We’re excited to have the EBC 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament as a fundraiser for our summer missions trip again. Huge thanks to Keith McRell for putting this together. Spread the word, and sign up your team ASAP. If you would like to sign up your team, please use this link to signup:
Download the Group WorkCamps packet below.
Inside you’ll find basic information about our accommodations while in Spencer as well as directions on how to download the “Code of Conduct” and you’ll need to sign it and turn that in to me, and I’ll submit them when I have everyone’s turned in. (yes, I know the Code of Conduct & Participation and Release Agreements are in the pdf below, but you need to sign the one you get online by following the instructions, thanks!)
Team Verse & Covenant: We discussed how we want the team to treat each other based off Galatians 5:13, which says, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” This verse makes it clear that we are made free through faith in Jesus, but we aren’t to use our freedom in order to do whatever we want… instead, we must use our freed to make us servants. The next two verses clarify that if we “bite and devour” others, it’s only to our own destruction. With that in mind, we agreed on the the following Team Covenant:
TEAM – We are a team, not individuals. We will remember to look out for each other and to put the team before ourselves.
RESPECT – We will respect each other. We will not tear each other down by our actions or our words. Instead, we will look for opportunities to encourage, support, and build each other up.
LISTEN – We will genuinely listen to each other. We will submit to the leadership over us, and we will serve and respect our fellow team members by listening carefully to each other.
Active participation in at least half Youth Group events (Sunday School, Youth Group, Bible Study, Retreats, Service Projects, etc.).
Active participation in Spencer Mission Team Meetings (dates TBD, usually Saturdays 9-12 once a month for the 4 months leading up to the trip).
Involvement in Fundraising Efforts to an estimated $600/person to cover costs.
Complete the Spencer Team Application and submit $100 by March 10th (youth should contribute towards the deposit).
Respect must be shown at all time to one’s teammates and Team Leaders must be obeyed. There may be times when circumstances call for immediate action and complete explanations cannot be given.
Possession of or acquiring illegal drugs, involvement in sexual or violent activity will be grounds for immediate dismissal. You will be responsible for reimbursing Emmanuel Baptist Church for airfare and other related expenses incurred.
Each team member is responsible for $600, $100 of which was paid as your deposit. That leaves $500 per person to fundraise. We agreed on two team fundraisers to coordinate in addition to writing individual support letters. The team was split into two groups to coordinate and oversee each fundraiser, although everyone is expected to participate in both. If you weren’t at the meeting, please contact one of the adult leaders for the fundraiser you would like to get involved in coordinating.
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Parents drop off their kids at EBC while the team babysits, parents make a contribution towards the team in exchange for babysitting. Team: Alyson, Caitlin, Hannah, Stephanie, Gretta.
COFFEE HAUS & CRAFT SALE: Put together a coffee house at EBC where people can come ‘chill’ and also enjoy some hand-made goodies and crafts to buy. Team: Josh, Trisha, Wayne, Ben A., Ben L., Kelli, Elizabeth, Emma, Emily, Amy, Lucy, Sarah, Lydia.
Writing Your Support Letter
It’s time to get those support letters written and sent out. Please have your letter in the mail by the end of the month (please send at least 12, but sending it to 20 would be even better). The pdf below will help guide you as you write your letter (taken from my friend Karl Dahlfred’s website, thanks Karl!).
Here are some other things to keep in mind about your support letter:
Send 12-20 by the end of May
Proofreed, proofred, profread. (see, misspelling things makes it look like you just don’t care, doesn’t it?!) If you don’t care enough to proofread your letter for grammar and spelling mistakes, what is that going to communicate about the importance of this trip? Care enough about this mission to send a well written letter.
It’s nice (but not necessary) to include a return envelope that’s pre-addressed and already stamped. Make it easy for people to contribute. Printed return labels are available in the Youth Room.
Remember that “support” doesn’t only mean “give me money.” If we have all the money in the world, but not prayer… then we might build a few ramps and fix some broken homes, but we won’t make any lasting impact for Christ on anyone (including on each other!)
Do not have people write your name or initials on the memo line. Have them write “NY Team” on the memo line. You should include either a portion on the bottom of your support letter that they can tear off and send back with the check, or ask them to include a note so I know whose “account” to credit their donation to. (For tax purposes, your name is not allowed to be on the check.)
As always, if you have any questions unanswered by these posts or the documents included, please contact Pastor Mike or one of the adult leaders. Please remember that since Pastor Mike is on Sabbatical from June 17-Aug. 31 he will NOT be participating in this trip and will not be leading the team meetings after June 17th.
WHO ARE YOU?
What we believe about who we are (identity) drives how we see the world (worldview) and how we live (lifestyle/morality). Paul is address this identity-issue in today’s passage: he’s reminding the Galatians church that as believers in Jesus Christ they are “Children of Promise.”
He compares the children of Hagar with the children of Sarah, making it clear that those who put themselves “Under the Law” are children of Hagar the slave. Instead, we who believe in Christ are born of the Spirit and are children of Sarah, we are children of promise.
WHY WOULD ANYONE DESIRE TO BE UNDER THE LAW?
It’s worth considering why anyone would desire to put himself under the law. There are three main reasons to consider.
Putting yourself under the Law makes life clear-cut and simple. Under the Law, life is black-and-white and you only need to learn what God wants you to do and teach others to learn God’s Law too. The problem with this is that God’s Law never changes hearts, it shows the hearth’s guilt before a holy God, so life turns out to not be so simple and clear-cut afterall because we aren’t able to do what we know we should do.
Putting yourself under the Law promotes Holiness. Holiness is a good thing, and we’re all called to pursue it. The Law is good and reflects God’s standard. Again, the problem with the Law is that it can’t bring about what it demands. Where the Law tells us to fly, the Gospel gives us wings.
Putting ourselves under the Law is natural. We all want bad to be punished and good to be rewarded. Grace and mercy are, in many ways, unnatural. Since God is a good Judge, He upholds the Law; since God is loving He took the punishment we deserve.
As Children of Promise, we look forward to the coming of the New Jerusalem. We are people of faith, who live with God’s promises in mind. Although Jerusalem represents the holiest place on this earth, Paul is emphasizing that in comparison to the New Jerusalem (read Revelation 21) it looks like a landfill. In light of the great promise that lays ahead, the Old Jerusalem becomes like Hagar… a substitute that relies on the effort of man instead of the miraculous work of God.
ONLY GOD CAN CHANGE YOUR HEART
This couldn’t be more practical. We all know people who keep making a mess of their lives; really, who isn’t guilty of doing that to some degree or another! Bad decision after bad decision. Beer after beer. Needle after needle. Partner after partner. Website after website. Lie after lie. We command ourselves to stop, to be less addicted or proud or selfish or judgmental. We keep saying it’s going to be our last time… but it’s not.
Surely counselors and doctors and medicine are wonderful blessings that God has provided, so I’m not saying to avoid those, but we must recognize that they cannot change our hearts… only God can do that, and He does that through faith.
IDENTITY: CHILDREN OF PROMISE
Christian: Remember who you are… a child of promise… a person who walks by faith. Embrace grace – the grace the God has given you, and the grace He is calling you to give to others.
If you are not a Christian, please do this: Look deep within your heart and confess to yourself what you see, then ask yourself what you will do with your sin. How will you stand before a Holy God? How “good” is good enough?
The Great News of the Gospel is this: God loves sinners! He loves sinners so much He died for them, for you and for me, so that we could be forgiven, redeemed, and made innocent so we can stand before a Holy God.