2017 Missions Trip: Portland, Maine

experience-mission-portland-me

We’re going to Portland, Maine with Experience Mission from July 30th through August 5th.

Did you know that Portland, Maine has become one of the key cities in America for immigrants and refugees who are seeking safety from their homelands? Experience Mission is a Christian ministry that leads teams to provide practical care while putting the dignity of the person being served as the primary ministry.

Sometimes in our service, we place the “project” about the person. One of the aspects of Experience Mission that I have come to appreciate is their emphasis on highlighting dignity towards those they serve. In this way, whether we are serving at a homeless shelter, putting on a children’s program, or helping teach English to immigrant children, the central drive is to demonstrate the love of Christ to the person. You can learn more about Experience Mission at their websiteExperience Mission at their website.

The Essential Information

  • The Mission: Loving our neighbor by ministering to the homeless and to those who have immigrated to the USA in Portland. We will be partnering with year-round ministries like The Root Cellar, caring for the people of Portland.
  • Dates: Sun. 7/30 through Sat. 8/5.
  • Cost: $750
  • Who: Current EBC High School students.
  • Travel Plans: Two Minivans (Google says it takes 2:34 to drive from Norfolk to Portland)
  • Housing Arrangements: Sleeping in a church about 20 mins outside of Portland (guys and girls on different floors). Daily showers will be available at an off-site location.

How Do I Sign Up?

  • Fill out the EBC Application and submit it to Pastor Mike by Feb 5th
  • $100 deposit to EBC by Sunday Feb 5th.

Other Forms You’ll Need:

 

EBC Missions Project 2016

What are we doing?
We will be serving widows or families locally. We are still working on identifying families/projects that will be worked on, but they may include: landscaping, painting, or simpler repair jobs. Throughout the week, it is our desire to see students pushed beyond their comfort zone as they are encouraged to take turns leading in different aspects of our projects.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
James 1:27

Why are we staying local?
By serving locally we will be taking care of widows in our church family and demonstrating the love of Christ to our home community. If we are not willing to serve where we are, then why should we go farther away to serve? In fact, if you’ll only “serve” when you’re somewhere new, then you probably aren’t serving at all… you’re just working for the opportunity to go somewhere cool.

Who can participate?
Anyone who was in the high school youth group this year who completes the application form and has an interview with Pastor Mike about their interest in the missions project.

Where will we sleep?
You will sleep at home each night, but return to EBC by 7:00am each morning for devos before heading to our work site.

When do I need to sign up?
Sign up by June 12th (submit enclosed 2016 Summer Missions Team Application & Release Forms & the $150 application fee)

How much will it cost?
Cost will be $400.00 per student. This will cover the cost of team meals and supplies to fulfill our work projects. The $150 application fee will be included, leaving $250/student to be fundraised prior to the missions projects in August.

Do I need to do the whole week, or can I only do one or two days?
It would be best for you to make a commitment for the whole week since we are trying to train and equip you to grow in servant-leadership. We’re doing more than getting stuff done… we’re trying to help you identify your leadership gifts and give you experiences that will stretch you. If there’s one day you cannot attend then we can work that out, but it would be best to have you there for more days than you’d miss.

For more information, please read the Info/Application Packet or contact Pastor Mike. 

Come to Berea!

Deep Freeze Banner

We’re going to Camp Berea February 19-21, 2016 for Deep Freeze! This is a great time to make new friends, strengthen current friendships, and to explore the question, “Is Jesus worth following?”

Here’s a video from our time at Berea two years ago (sorry, I didn’t make one last year!):

Here’s a flyby of the main info you need to know:

  • Dates: February 19-21, 2016
  • Cost: $140 total. $70 deposit due ASAP, remaining $70 due Feb 7th. (We don’t want money to keep anyone from coming, scholarships are available upon request, please contact Pastor Mike.)
  • Speaker: Danny Ray (a Christian illusionist who integrates magic into his message… check him out on youtube!)
  • Music: Oswald Brother Band
  • Permission Form: Download the form HERE and turn in the completed form with your final payment on Feb 7th.
  • Paintball: Yes, they have paintball! The cost is included in the required paintball waiver, found HERE.
  • Departure from EBC: Friday at 3:00pm. Bus leaves by 3:20.
  • Return to EBC: Sunday around 4:30pm
  • What to Bring: Warm clothes (remember, it’s winter camp not a fashion show… and it’s only two nights), Hat & Gloves, Sleeping Bag, Pillow, Toiletries, Towel, Bible.
  • What NOT to Bring: Alcohol, or weapons and non-prescription drugs are not allowed. We also discourage cell phone use and other electronic gadgets which distract and isolate us from spending face-to-face time with each other. If you bring a phone to use as a camera, please set it to airplane mode for the weekend.

This year’s theme is Re-Forged. Our lives take shape with every moment that forms and molds us until we may feel no more than a product of our faults, mistakes and struggles. But what if we can be changed? Sometimes it’s a slow and steady sculpting and at other times it’s a transformation that takes place in the fire of challenges, but the result is the same: our edges and sharpness are removed and the imperfections melted away as we are Re-Forged into something with new purpose that is stronger than ever before.

2015-16 Student Ministry Crew

When I was a teenager my youth pastor gave me an opportunity that changed my life. Obviously, I didn’t know it would be so influential, but as I look back I wonder whether or not I’d be where I am today without this invitation.

It was a simple opportunity to teach Bible Study. It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t a big announcement. The invitation was simply, “Hey Mike, do you want to lead next week?” … “Uh, sure, I guess.” It was nothing special, there wasn’t a huge revival. But something about the opportunity spoke to me and as other similar invitations came along I knew that something inside of me was changing.

Now, it’s important to realize that at this point in my life I was a freshman or a sophomore in high school who was extremely uncomfortable talking in front of groups. I would turn beat-red whenever the teacher would call on me in class. I had a stutter, which was the cause of much teasing throughout my childhood. But as I took the risk of leadership in youth group, something in me was changing.

More and more I want to give that opportunity to our students today. So here’s what we’re doing… We’re launching a Student Ministry Crew this year. Leadership and servanthood are a risk, but I’m really excited about this opportunity for our group!

Risk Continue reading

Youth Ministry Forecast for 2015-16

Last year we tried something totally new with the goal of reaching more students for Christ and to have a more intentional path towards helping them grow in their faith. There have been many (MANY!) conversations about what worked, what didn’t work, and what we can learn from our experience. We’re moving forward with the same goal mentioned above, and we’re excited about putting what we’ve learned into action!

Here’s a snapshot of what you can expect:

Sunday Night Youth Group
Sunday night will be a time for junior high and high school students to connect with each other and be equipped to reach their friends for Christ. If last year was more of an “auditorium” atmosphere, this we’re renovating for a “living room” feel to youth group. We want to be welcoming, low-key, and highly relational as we build our friendships with each other and grow in our faith in Christ.

Thursday Night Small Groups
Small Groups of 4-8 students will be one of the backbones of discipleship for this year and will meet at EBC on Thursdays. They will be broken down by gender and grade-level (JH Guys, JH Girls, HS Guys, HS Girls). Small Groups would go through a devotional study together, equip students to form “faith habits” of Bible reading and prayer for one another while providing a safe place for students to share their question, doubts and struggles together.

Note: September will be registration month and small groups will kick off in October. This way, if we need more High School groups we will have time to recruit another small group leader.

Student Leadership
One of our goals for this year is to provide more space for students to serve and lead. We are actively working towards creating more places throughout EBC’s ministry where students can plug in, so stay tuned for more of those opportunities! High School Students who are “Faithful Servants” will have the opportunity to join the Youth Leadership Team (which meets monthly) as Student Leaders. Since Christian leadership is all about servanthood, it is an expectation that students who want to join the YLT would be faithful in their participation in worship and in youth group while also being committed to serving in the church at some capacity (media team, food pantry, worship team, youth ministry, Awana, etc.). These students leaders will be the ones leading games, giving announcements, and facilitating prayer huddles at Youth Group while also having the opportunity to help shape the youth group calendar and giving input on what topics are taught in youth group.

EBC Youth Summer 2015

EBC Youth Summer 2015
EBC Youth Summer 2015

You’ll notice a few things going on this summer:

  • No “Youth Group” or “nine23” during the summer.
  • Sunday Bible Study is every week (with a few exceptions, check out the Google Calendar for a more detailed calendar view) for both Junior High and High School students. We will be exploring the “Guardrails of the Faith.” The Nicene Creed serves as these “guardrails” and is the Christianity’s longest-lasting explanation of what Christians believe. We’ll meet at the Eldridge’s house in Wrentham from 7:00-8:30pm. 
  • A larger group outing about every-other week throughout the Summer. Let’s not become strangers during the Summer… and don’t forget to invite your friends! Let’s have fun together!

Want more details? 
Continue reading

A Different Kind of Famine

30 Hour Famine logo

We’ve done World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine for the last decade, and in the time we’ve raised over $17,000 to fight world hunger! Think about that… 17,000!!!

You can make a difference… especially when you’re one piece of a bigger team. Join EBC Youth Group as we make a difference together. I would love to see us raise $3000 this year and push past $20,000 for total contributions to the Famine. You can go HERE to sign up to join EBC’s team and collect donations online.

What is the 30 Hour Famine?
We give up eating food for 30 hours in order to raise money to fight world hunger. It’s so much easier to do this together than it is to try doing it alone… you can do it! As we experience the temporary pains of hunger we remember a few things: 1. We know where our next meal will come, many people have no idea when or where they will next eat, 2. Our hunger for food reminds us of our hunger for God, who gives us true and everlasting life, and 3. We are called to be servants and to put the needs of others before our own.

This Year’s Focus: More than World Hunger
This year during the 30 Hour Famine we will be focused on the biblical call to justice in multiple ways:

Chosen at EBC

Friday Night: “Chosen”
You can read more about this portion of our Famine, but we have set this aside as a larger way to spread the word about the tragedy of Human Trafficking in America. We have invited other youth groups and adults from local churches to come to EBC to watch a 30 minute movie about two teenage girls who have been rescued from Human Trafficking. This will be very eye-opening for many of us, and we hope that it will better equip each of us to identify two things: 1. Know the signs of human trafficking, and 2. Know what to do if we suspect someone we know to be a victim of human trafficking.

Obviously, Human Trafficking is a mature topic, but we do encourage for junior high student to attend since 12-14 year olds are the primary targets of traffickers. Parents, the decision is yours, and we completely respect your decision for your son or daughter. If you would prefer for your son/daughter to participate in the 30 Hour Famine but not in the Chosen/Human-Trafficking-Awareness then you can bring him/her at 8:00am Saturday morning (please let me know ahead of time).

Saturday Morning: Providence Rescue Mission
We have been cultivating a relationship with the Providence Rescue Mission for the last four years during the Famine. Our morning will start off with a devotional time together and then we’ll head down to Providence where we will help clean the dorm where PRM provides overnight shelter for people to sleep. In the past we’ve helped run a free clothing drive for families in the community, organized their food pantry, organized their clothing distribution center, and helped prepare food for their lunchtime service. This is a great organization we’re excited to encourage and partner with again.

Saturday Afternoon/Evening: World Vision
To conclude our time together we will walk through World Vision’s ministry and where our money is going. World Hunger is such a serious and wide-ranging problem we don’t often feel like there’s anything we can do about it. But we are making a difference. With every $1 we raise, 1 person will be fed, clothed, and receive the medical attention they need for 1 day. That means EBC has helped this happen 17,000 times!

What Do I Need to Know Before I Come?

  • April 24-25th, come at 6:00pm on Friday night, pickup is at 6:30pm on Saturday. Please arrive promptly at 6:00pm Friday so we can get settled into the youth room before the Chosen event begins at 7:00pm.
  • When should I stop eating? Stop eating at Noon on Friday the 24th and we will eat together at 6:00pm on Saturday.
  • What can I drink? We will have lots of water on site. There will be occasional juice-breaks for those who “need” them. We will have crackers on hand for those who are feeling sick (just in case!), but I don’t anticipate anyone needing them.
  • What to Bring: Sleeping bag & pillow, toothbrush & toothpaste, change of clothes, Famine donations, Bible, if you have a journal/diary you can bring that too!
  • How do I sign up: Go here to join EBC’s team on World Vision’s website. Fundraising envelopes are available in the Youth Room, make sure you pick one of those up and read through the info inside.
  • What if I need to come late or leave early? Talk to Pastor Mike and you can work out the details.

2015 Missions Team: Pawley’s Island, SC

leadertreks-logoThis year’s missions team will be traveling to Pawley’s Island, SC to serve with LeaderTreks. Here’s all the basic info you need, please contact Pastor Mike if you have any other questions! Start praying about whether or not God would have you serve on this missions team and get your deposit/forms submitted by Feb. 1st.

FullSizeRenderWhere: Pawley’s Island, SC
When: August 1-9, 2015
What: Physical service (home repair, building, etc.) & children’s ministry (most likely a VBS program)
Goals: Spiritual Growth & Leadership Development
Cost: $900 total ($150 student deposit, $750 will be fundraised)
Travel: Two days of driving each way (likely staying in Richmond, VA)
How to Sign Up: Submit $150, Application, and Release Form by February 1st. (download by clicking links above)

Why You Should Go:
1. Spiritual Growth. If you want to grow in your faith, this trip is for you. If you want to “get away” for a week and start building habits that get you reading your Bible and praying and doing acts of service/ministry, then this trip is for you. Simply put, if you want to discover more about your faith in Jesus and grow as a Christian, this is a great opportunity for you!

2. Leadership Development. If you want to come on a trip that’s basically a vacation, this trip is NOT for you. If you want to be challenged and work hard, this IS for you. You will be given opportunities to lead, make decisions, and do meaningful work. When problems come up, the adults aren’t going to fix them all for you… you students will be supported while you discover the solutions together. We want you to be equipped, so that whatever your personality and whatever your gifts are, you discover what your style of leadership looks like.

Obviously every team’s experience is different, but here’s a video from another church’s time serving with LeaderTreks at Pawley’s Island… maybe you will have the opportunity to meet some of the kids you’ll see in this video!

Big Changes Ahead!

There are major changes in the EBC Youth Ministry, starting this week! The following video will give you a basic look at WHY we’re making these changes and WHAT the big picture will look like. 

What will Youth Group look like?
Junior High and High School combined at EBC, 7:00-8:30pm. Here’s a basic timeline for what to expect each night (don’t sue us if we don’t follow this precisely every week, it’s meant to give you an idea of what to expect):
7:05 – Icebreaker/Game (get people talking)
7:20 – Announcements
7:25 – Worship Team
7:40 – Gospel Lesson
7:52 – Small Group Discussion & Prayer
8:15 – Food & Hangout in Fellowship Hall
8:30 – Dismissal 

Why is Youth Group changing so much?
We want Youth Group to be a place where nonChristians meet Jesus and where Christian teens have opportunity to serve one another. The Youth Leadership Team decided together that recreating Youth Group would be the best way for those two things to happen. 

How can I help?
Students, you can help by bringing a servant-heart to youth group. Invite a friend. Welcome visitors. Contribute to the small group discussions and prayer times. When the lesson is something you’ve “heard this a million times,” come with a heart that says, “Others haven’t heard this at all.” 
Parents, we will need hosts for the “Food & Hangout” time in Fellowship Hall each week. I’d love to have a rotation of parents and other EBC adults serving our youth. This is a great witness to the nonChristian teens who will come, to show them that EBC values teenager and to communicate, “You are welcome here!”

What is nine23?
nine23 (based off Luke 9:23) is our new “next-level” discipleship opportunity for high school students that meets every-other Thursday night at EBC. This group isn’t for everyone, because we will have expectations and hold you to them… but if you want to grow in your faith and start serving others then this could be a perfect opportunity for you!

What are the expectations for students who attend nine23?
If we see you developing a habit that is not in line with these expectations, we will talk with you. We don’t want to be the police, but we want to see you grow, and these expectations are here as guardrails to help you grow in Christ and serve others. 
1. You don’t want coming to YG to be about your entertainment anymore, you want to grow in your faith and serve others. 
2. Consistent attendance at Sunday morning worship, Youth Group and nine23. (If you aren’t present, how can you serve?)
3. Come prepared to nine23. Whether we’re reading a book or going through a devotional together, we want to hear your thoughts about it! 
4. Expect to be challenged. The youth leaders are making a commitment to you, we want to do ministry together! On the “off-week” we want to meet your friends, visit another student’s game/concert/etc. with you. We want to walk with you as you start getting involved in ministry to your nonChristian friends and peers.

Why should I come to nine23?
Because you want to be a leader, a disciple-maker, and a multiplier (or, an LDX). Not every LDX will look the same, because all have different personalities and gifts. Not every leader likes to be up front. Not every disciple-maker likes to talk about deep philosophical things. Not every multiplier is comfortable in crowds. But if you love Jesus and want others to love him too, then we want to help you discover what it would look like for you to become an LDX… and that is what nine23 is all about. 

Got more questions? I’d love to tackle them… shoot me a personal email or leave a comment below. 

Boston Missions Team: Packing List & Final Details

Departure & Return Details:

  • Departure: EBC 3:45pm Sun., Aug 3rd
  • Return: EBC 10:00pm Fri., Aug 8th

What to Bring: (please pack light, you can rewear clothes, no one will judge you!) 

  • Shirts (mostly short-sleeve, but bring something warmer too in case it gets cold at night), shorts, long pants, close toed shoes.
  • Light jacket (in case it rains)
  • Towel & bathroom essentials (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Hair drying is not a bathroom essential)
  • Guys, make sure you pack a bathing suit since our showers are open and there are no individual shower stalls.
  • Bible, Journal, Pen
  • Sheets (twin sheets) or Sleeping Bag & Pillow (if you pack a sleeping bag, try to bring a thin one since it is the summer and we won’t have tons of room for huge bags in our cargo van).
  • Water bottle (optional, but it would be good to bring)
  • Some spending cash: $30-40 should be enough to cover you for the week unless you want to buy a CSM shirt ($15-20) or other mementos.

CSM’s Dress Code:

  • Comfy clothes: Bring clothes that are comfortable to work in and you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Long and Closed: Pants and closed-toe shoes are required at many of our ministry sites. At some sites you may wear shorts (they must be longer than your finger-tips when your arms are at your side).
  • Reach for the sky: Shirts must be long enough to raise your arms without exposing any skin or underwear. No tank tops or sleeveless shirts.
  • Support no teams: No professional or college sports team clothing or paraphernalia, hats of any kind, or bandanas are permitted. NOTE: Groups members with bald or shaved heads may wear a fishing hat or something similar (no baseball caps) if they are working outside. (note: the written policy about no Red or Blue shirts does not apply to the Boston location)

A Note About Cell Phones: CSM’s policy is to encourage leaders to have cell phones so that students do not need to bring their phone. This doesn’t reflect a lack of trust, but it does reflect the importance of us unplugging for the week to minimize distractions and focus on all God has in store for our team as a whole and each of us individually. Students will be given opportunity to call home mid-week and towards the end of the week before we leave.

Blog Updates: I’m hoping to write a blog update each night with a few pictures and a brief description of what we did that day. I’ve been told the internet at our housing site is “spotty,” so please have understanding and patience if I’m not able to follow through on this, but I’ve found this to be a really helpful way for parents and church members to stay informed while providing the team members a great way to look back and remember what we experienced and learned.