 2015! Here at theUNDERGROUND we love that every year we get two opportunities to join together with the youth from across all of our sites to spend a weekend in Muskoka, hanging out, making new friends, engaging in worship, playing epic games, going deeper into God’s word and spending time as a community together. GDSLV is our 27th retreat and it’s going to be one of the best yet!

For REGISTRATION & RETREAT INFO head on over to and check back regularly for the latest updates!

Early bird pricing ends November 8th, so don’t forget to register soon and send your friends on over so they can register and join us on the Fall Retreat too!

Follow along with #GDSLV on Instagram & Twitter with @theUGyouth!

CityCamp Leadership Trip – July 2015


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

We have two main goals for this trip:

Hands-On Serving Opportunities – We have the chance to connect with hundreds of elementary students from the Oakville/Mississauga region and invite them into a relationship with Christ. We will be supporting the Muskoka Woods staff to run a day camp for children who come from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom would have little to no church experience.

Learning to Lead -During this trip we will be facilitating intentional leadership development training through a variety of avenues. They may include: workshops, guest speakers, service projects, team building challenges, and more!

Why Camp in the City?
At the heart of this initiative is a desire to reach into the community with the message and love of Jesus. Muskoka Woods wants to partner with churches as a “living exhibition of life with God” in their neighbourhood.

Who Will Be a Part of the Team?
This trip is a cross-regional experience; which means that we have opened the application process up to all of The Meeting House sites. Students in grade 7 – 12 may apply. This team will be composed of up to 25 students and 6 leaders. If more than 25 students apply, preference will be given to Jr High students as this is their only trip opportunity with The Meeting House.

What Will The Team Do?
During the days, theUNDERGROUND Leadership Team will spend our time working with children from the surrounding cities to facilitate City Camp. We will be serving alongside trained Muskoka Woods staff at the Day Camp, out of the Oakville Site.

The evenings will be spent in various learning opportunities. These projects vary considerably and may include the following: team building, educational materials, serving the marginalized, hands on projects, learning from experienced leaders, etc. We will also participate in musical worship, evening devotional times, and a training from Muskoka Woods staff to increase our overall awareness and leadership skills.

We are offering a leadership development trip for our Jr & Sr High students! This is a cross-regional trip and we’d love to have students from across all of our sites on the team!! The team will be helping with Muskoka Woods “CityCamp” that’s happening at the Oakville location. It’s a daycamp that targets kids who may not have any church background and we’ll be doing some really intentional leadership development with students on the trip. Kids currently in Gr 7 – 12 can apply and we’ll email you all the info as it’s finalized in the next few days!! Let me know if you’d be interested in being part of that trip July 5-10!

Apply today at

theUG Spring Retreat | Anchored in Hope


Jr & Sr High Spring Retreat!

The retreat was amazing with over 430 students & leaders coming out for a great time of fun, learning, worship, community and being reminded that when we are rooted in Christ, we are anchored in hope! Cluster spirit was strong for our game of Shipwrecked and there was plenty of dancing! but the most amazing thing is to see lives changed from our time away together. A student told one of our youth pastors… “I get it. I actually get it. I don’t have to do anything to be enough. I am more than enough because of Jesus and the expression of God’s love for us. I have been made that way. This has changed my life.”
Thanks for entrusting your kids to us for the weekend! We cant wait till we are all together again for our next retreat Nov 27-29!

Cory- our Sr High youth pastor from Oakville, spent some time over the retreat recording a vlog so you can see the ins and outs of what a retreat really looks like!  Watch the retreat vlog here —

Heading Home – Wilmington 2015

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

On our second night here in Wilmington, we had the awesome opportunity to have dinner at the home of UrbanPromise Wilmington’s Executive Director, Mr. Rob. He then led us in a devotional surrounding Ephesians 3:14-21… It’s hard to believe that we’re going home tomorrow, but as we reflect back, there are so many examples of the ways those words have been true for this team throughout the week – and that is a beautiful thing.

God has done and is doing immeasurably more this week than any one of us could have ever imagined, and we know that He will continue to do incredible, amazing, Kingdom-building things long after we leave tomorrow. We have definitely been rooted in Christ’s love this week, and our days have been full in every sense of the word. And thinking on the beginning of the verse where it talks about family, it has been such a blessing to be a part of a community that, as one of our team members so eloquently put it , is not just a community, but a family – because of Jesus.

Last night, we had a blast at UrbanPromise’s 4th-12th Grade African/Latin American Speech Contest. Dozens of 4th-12th grade students who are connected to UrbanPromise delivered an original, self-written speech about an influential and inspiring African or Latin American. Many of us on the compassion team have had the privilege of working one-on-one with many of the 4th and 5th graders on their speeches this week, and were honoured and delighted to be invited up to go up on stage with our students for moral support. We were blown away and inspired by their courage, and very impressed with how much they accomplished – from their memorization to their ability to nail last-minute changes that had to be made to their speeches.

Goodbyes have been and will be very hard over the next few hours. Many of us have really connected with the kids at our after-school programs, whether we just met them this week or are reconnecting after past trips. Many of us who have hung out at our after-school programs before have been blown away by the night-and-day growth that we see in the character and leadership of so many of the kids. Others of us have been blown away by how fast we have created connections with the kids we just met and have so quickly been able to deeply love them with Christ’s love and want God’s absolute best for them.


Sledgehammering, Springtime & Speeches – Compassion Trip Update!

Hello from sunny Wilmington! We’re alive, well, and having a fantastic week! We have had vague and slightly shady memories of white stuff falling from the sky as we enjoy the spring weather, love the people around us and love Jesus.

Our days have been [in the words of various members of the team]: full, inspiring, fun, loud, rich, encouraging, joyful, eye-opening, heart-breaking, exciting, groundbreaking [as in one of our work projects literally involved breaking a sidewalk that needs to be replaced at the UrbanPromise school… ;)], adventurous, heart-warming, challenging, straight-up-awesome, and filled to the brim with Jesus.


We’ve spent our mornings sorting thousands of pounds of food at the Food Bank, doing yard work at the UrbanPromise school, and mulching a local park in Wilmington.

After eating lunch, showering at the local YMCA and taking a midday break at the coffee shop across the street, we split off and head to one of UrbanPromise’s four elementary school after-school programs. The stories we hear from both the staff and kids about the families involved with UrbanPromise’s programs are both heart-breaking and hopeful. They are stories of brokenness and restoration – the type of restoration that only the love and hope of Christ can bring.

You’ve probably heard it before, but really believe this – UrbanPromise is making a radical, eternal, and world-shaking difference in the lives of the children they serve and in the city of Wilmington as a whole.

Please keep us in your prayers as we head into the second half of the week, and join us in praying for the UrbanPromise staff, kids and their entire ministry.

Lots of love & see you Saturday evening,

theUG Compassion Team 2015


PS: At the after school camps we’re helping the kids work on their upcoming speeches. We think they’re doing pretty awesome… you?! 🙂


AIDS Care & Wilmington!

So…. theUNDERGROUND had a goal of collecting 1,500 single bars of laundry soap for AIDS Care. Over the past few weeks we saw tons of amazingly creative ways that students and leaders rallied across all of our sites – small group competitions, dying of hair, painting of people, etc! Across all of our sites we ended up collecting 2,965 bars!!! These are some of the ways we see students learning to live simply so they can give generously – all part of what it means to follow Jesus!


Lots of exciting things are on the horizon! For example, THIS Sunday, March 15 theUNDERGROUND Sr High Compassion Team is leaving for Wilmington, Delaware. The team is made up of 23 students and 8 leaders from across our sites, and we’re heading down to serve alongside the Urban Promise staff – helping at a food bank, painting/spring cleaning, and helping with their kids after school camps!

Please be praying for the team – that this is a faith-shaping experience for each student and leader on the trip and that we’re able to bless the kids and people we’re serving while there!!

Stay tuned for updates on our trip throughout the week!


Parents Night – THIS Friday!


A value we continue to work towards in theUNDERGROUND is resourced and spiritually engaged parents. We believe that parents are the primary spiritual influencers in the lives of youth and we want to communicate with, resource and engage parents in the life of the youth ministry at The Meeting House.

One of the ways we do this is to provide opportunities for parents to come together, to learn from experts (who know more than us!), to ask questions and to know that we are passionate about supporting and encouraging them along the way as they parent their kids! We have one of these great opportunities on Friday night!

This special evening is a double-header for parents!  You will be able to hear and interact with two great international communicators.  Duffy Robbins, Professor of Youth Ministry, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA will be talking about “Getting Inside Their Heads – Understanding the Teenage Mind”.  You will also be able to learn from Ryan Richardson, President and CEO, Media Safe Corporation, Windsor, ON who will be speaking on a critical area, “Saving Face(book) – Being Media Safe Parents in the Digital Age”.

Parents Night |The Meeting House | 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville
Friday February 20| 7:30-9:45 pm.

On-Line Registration – (Parents Night)
Pre-Register – $10/person and $15/couple
At Door Registration – $15/person and $20/couple

All That Jazz was a Hit!

With high attendance and “standing room only” our students raised over $7,000 towards our youth compassion trip over March Break. It was a fantastic night and the room was alive and full of people from all kinds of sites all supporting our youth!! Even our leaders and students from Parry Sound came down in a snowstorm!

Our Sr High Compassion team served throughout the night, welcoming people as they arrived, hanging out with kids in childcare, working behind the scenes in the cafe, serving tables and helping to run the silent auction component! We continue to be excited about what God has in store as we get closer to leaving, just over a month from now! A huge thanks to everyone who supported!
Please continue to be praying for the team as they prepare, and for the staff and kids we’ll be hanging out with at Urban Promise in Wilmington!


Getting Out of Our Comfort Zone: Sr High Compassion Trip & “All that Jazz”!

This past week in theUNDERGROUND we launched a new series called “Out Cold” and talked the idea that being part of God’s mission involves stepping outside of our comfort zones. We are excited about an opportunity some of our students have to experience this in a real and practical way over March break as take a team of 30 students and leaders from across all of our sites to serve with an organization called Urban Promise in Wilmington, DE.

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.

Support theUG Compassion Team and  join us for an evening of live jazz, specialty coffees and desserts, and silent auction!


Date: Saturday, February 7, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Oakville Site | 2700 Bristol Circle, Oakville
Cost: $20 (includes specialty coffees and desserts)
Free childcare is available – see website for more details.

Purchase individual tickets, or a table for 4 or 8. Great event to invite your home church, neighbours or friends!

Tickets are available online at:

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
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