Hey theUNDERGROUND! Don’t miss our big fall kickoff nights next week! This is going to be an incredible year. We are so pumped
Hey theUNDERGROUND! Don’t miss our big fall kickoff nights next week! This is going to be an incredible year. We are so pumped
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
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
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.
We had an incredible night of music and amazing speakers!
After much anticipation, the night started off with Canadian pop artists Neverest taking the stage! As World Vision artist, they are in the fight to help children around the world. By committing their time and talent, they help spread the word about child sponsorship.
Up next was Rachael Bawn! As part of our community, Rachael has lead a small group for many years as well as leading worship at retreats, Sr. High, and in Sunday morning services. Rachael’s passion for inspiring youth truly resonated tonight as she rocked the stage in this debut performance!
Michel Chikwanine, a former child solider from the Democratic Republic of Congo, shared his story about overcoming immense hardships to find freedom and hope for the future. As an accomplished motivational speaker, Michel inspired the crowd by helping them see the difference they can make!
The night came to a close with our very own Michael “Pinball” Clemons sharing an inspiring message. As part of our Meeting House family, the crowd was super excited to hear this CFL great share some words of inspiration!
Muskoka Woods played a huge roll in making tonight a possibility by sponsoring the event. They also graciously donated a chance for youth to win a free week at camp! Stay tuned to hear who the winner is!
Ignite was a way to start a movement to help raise awareness about child slavery and exploitation. In partnership with World Vision, youth were encouraged to sponsor a child. We had so many youth and new faces come, which made it an incredible night! By joining together our goal was to inspire youth to live a globally aware life, and step up to help make a difference.
For those of you who don’t know, The Underground is a youth program at The Meeting House. For more information about getting involved visit: http://www.themeetinghouse.com/getting-involved/theunderground/ and check us out on facebook!
Wednesday, December 11th will not be a typical night at theUNDERGROUND!
The Ignite Concert on Wednesday, December 11, is an event that promotes both the Care and Invite Transform goals for theUNDERGROUND. The Concert is a joint effort between World Vision and theUNDERGROUND, with Muskoka Woods also helping to provide sponsorship. The youth are inviting their friends and we are also inviting student leadership teams from area schools. We are hoping to have over 500 youth present!
It’s going to be a life-changing night. Youth will be encouraged to sponsor a World Vision child, and to speak out and encourage others to get involved in the fight against child exploitation. For more information go to igniteconcert.com.
Michel Chikwanine, a former child soldier, will be sharing his story. After being abducted from his home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Michel endured devastating experiences until his escape. He will share his journey toward freedom and his hopes for the future. Listening to his story, youth will be informed and impacted to make a difference.
This will also be the first time our very own Rachael Bawn performs in a concert setting. Some of you have met Rachael, whose optimism, love of Jesus and commitment to inspiring young people is infectious. Rachel has been attending The Meeting House for four years and has been a small group leader for three years. She often leads worship for senior highs, at retreats, and during Sunday morning services at the Oakville site.
Neverest, one of Canada’s top rock bands, will also be performing. As World Vision Artists, they have committed their time and talent to help the world’s poorest children have access to needed resources.
Plus, our very own Michael “Pinball” Clemons will be kicking off the night with an inspiring opening message.
This is not a typical theUNDERGROUND Wednesday night program. We hope to have many youth attend who aren’t yet involved in theUNDERGROUND. In light of this, there are a number of changes to be aware of:
This is a huge opportunity to invite a ton of new kids to check out theUNDERGROUND and we hope to mobilize more youth into a compassionate, globally-aware lifestyle. As Rachael Bawn says, we are encouraging people to stop looking in, and start reaching out to our neighbours, both nearby and around the world.
This past weekend our Jr. and Sr. Youth had an amazing opportunity to go on different youth retreats. The weekend was full of worship, games, and an opportunity to listen to some amazing speakers. Our goals for the weekend were to see how we are all unique, how we all have purpose, and what our mission is. We could go on for pages about the incredible stories that happened this weekend and how these different goals were achieved and exceeded! I’m sure our youth would love to share their favorite moments with you!
One story we thought would be amazing for our community to hear about happened at our East camp, Camp Medeba. The speaker for the weekend was Jimmy Rushton. He posed an interesting thought to the youth. Now is the time for you to make a decision about your faith. Either you are in or you are out. It’s time to make the call. Now some people may be overwhelmed with the idea of jumping head first into the pool of faith, but our youth took on the challenge! Christianity is about making the decision to dedicate your life to God. “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
As Jimmy discussed, either you are fully in or you are not. There is no in between when it comes to faith and we cannot be shy about it. To strike his point even more, Jimmy asked those who have made a choice to dedicate their lives, or who want to rededicate their lives to God, to stand up on their chairs so that everyone could be witness. For those who are shy or insecure, this may be a terrifying thought, but our youth proved to push against the fear. It all started with one boy from our Parry Sound site named Seth. Now someone could easily stand on their chair quietly, and not disturb the protocol. But with bravery and an overwhelming burst of passion, Seth stood on his chair and yelled, “I’m in!” These two words, although simple, started a movement. Soon kids from all over the sanctuary were proclaiming their desire for the Lord. By being vocal about their desire for God, it no longer became scary to make a public announcement of faith; it became a cry of encouragement. This revival started, all because of the faith and desire of one person. We live in a broken world, and some of us come from broken homes. This act of faith showed that all of that doesn’t matter. There is healing in the name of God, and there is support in the community of Christ. “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:16
We as a church community can look to this story as inspiration. Be bold in your faith, and let God speak life into dry bones. In the struggles and pain of life, we can seek first God’s reviving love. By boldly proclaiming our desire to love God, we make room for others to be affirmed in their faith. This week, remember to ask the youth about their weekend away and feel free to let us know if you hear of any share worthy stories!
This past April we went on an amazing retreat focusing on what our identity is as followers of Jesus, it was called “I AM KNOWN”, it focused on youth rediscovering who God is and continue the journey towards finding their identity in Him. We walked through the idea of being made in the image of God, and that we are sons and daughters of the King.
Beginning this Friday we kick off our amazing fall retreats. We have over 400 registered with more coming in by the hour! During these retreats we have an opportunity to build on those themes discovered back in April. There are 3 new ideas youth will be diving into. The focuses are how we are all unique, how we all have purpose, and what our mission is.
Psalm 139:13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Although we are all created in the image of God, that image reflects in different ways. Each of us is uniquely created, and God loves us each for who we are. Our uniqueness is what makes us special. This retreat is a time to figure out how God has shaped and created us uniquely in His image.
In our uniqueness, God has given each of us skills, talents, and gifts. It is how we use these skills that help us find our purpose. God has given each of us a plan that will use our gifts and talents. Life is to be lived, but lived with a God given purpose.
Now what? We’ve begun to discover our gifts and how God has made us unique. How do we apply these to our purpose? We are all called to go and do incredible things for the kingdom of God. In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus calls His disciples to go and make disciples of all people. Our God given gifts and unique talents are our vehicle for making great change in the world.
This fall we want to create a different retreat experience, we wanted our fall experience to be more intimate and based on a deeper sense of community. Our theUNDERGROUND sites are heading off to 3 different camps! Here’s the breakdown!
As a community we would ask you to support those who are putting time and energy into making all of these retreats possible. There are a few ways that we can support these awesome people, one of them being prayer. This weekend, we would ask our community to pray in a few areas.
If you are on Twitter or Instagram and want to track with the youth this weekend, you can! We will be using the hashtag #UGwired on our tweets and photos, and will be encouraging the youth to do the same. Search our hashtag to follow along with the events and see what’s happening!
Today was a hot one! Although day 2 at camp was ridiculously hot we had an awesome day connecting with the kids in our groups and building some great relationships. Its been incredible to watch our own youth learn what it means to lead and set an example for the kids and to see them responding to their leadership in great ways.
As always with these types of serving compassion trips there is an element of stretching that we go through where we are pushed out of our comfort zones and into a place where we are vulnerable and able to be used by God in new ways. We are seeing all kinds of that happening this week in our midst.
As the guys prepared for bed we asked them to talk about:
– what they were excited about this week
– what made them nervous
– how they wanted God to use them
It was incredible to hear them share their hearts about their desire to see God work through them to reach people.
Tonight we had the opportunity to spend time together as a team and bond over an awesome meal and a movie. Tomorrow will be another incredible day!
Night two! We had an awesome first day at Kerr Street Day Camp! It was amazing to meet and start getting to know the campers and the camp staff. We started the day off with the first “Morning Meeting” skit which was a hit – the kids loved Curious George! Then we split up and got to meet all the kids in our groups. In the morning, we played soccer and taught the kids about the armour of God – today was the belt of truth. Then we had a refreshing afternoon either swimming with the 11 & 12 age group, or having a giant water fight with all the other campers.
Following camp, we headed back to our host homes for separate Guys/Girls nights. We all got to swim again and had some meaningful time of reflecting on the day.
– Highlights (Like, meeting and connecting with the campers and having some pretty cool moments)
– Things that surprised us (How exhausting is really can be!)
– and what God is already teaching us. (Patience, to serve in His strength and not our own, etc.)
As we head into Tuesday, please be praying for continued strength and energy and that we take advantage of the opportunities we have to love on the kids at Kerr Street, to hear their stories, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the way we love and serve them this week.