Tag Archives: RCC

Camp Create 2012

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Camp Create is over for 2012. All in all, it was a great week. I was able to help out with a lot of different areas this year. In addition to the usual taking photos and videos, and looking out for our middle school students in the afternoon, I also provided oversight the dance class during the week and the outdoor games one day, along with filling in for the Bible class one day. For those of you who don’t know, Camp Create is our summer arts daycamp for kids from preschool-age through fifth grade. It is it has been described by many as a vacation Bible school “plus.” This was our eighth year doing it.

One of the things I learned this year was that we have developed a pretty well-oiled machine. The community has grown to really love what we do, and we really enjoyed doing it. However, there is so much more that we envision for the future. I have also realized that I really enjoy doing videos and photos throughout the week. Providing a recap for parents each day allows for them to understand what we are doing throughout the day you, even though they are not there seeing it all happen. I think it also helps them trust us with their kids, because they can see what we are doing, and they see their children are really enjoying their time at camp.

Camp Create has been a great way for us to reach out into the community as a church. Our mission statement or vision statement for the event has always been “learning about our Creator by being creative.” This year, we specifically talked about God’s love, and I really think the kids and everyone involves had a better understanding of God’s love by the end of the week. If you would like to know more about this camp, I definitely urge you to ask any questions in the comments, send me an email, or contact me another way. We would love to share God’s vision for this type of a camp and spread it to others.

For a visual, be sure to check out our video recaps and photo album from the week. The links are below.

Ministry Update: Busy Days Ahead

I apologize for not blogging much. In the past several weeks, I have been a bit overwhelmed. Between mission trip fundraising/planning, getting ready for camp, and all other student ministry stuff this summer, I have been quite busy. It doesn’t stop, though. We are almost finished with Camp Create at RCC. After that, I will have about one week “off.” Then, I leave for Southern IL to speak and lead worship at a camp. This is particularly exciting for me, since I am taking two of our male students along! After that, I will have two days to rest before heading out on our mission trip to Puerto Rico. When I return, I will be gearing up for our middle school camping trip, high school Six Flags trip, recruiting adult leaders, and planning for our first-ever high school fall retreat.

Just the other day, someone from our church told me that I am “aging.” While I am not sure exactly what she meant (either that I am looking old or reminding me that I am not that young anymore), I still feel that God is with me, helping me all along. It is overwhelming at times, but I am enjoying it. Although, it would be nice to get some rest along the way. Thank you, God, for telling us to take a Sabbath! This weekend’s mini-vacation will be just what the doctor ordered.

Baptism from April 3, 2011

Yesterday, I was able to baptize another student in our youth group. He’s an awesome kid, and I’m really looking forward to what God is going to do through him. This is just another time when I am reminded of how awesome my job is. Thank you God for this blessing!!

For some reason, WordPress.com doesn’t allow me to embed Facebook videos within my blog, so here is the link to the page on Facebook where you can watch the video.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=520059914644

Celil Refik Kaya

Celil Refik Kaya, a friend of our lead minister’s daughter performed at RCC on March 6, 2011. He played several songs, and this is one of them. He is an amazing classically trained guitar player from the country of Turkey, and there is a really good chance you will see and hear a lot more of him in the future!

If you search Celil’s name on YouTube, you can find many other video, which showcase his incredible talent.

A Second Chance for Those Caught in Sin

Our lead minister at RCC was on vacation on February 27, 2011, and he asked me to preach in his absence. The topic was “A Second Chance for Those Caught in Sin” as a part of our “People of the Second Chance” series. The main Scripture I used was from John 8:1-11, and the main points come from Jesus’ final words to the woman caught in adultery. He says two things: “Neither do I condemn you,” and “Leave your life of sin.”

You can listen to our podcast recording of the message below, or you can visit RCC’s podcast page to listen to this and others.

http://sermonplayer.com/download.php?c=16675-count_audio_download-2620246

We Are Going to Puerto Rico in July and We Need Your Help

Yvette and I will join nine high school students and three other adults from our church for a mission trip to Arecibo, Puerto Rico, from July 17-23. This is a very exciting time for us and our church, since it is our first mission trip outside the United States. We are currently meeting monthly and raising financial support.

I want to ask that you commit to praying for us before, during, and after our trip. Pray for our safety and for the work we are doing in Puerto Rico.

Also, if you would like to help our fundraising efforts, you can send a check and a commitment card (click here for the card) to the following address:

Rockingham Christian Church
5 Industrial Way, Unit #2
Salem, NH 03079

You can also contribute online through our “Chip In” page.
http://puertorico2011.chipin.com

If you would like more information about our trip, including photos and videos during and after the trip, be sure to check out our mission trip page on the RCC student ministry website (www.rccstudents.com/puertorico).

Excited About RCC’s First Elders

On January 16, 2011, Rockingham Christian Church made a big step forward in commissioning our first elders! This completes the process from us being a new church that depended on others to a church who completely supports itself internally. That’s so cool. God seems to be moving and working in our growing church.

Why does this especially excite me? I mean, for other youth ministers out there, it probably does seem kind of odd that I am excited about going to elder meetings and all that. I think it has to do with a couple things. First, these guys are really awesome, and I believe each of them are strong Godly men. Secondly, we are treading new ground here at RCC, and we get to dictate how elders will function as leaders. Both of those combine for my third reason, which is that these men have the church’s best interest at heart, and I know they will lead and shepherd us well in the future.

It is crazy that we will have our tenth birthday this October, and there is no telling where God will take us over the next 10 years. Needless to say, I’m excited!

New RCC Student Ministry Website

This week, I finally decided to move the RCC Students’ website from a WordPress.com site to a WordPress.org site. While this might not mean anything to many of you, I’ll explain it a bit.

Essentially, it is still the same, except for a few big things. Instead of being hosted on a free site, we now pay. Along with that, I have more control over the design and look of the site. A few of the things I have added so far are the “featured news” rotator and the embedded calendar. On top of that, I installed a sleek mobile version for those checking it out on their iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry.

I’m still learning a lot, but I am enjoying it so far. If anyone is looking to create their own ministry website, I do recommend WordPress (either the free or self-hosted one). By the way, this site is also on WordPress.com.

WorkcampNE Reflections

This past week, I was up in Maine with 15 students and 3 other adults for Workcamp New England. Basically, it is a service project week for high school students. If it helps, think of it as a mission trip right in the United States. Ever year, the location changes, but the purpose is still the same — to serve others in Jesus’ name.

Several church youth groups come together for a week. They are split into separate work crews, given an assignment, and let loose. During the day, we worked on painting home, roofing (what my crew did), fixing decks, and building ramps. Some crews even worked inside houses on various projects. In the end, we were able to serve about 15 families. Combine that with the week before (you get to choose which week you go), and we helped about 30 households in Maine.

I am so proud of our students. Some of them have been a part of RCC or another church for quite some time, while others are brand new to this whole thing. I was able to see many of them grow closer to God and each other this past week. Many also showed some new levels of maturity. I cannot wait to see what God continues to do through them throughout the year!

During the week, we were given the option to give “care cards” to each other. After writing these encouraging notes to each other, we placed them in an envelope. At the end of the week, you were given your envelope, and finally able to read your cards. I would like to share a few of mine with you. I do not do this to show conceit or anything like that. I just wanted to say thanks to those who wrote them. Also, I hope it helps you (my readers and prayer-partners) know how you have been partnering with me.

  • “You are so helpful in so many ways, and I am so glad I have gotten to know you.”
  • “You are really devoted to God and seem to have a great heart.”
  • “Your questions really made me think. I learned a lot this week and I’m glad I came.”
  • “You were one of the factors that helped me to develop my relationship with God.”
  • “You are so encouraging and fun to learn from.”
  • “You are so gracious, kind-hearted, and good natured.”

These are encouragements that I will keep for, perhaps, all time. They are what keep me doing what I do. They are ways that God reassures me this is what He wants me doing. If you do not have a folder or someplace where you keep encouraging messages like these, I urge you to start one. They are awesome to come back to, especially in tough times. Thanks to all the students and parents who have encouraged me along the way!

Thoughts Behind Summer Programming

As many already know, our student ministry programming takes a different look in the summer.  We do not simply cancel our weekly programs; we just take another approach.  There are many reasons behind this.  Another youth minister, who serves at a church in Michigan, recently put together some of his thoughts on why they similarly change up their summer plans.  Feel free to take a look at that (link here).  The main reasons for us relate to the fact that many of our students and adult leaders are gone or have very irregular schedules during the summer months. We also want to give our adults a break from their weekly small group leading/teaching responsibilities.  Additionally, the summer is a great time to try new things and for our team to regroup, evaluate, and educate.

This summer we are trying a couple new things.  One involves an every-other-week meeting at a home.  During these times, we will mainly hang out and catch up with each other.  It will also involve some pointed discussion on a particular Biblical topic.

The other new thing we are trying involves Facebook and Twitter.  In the past, we have scheduled out every little detail of the summer 3-4 months in advance, and we found that it did not benefit many students. This year, we are changing our approach.  Instead, we are going to utilize social media to get the word out about “small” events. For example, our Six Flags and camping trips are still scheduled in advance, but events like a swimming party or going out for ice cream will be announced just a few days in advance.  Students and parents can follow us on Facebook and Twitter for these announcements, even having them sent to their cell phone automatically.  As with everything, we will evaluate and see how it goes, but we felt it is worth trying.  Students are used to making small plans the day-of with their friends anyhow, so this should not be much of a change from their normal way of life.