Dear MSM Parents,
March was a great month for our middle school ministry! The warmer weather and later sunlight hours have given us the chance to get outside a bit more for our Wednesday night games, which I think everyone has really enjoyed.
We had a great lesson a couple of weeks ago that challenged us to apply wisdom to our use of media and electronics. If you are interested in more resources regarding this topic, I want to recommend this podcast from the Orange team. This podcast is primarily for youth leaders, but I also found it very helpful as a parent. Two other books I would recommend are The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch and A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Social Media by Mark Oestreicher and Adam McLane. Both books are written by Christians with the perspective that our goal is not just to keep our kids out of trouble, but to teach them to pursue God and his goodness in all aspects of our lives.
In addition to all that, 5 of our middle schoolers ran the 1/2 marathon with Team World Vision to raise money for water wells in Africa! Congrats to Caroline Vance, Scott Fukuda, Emily Williams, and Ben and Jack Seversen for taking on such a challenge and for being such an example in life, love, faith, and purity! (1 Tim. 4:12)
April will be a short month for us due to Easter Break. The first week (April 3), we will be meeting off campus for our “In-Home Small Groups.” The girls will be meeting at the Vance home, and the boys will be meeting at the Seversen home. Please see the flyer below for location information. Meeting times will remain the same. The following week (April 10) we will be back in the youth room to finish up our “Best for Last” series.
The week after that (April 17), the youth have been given their own reserved time slot to take part in 72 Hours of Prayer. From 6-7:30 that evening, we will have worship in the youth room, while students may go a few at a time into the prayer room. If you would like to experience the prayer room together as a family that evening, parents of youth may sign up for the time between 7:30-9pm.
Easter Week we will be taking off completely, and Sundays we will be continuing our study of Luke. There will be no Middle School Ministry on Easter Sunday. I pray that will be a blessed and encouraging day for you and your family!
Thank you for your prayers, and thank you so much for helping your students make our church family a priority in their lives.
7 - Luke 11:14-54
14 - Luke 12-1-12
21 - Easter Sunday (no MSM)
28 - Family Communion (no MSM)
3 - In-Home Small Groups, "Best for Last: Week 4"
10 - "Best for Last: Week 5"
17 - 72 Hours of Prayer Worship Night
24 - Easter Break (no MSM)
4/17 - 72 Hours of Prayer Worship Night (6:00-7:30 students only; 7:30-9:00 open to families)
5/26 - Promotion Sunday! (no MSM)
5/29 - Family Beach Summer Kick Off - 22nd St, Hermosa; all OCF CM, MSM, HSM, and families invited!
6/5, 12, 19, 26; 7/3, 10, 17, 31 - All YOCF Summer Beach Nights
7/22-26 - VBS
8/4-10 - Hume Lake
Youth Volunteer and Leadership Opportunity for OCF's VBS!
Youth gain leadership experience and have an opportunity to use their gifts as they invest in younger kids. Plus, it's tons of fun! The dates of VBS are July 22-26 from 6-8pm. Volunteers arrive at 5:30pm and stay until 8:15pm to check out their kids. The deadline to sign up to volunteer is June 1st. All youth must attend training. The training session will be Sunday, June 2nd after 3rd service (a make-up training session can be scheduled for youth who have a family conflict on that day). Contact Brenda Fukuda with questions at [email protected]
For better or worse, media has a powerful influence in our kids' lives! Today's media sends nonstop communication, delivering its voice through television, movies, Internet, music, magazines, books, computers, smartphones, tablets, and more. Frankly, it is impossible for parents to have control over every message that is being sent to our kids.
Because parents can't control all of their kids' media consumption, some feel lost, hopeless, or paralyzed when facing today's technology and media. We may complain, but it is time for us to quit whining, and do something. Don't give up. Don't bail out. There are things we can do and environments we can foster to create a media-safe home.
Watch, Listen, and Read. Creating a media-safe home requires that you become a student of the culture. The easiest way to get a handle on what media your kids are consuming is to watch what they watch, listen to what they listen to, and read what they read. Look for every opportunity to ask and learn from your kids.
Evaluate. Evaluate everything you see and hear with your kids. When you evaluate, don't just play the bad-guy role. At times, this will likely be necessary, but also tell your kids what you like and why, and help them learn to discern what they are putting into their minds.
Examine Your Own Behavior. Too many parents want their kids to make good media choices but aren't willing to discipline themselves. Remember the old adage: Children see, children do. Set the example you want your kids to follow.
Discuss and Listen; Don't Lecture. Anytime we can truly dialog with our kids about media use and influence, it is better than any lecture or sermon we could ever deliver to them. Ultimately, you may choose to disagree with your kids' opinions but they will at least feel you were willing to listen.
Develop Clear Expectations. Work together with your teens to come up with clearly expressed expectations about media consumption and use of the devices that deliver media. As technology changes rapidly, you'll need to revisit the expectations from time to time to keep them relevant and current.