A message from Pastor Steve,
Wow! What a week (or almost two now!) it’s been for all of us! We realize that your lives and routines have probably changed dramatically over the past few days… our prayer is that it hasn’t overwhelmed or exhausted you. As we follow our youth online, and hear bits and pieces of the conversation, we hear that this has been a tough time for them as well.
It’s hard and lonely not to be able to connect with friends and peers like you’re accustomed to (youth are pretty reliant on their friends and peers.) It’s stressful when you don’t have instant or easy access to teachers and school suddenly becomes more confusing and overwhelming. Motivation is hard when you feel like you’re flying solo, or when you’re uncertain what the result of this year will be. Thoughts like, “Will I graduate?” “Will I have to repeat classes?” and “Am I meeting the expectations?” are running though our youth’s heads. While we’re certain life will return to normal, we understand that our youth’s life experience probably hasn’t yet convinced them… this is a great time for building into that important life lesson!
Over the past week we’ve been planning and connecting with our awesome youth leadership team discussing how we might be able to restore just a small sense of normalcy to your youth’s lives. Our goal is to start doing youth ONLINE THIS WEEK! Please be patient with us… this is new for everyone and we haven’t got all the kinks worked out… so we may have glitches. Some leaders don’t have access to technology and internet that is sufficient yet… but we don’t want to delay. Here’s our current plan:
1. Regularly release VIDEOS – Levi, Steve and members of the team will be working hard in the next weeks to post regular video messages for your youth to think about. You’ll find them on our YouTube channel (along with live-streamed Sunday worship services if you would like to join us). We encourage you to subscribe to our channel to get notifications of new releases. Find it here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9u-vqGf-40QTpWcw24QYAQ
2. Host ONLINE GROUPS – Small groups will be meeting at regular youth times: 7:00pm on Monday for Junior Youth and 7:30pm on Wednesday for Senior Youth (unless otherwise communicated by your youth’s small group leader). Most of our groups will be using the “Zoom” app for these meetings and will send your youth a link.
3. There are tons of great resources for spiritual growth online. If you would like a FREE ACCOUNT with RightNow Media (the world’s largest online library of video Bible study and training resources) please let us know. We would love give you free access to this resource. Just let us know! All we need is a confirmation and the email address you’d like to associate with the account.
4. We are still here for your youth. Call, text, message, video conference… We often hesitate because we think our pastors are too busy. Truth be told, we’re a little stir crazy too. Sometimes connecting for a couple minutes is just the interruption we need in a day.
Please rest assured that our prayers are with you and we’re here to support you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything at all that we can help with!
WHAT DO WE DO ON A MONDAY NIGHT?
You’ll walk in the front doors of Grace to find a mass of energetic teens/pre-teens hanging out in the foyer or fellowship hall. Once everyone arrives we typically blow off some life stress with a game. After that we gather in the youth room for music and a brief inspirational message. Now that the chaos has settled we like to group up into mini groups where your small group leaders check in with you to pray and see how you are doing. By this time we’ve worked up an appetite so we’ll slide over to the Fellowship Hall for snacks. We’ll have you topped up and funned out by 9:00pm when we ask your parents to pick you up (stay too late and you may end up helping us clean the place!)
Some Mondays we like to change it up a little with small group activities and fun nights. Check out the Instagram link for updates on these events.
JOINING US FOR THE FIRST TIME?
It’s important for us to know that your parents are supportive of your connection with Grace youth. Here’s a little permission/information form that we would love for you to bring with you to youth. It will help us stay connected to you and give your parents the important information they need (so you don’t have to worry about forgetting)