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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. 

Updates from our compassion teams!

Camden Update:

Camden has been such a blast so far! We arrived at around 7pm Sunday night and had pizza for dinner and our first worship night as a team. Monday morning we were up bright and early to meet the other work teams and get some orientation from the urban promise leadership. After an intro to UP, we were given an interesting yet thought provoking and challenging tour of the city and its neighbourhoods, a mass grave of still born babies from a heroin and cocaine crisis in the mid eighties, UP’s Boat Works where kids learn how to build canoes and kayaks, and general information about the city and its history and demographics. The afternoon was spent preparing for Junior High Olympics and we closed with another evening of worship.

Tuesday we opened the day with a devotional led by the principal of Urban Promise Forward School, then work projects before lunch and the first day of Olympics – Spirit Day – consisting of team building challenges. Our evening was filled by a screening and discussion of The Sunset Limited.

Today, Wednesday, was begun with more work projects around campus before kicking off day two of Olympics – Mental Day – featuring fear factor style challenges. We are now preparing for Youth Night (similar to The Underground).

We look forward to Physical Day of  Olympics and meeting up with the Wilmington team tomorrow before wrapping up Olympics and a trip into Philadelphia and the journey home.

 

Wilmington Update:

We’ve had such an awesome week so far!  We’ve been serving with the kids at camp freedom and doing various projects around the city and the camp.  Here’s a little glimpse of what we’ve been up too!

IMG_1937 Here’s Alison and MIchael scrubbing the grease off the doors of camp freedom on tuesday morning

IMG_7046Here’s Alison and Rahman doing after school program homework

IMG_2002 Matt Wells getting beat at a game of pickup basketball!

 

IMG_7756 Our team having lunch in the park yesterday.  NO SNOW HERE 🙂

 

SPRING RETREAT: INVITE: You have a place at the table

forwebINVITEOne of the most exciting things we do every April is pack our bags, join our friends, jump on a bus and head up to Muskoka Woods!  Its an amazing experience as we join together from across all our 14 sites as one big family.  Over 500 students and leaders pack the place, it’ll send chills down your spin!  Our next Spring Retreat is coming up quickly April 11-13th.  Our theme is INVITED: You have a place at the table.  You won’t want to miss this!  Get registered as quickly as possible to get the early bird pricing. 

 

Register at WWW.THEMEETINGHOUSE.COM/YOUTHRETREAT

 

 

Parents Night – February 21st

parentsnight

At The Meeting House we believe parents are the most significant spiritual influencers in the lives of their kids.   Parents have the responsibility to shape the direction their kids take with their lives and the choices they make spiritually.    Over the next number of months we will be continuing to provide quality resources for parents that help you be the best parent you can be for your kids. Stay Tuned!

On friday February 21st, 2014 we are partnering with the Today’s Teens conference that is being held at The Meeting House Oakville site.  We have author, speaker and family ministries pastor Mark Devries with us to share on how to leverage your influence as a parent.   You won’t want to miss this amazing night!  You can get tickets at the door or at www.todaysteens.ca.

 

IGNITE: recap!

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.

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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! _DTF6485-as-Smart-Object-1 DSC_9761-as-Smart-Object-1 DSC_9824-as-Smart-Object-1

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! 

IGNITE CONCERT – Parent Information

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:

  • Usually youth are checked-in as they enter the building for theUNDERGROUND.  Due to the large numbers we’re expecting, we won’t be checking in youth for this event.
  • There will be a significant number of easily identifiable and security cleared youth leaders and staff from The Meeting House. 
  • There will be paramedics on site in case of a medical emergency.
  • As usual, parents or guardians are responsible for dropping off and picking up their youth.

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.

IGNITE CONCERT – DEC 11, 7pm

We are so pumped to host an amazing event on December 11th called IGNITE.  It’s a concert with amazing music and some inspiring speakers geared to challenge youth to join the movement to end child exploitation.   Hear football great Pinball Clemons and Michel Chikwanine a former child soldier from Uganda – Music by NEVEREST and RACHAEL BAWN!

This is a free invite so bring out all your friends and promote it in your school!

Join the Facebook event group! Invite your friends!

 

Ignite Concert

Discovering Faith

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!

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