On Tuesday, August 11, fourteen youth and three adults had a fun and relaxing time kayaking the Huron River in Ann Arbor. It was agreed that next year’s trip needs to be longer, possibly in conjunction with our camping trip! A big THANK YOU to Chris Browne and Jenny Gibb for assisting with this event.
After 9 nine days on Isle Royale, the group returned a day late due to gale force winds preventing boats from leaving the island. While everyone was happy to be home, the experience was deeply meaningful to all. Thank you to Pastor Dale Swihart as he led his last backpacking trip with our group.
2015 Camper Awards
The I Can Talk Your Ear off on the Trail Award goes to Nick for his endless stream of “Who cares knowledge.” He gets rights to the Isle Royal Box Set of Texas Hold ‘em, complete with $100 pine cones and $500 rocks, and to the book, How to Lose 100 Games of Solitaire in Five Days. His tee shirts reads: “See, Nate, that is how you put a tent away.”
The Food Vacuum Cleaner Award goes to Anna for her ability to make every morsel of food on the table disappear. She gets one trail walker, complete with bright lime green tennis balls and a cane to keep her upright on the trails, a giant tube of Neosporin, a finger spatula to clean every dessert bag and one giant stuffed moose that appears on command. Her tee shirt says, “Pudding Meister.”
The Trail Runner Award goes to Ann for her ability to leap boulders, roots and mud holes in a single bound and for faithfully leading us on the trail. She gets one set of titanium silverware, a cobweb catcher, and a dew collector. Her tee shirt reads, “I can kick your butt ‘cuz I carried Dale’s stuff.”
The Oatmeal Gag Award goes to Nate for making the most outrageous faces while eating cooked oats. He gets a year’s supply of Quaker Oats. His tee shirt reads: “You can call me Sarah, you can call me Wesley, but you can’t call me David!”
The Trail Face Plant Award goes to Heidi – she gets a hiking partner who will actually stop and help her up with she falls. Her tee shirt reads, “I may finish second on the trail, but I hike harder.” She also gets an indestructible $5 pair of sandals, complete with toe guards.
We had a great time camping at Hoffmaster and visiting with Dale and Barb in early July. Sunsets and devotion time were pretty cool too! We pondered whether you can be spiritual but not religious and discovered that since God made us to be in relationship, it’s important to have both aspects alive in one’s life to fulfill God’s calling on our individual lives. In a nutshell, you can experience God in a sunset (spiritual), but relationship (religious/churchgoing) comes from sharing that experience, or any experience, with God and others. That’s ministry!
A big thank you to Pastor Dale for our hike through the park, and for introducing us to his and Barb’s favorite ice cream stand. Thank you to Jenny Gibb and Jon Wenzel for assisting with transportation and chaperoning. Perhaps this will become an annual event???
Our annual pilgrimage to the Massanetta Middle School Conference at Massanetta Springs, VA., was, once again, meaningful and fun! We learned what it looks like to Wear Love: from Colossians 3:12 & 14 – “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
This will be the theme for the 5th Sunday worship service on August 16. Below is a slide show from our trip. And yes, Jenny and Tina (the fearless youth leaders) experienced and survived the giant slip ‘n slide 🙂
2015 Graduate recognition Sunday took place on May 31 with breakfast and gifts sponsored by the Christian Education Committee, followed by a special worship service at 10am. Congratulations to our high school and college graduates! May God’s grace and love guide you on your new life journey.
High School Graduates: Sabrina Cleis (Fenton), Ann and D’Onte Fetzer (Holly), Charlie Harper (Hartland), Colin Hodgkin (Fenton), Olivia Kirkey (Linden), Heidi Ritchie (linden), Andrew Roberts (Linden), Maggie Sheppard (Pioneer – Ann Arbor), and Annie Wilson (Hartland).
College Graduates: Olivia Horton – Alma College with a Major in Biology, Minors in Environmental Science and French; Alexianna Mundy – Grand Valley State University with a dual degree in Photography and Public Relations & Advertising; Kelly Roberts – University of Michigan with a BS in Kinesiology with concentration in Intra Operative Neuro Monitroing.
Below are Colin Hodgkin, D’Onte Fetzer, Ann Fetzer, Annie Wilson, Heidi Ritchie, and Olivia Kirkey 🙂
Congratulations to the 2015 Confirmation Class, who were confirmed on Sunday, May 17. As their first act of service, they served communion to the congregation during the 11am worship service. A big THANK YOU goes out to their mentors who met with their confirmand over a six week period to discuss the Gospel of Luke, attended the session meeting when the class was approved for membership, and offered support, guidance and encouragement. During a family group event, confirmands also made individual banners with various Christian symbols that hung from the balcony in the sanctuary.
(From left to right) Waverly Ritchie, Lindsey Gibb, Ethan Rzpeka, Christian Cleis, Madeline Davis, and Liza Kirkey
Mentors are listed in order of their confimand in the picture above: Jenny Gibb, David Eshleman, Jan Foster, Nancy Cleis, Nikki Black, and Jane Motta
Jr. and Sr. High youth often assist as shepherds to younger children in our Carpenter’s Corner program. This past rotation we have been learning about David, who as a young boy was chosen by God and secretly anointed king by Samuel. The children did activities focusing on David’s strength of faith and courage in defeating the giant Goliath. Even though he was both young and small, in his heart he knew God was with him.
In the games classroom last Sunday, Ms. Sherry talked about bullying with the children and the character it takes to stand up to a bully. The picture below is a result of that discussion, made possible by Jr. High youth who assisted. It was done on the white board located by our main entrance and is a great message for all! Way to disciple!
This year’s theme was “Share Your Faith Story,” with keynote speaker Pastor Andrew Pomerville from The People’s Church in East Lansing. Who doesn’t love the youth mix? Good friends, small groups, games, food, energizers and worship! This is an annual event for 9-12 graders from around Michigan. The picture below is our group with other friends outside the cafeteria. God is good!
Our Jr. & Sr. High youth led both worship services for Youth Sunday, February 15, on the transfiguration of Jesus. Senior Olivia Kirkey did an excellent job delivering the sermon titled “The Good, the Bad, and the In-Between,” after a re-enactment of Mark 9:2-9. The message explored how the transfiguration was one way Jesus revealed his divinity to the disciples, and the crucifixion was his final act of revelation. The question was posed, “How will you allow Jesus to reveal himself to you?”
Thank you to Cindy Crawford, Sheila Tabone, Colin & John Hodgkin, and the Lamplights Children’s Choir and the Illuminate Praise Choir for beautifully leading us in music and song! I heard it said that the service was “very worshipful,” “inspirational,” “moving,” and “very well done.”
It is tradition that youth write all parts of worship for this service. Thank you, youth, for your thoughtful and respectful approach to the meaning and experience of worship! Below is a picture of those who wrote and participated in service – regretfully the choirs and musicians are not pictured.