2014 Boston Missions Team

I’m VERY excited to announce our 2014 missions trip is going to be to Boston through Center for Student Missions (CSM). We partnered with CSM a few years ago when we served in Toronto and had a fantastic experience (I blogged each night about our experiences throughout the week, you can read those posts HERE).

What will we be doing?
Each day we’ll serve in a few different ways. In the morning we could be in a food pantry, in the afternoon we could be helping in an ESL (English as a Second Language) program, and one or two nights we’ll be distributing food to men and women experiencing homelessness. Each day will be different, giving our team a wide glimpse of the needs in our own city that we’ve probably never seen before.

Why are we going to Boston? That’s boring!
Sure, going half an hour away isn’t as exciting as flying to another country, but there are serious needs in our own backyard that you’ve probably walked by a hundred times without noticing. Going far away to serve is great, but if we aren’t willing to serve here then why go there?! This is a powerful opportunity for you to grow new eyes to see the needs around you, even in a familiar city.

Who can go?
Any current High School students. Unfortunately, we can only currently accept the first 14 team members (leaders included).

Note about Group-Size
In order to meet their commitments, CSM accepts groups between 8-14 members and 20+, but groups with between 15-19 are too large for one ministry site but too small for two sites. Therefore, we will only be able to accept the first 11 students (three slots must be reserved for adult leaders) and the additional applicants will be put on a waiting list. If we are able to have a 20-person team or if someone on the team needs to withdraw then those on the waiting list will be invited to join the team. Thanks for understanding… and get those applications in ASAP! 🙂

What are the requirements to go?

  1. Regular attendance/participation in Sunday morning worship, Sunday School, and Youth Group meetings.
  2. Active participation in special Youth Group events such as retreats, service projects, etc.
  3. Active participation in Boston Mission Team Meetings (dates TBD, usually Saturdays 9-12 once a month for the 4 months leading up to the trip).
  4. Involvement in Fundraising Efforts to an estimated $400/person to cover costs. Actual cost of $500 ($100 deposit, fundraise $400).
  5. Completion of the Boston Team Application and submission of $100 by March 2nd (youth should contribute towards this deposit).
  6. Respect must be shown at all times to one’s teammates and Team Leaders must be obeyed.
  7. Possession of or acquiring alcohol and illegal drugs, involvement in sexual or violent activity will be grounds for immediate dismissal. You will be responsible for reimbursing Emmanuel Baptist Church for related expenses incurred.

Download the Boston Mission Team Info & Forms

Join us at Deep Freeze (Camp Berea)

Join us at Deep Freeze, Camp Berea’s winter camp! We’ve gone for longer than I’ve been the youth pastor, and I’ve been here for more than eight years… it’s that good!

Here are the details you need to know:

  • February 14-16, 2014
  • Camp Berea, Hebron NH
  • Cost: $140 total.  ($70 deposit due 12/1, remaining $70 due 1/12 along with Permission Form)
  • What will we do there: Music, Food, Carpetball, Tubing Hill, Paintball (costs extra, see details in the Student Info Packet), Volleyball Tournament, Basketball Tournament, Board Games, and most importantly, learn about Jesus’s love for us.
  • No phones, iPods, or electronics – we want you to be as fully-present with one another as possible. Thanks for your cooperation. (Leaders will have their phones in case of emergency.)
  • Departure: At EBC  4:00pm Friday 2/14 (bring a bagged dinner to eat on the bus, preferably something that’s not messy)
  • Return: At EBC 3:30pm Sunday 2/16
  • Speaker: Duffy Robbins (He’s legitimately one of the funniest guys I know)
  • Band: Sing Love Sing
Student Info Packet
click to download

So why should you come to Berea?
Check this video out for a glimpse of what’s in store for the weekend. This is always a great opportunity to make new friends, have some fun, and grow in your understanding of who God is, what He’s done, and what He want for you! Don’t miss out…

IMPORTANT: Please remember to bring a bagged lunch to eat on the bus on Friday.  We will only be stopping once on our way up to Berea, so you need to have dinner on the bus (and you’re responsible for cleaning up after yourself, so don’t bring anything too messy).  Everything else for the weekend is taken care of for you, but you might want to bring some money for vending machines, the snack bar, the gift shop or a CD from the worship band.   

Please make sure you’re on time on Friday (4:00pm) with all your stuff, because you don’t want to miss the bus!  We’re renting a school bus and a U-Haul for the bags.  Parents, if you need to get in touch with your teen over the weekend, please either call Pastor Mike’s cell phone (you can call the EBC office for his number or ask him for it ahead of time) or contact Camp Berea’s office.

Introducing: Living Theologically

As I announced last week, I will now be blogging elsewhere in order to distinguish this site as one that is for the Youth Ministry at EBC.  I’m excited to share with you the link to my new blog, Living Theologically.

There are only a few posts up there right now, but I’ll be trying to add 2-3 posts a week.  For the first few weeks I’ll probably search through the archives here at Crosswalking.net and I’ll add one post from this site onto the new one each week until I’ve reposted my top ten favorite posts.  I don’t want to flood the new site with “old material,” but some of what I’ve written here is worth revisiting (I hope!).

If you subscribe to this blog and are not directly associated with Emmanuel Baptist Church, thank you for finding your way to this blog and reading what I write… I do not take you for granted.  Please feel free to unsubscribe from this blog, and I hope you’ll jump over to Living Theologically to continue the conversation with me over there.  You can read the blog posts and description there to get a sense of what my vision for the new blog will become.

Never Ending Night

It’s that time again! We’re doing an all-nighter, “Never Ending Night,” again with the youth group at Good News Bible Chapel in Attleboro. Here are the details:

Nov. 22-23, 2013 (Fri-Sat just before Thanksgiving)
7:00 pm Dropoff at EBC (63 Rockwood Rd, Norfolk MA)
6:30am Pickup at GNBC (235 West St, Attleboro MA)
Signup ASAP by paying with a check (made to EBC, write “All-nighter: name” in memo)
Signed copy of the Permission Form (click the link to download)

The $30 covers all the entertainment, games, music, food, and more! You might want to bring some money for snacks here-and-there, but this is going to be a full night that you and your friends won’t want to miss!

You don’t need to bring a sleeping bag or anything else with you, just make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothes/shoes that you can be active in.

The last few hours you might feel like the kid in the video below, but we’ve got plans to keep you moving all night long.

Redesigned site, coming your way soon!

In the next two weeks I’m hoping to finish redesigning this blog site to better serve the EBC Youth Ministry.  That means I’ll be unveiling a new blog where I’ll be blogging on life/theology/ministry issues elsewhere, while this site is specifically focused on the youth ministry of Emmanuel Baptist Church.  Here’s what I have in mind:

  • Guest Posts: I’m hoping to have guest posts by students, youth leaders, and parents.
  • Links: I’m not going to be commenting too much on them myself, other than maybe a paragraph explaining why it’s a link worth sharing.
  • Calendar & Announcement: More emphasis will be given to posting information and changes to the youth group calendar.
  • YG Lesson Discussion Q’s: Want to know what we talked about at YG last week? Parents, visit here to read a short summary and to pick up two-three questions to discuss with your teen at some point in the week.

Students, if you have any artwork or writing that you’re interested in sharing, or if you have some ideas for the site, please contact me and let me know!

Note: If you subscribe to this blog and are not directly associated with EBC, I’ll be sharing the new blog site in an upcoming post. I’d encourage you to jump over to the new blog once it opens up.  This may also explain the lack of activity here lately…

Simply Beautiful

The Simply Beautiful Conference is a new conference for teen girls hosted at Chapel of the Cross in Westboro.  This is a fantastic opportunity for moms and their teen girls to gather together for worship, teaching, and much discussion.  

The $35 conference registration fee also covers refreshments and lunch.  Please follow THIS LINK to register, and contact Doris Reynolds so she knows who is in our EBC group and can coordinate the travel-plans.  Partial scholarships are available upon request.

2013 Summer YG Calendar

There are a few ways you can find the Summer Calendar for youth group this summer.  If you’re reading this post, then you already know this is the best play to find it!  We’ll make sure to include any calendar changes in the weekly bulletin at church, but the calendar tab above is going to be a reliable guide too.

Download the 2013 Summer Calendar here so you can print it out and hang it on your fridge.  You won’t want to miss this stuff!  Addresses are provided through the calendar tab or the pdf above.

2013 Summer Calendar

EBC 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament



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.
EBC 3on3 TournamentIf you would like to sign up your team, please use this link to signup:

EBC 3 0n 3 2013 Signup




Spencer Missions Team: Fundraising & Info

Team Panorama
The Team! (mostly…)

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!)

Group WorkCamps Packet

Go HERE to complete the Group WorkCamps form – I need this ASAP

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.

Team Expectations:

  1. Active participation in at least half Youth Group events (Sunday School, Youth Group, Bible Study, Retreats, Service Projects, etc.).
  2. 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).
  3. Involvement in Fundraising Efforts to an estimated $600/person to cover costs.
  4. Complete the Spencer Team Application and submit $100 by March 10th (youth should contribute towards the deposit).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Two Fundraisers:

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!).

Writing Your Support Letter

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.

2013 Missions Trip Change: Spencer, NY

Spencer, NY

So… there’s been a change in plans!  I went to register our group for Burlington, NJ last week and discovered that project/location has been cancelled for this Summer!  The good news is Group WorkCamps has so many locations around the country there’s another option for us!

The project in Spencer, NY remains open with plenty of space for our group.  Spencer, NY is at the foot of the “Finger Lakes” in NY and we would be doing house projects for the Elderly in town (fixing/painting walls inside, building wheelchair ramps, and other projects that would be a great blessing to these seniors).

Since this is still a project from Group WorkCamps, the details/costs remain the same (see the link above for all those details).  Each team member will be paired with members of other teams and we’ll gather together as a group at the end of the day to share our stories about what we did and who we met and how we witnessed God at work.

Please let Pastor Mike know ASAP whether or not you are still IN for this summer’s trip or if you would like to withdraw from the team.  The team’s reservations will be made next Wed (4/10).