Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Speak: My New Job

This week we talked about the job God calls us to as a Christian...being a DISCIPLE!  To start off, we paired up and played a game where we had to match old world trades/jobs with their description.  Did you know that a luthier is a person who makes and repairs stringed instruments?  Or that a smelter is a metal worker?  Only one group got them all correct!  Way to go Zach and Sarah!

Like these old world trades, Jesus' disciples learned their "trade" of being a disciple by living and working alongside Jesus.  In groups we read Luke 14:25-35.  Each group wrote down three characteristics of a disciple they found in this passage, along with one question they had about the passage.  We discussed how Jesus used hyperbole when he said we must hate our parents, siblings and even ourselves.  What Jesus means is that compared to how much we love God, it should look like we hate everyone else!  We talked about the reasons some people don't become Christians and live as disciples of Christ.  The youth had some really great questions that we tackled together as a group to answer!

Together we discussed ways we can live out our roles as disciples of Jesus while we are at school and at home.  Then we each received a piece of fabric.  With a fabric marker, we each wrote down one thing God is calling us to do to be better disciples.  I challenged everyone to keep this piece of fabric with them throughout the week to remind them to work on what they wrote down.  If they bring the piece of fabric back with them next Sunday night and can report on how they have worked on being a better disciple this week, they will get a new FUMC T-shirt!

What is God calling you to do to be a better disciple?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speak: My New Life

This Sunday at FUSION Gathering we moved our focus from God as the creator, to the God who is still creating and very much still a part of our world!  We began with a chalk board reflection on "What do you think it means to be saved?"  We then had a hula hoop competition where Dante dominated in both heats!  We talked about like the hula hoop, there had to be something that caused the motion of the hula hoop to begin.  Similarly, there had to be a causer to set the world in motion.  But, God didn't simply set the world in motion and then stop being involved.  God is creating anew and is a part of our lives every day. 

We took a look at Ephesians 4:17-24 and discussed how the image of clothing (throwing off the old and putting on the new) can help us understand salvation.  When we become Christians, God asks us to throw off our old way of life and put on a new one.  Salvation is not a one stop shop, either!  It is God creating us anew each and every day. 

We spent some time in small groups exploring three ways Jesus described himself:
Living Water
Bread of Life
Light of Life
We talked about what water, bread and light are like and what they do for us.  Then we explored how Jesus is like these things to us and how these images tell us about the new life God offers to us.  Instead of our normal prayer circle to close, we passed around bread.  As we each took a piece from the loaf, we named one thing we are thankful to God for as our prayer for the evening.  I wonder, what are you thankful to God for in your life?  Comment on this post with your responses. 

Don't forget your help is needed THIS Sunday after the 11am service with unloading the sheds for the UMW's yard sale.  Meet in the Social Hall!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Speak Series: Marked with His Image

This Sunday we looked again at the creation story, but while last week we focused on what we learn about God as a creator, this week we focused on the creation of humans made in God's image.  To get us started we divided into two teams.   Each team chose (in secret) one person to make a paper copy of.  They traced this person and colored it to look as much like the real person as possible.  After each team completed their task, they showed their paper copy to the other team and they had to guess who it represented.  Both teams did a great job, and the opposite team easily identified who the copies were supposed to be. 

It is easy for us to initially think of being "made in God's image" to be something like this paper copy we created of each other.  But that is not really what the Bible is getting at, is it?  To be made in God's image doesn't mean we are godlike or divine.  It doesn't even mean we look physically like God.  To be made in God's image means that we are to reflect God in the world.  We are to be loving, caring and honest people.  We are to seek justice and help those in need. 

We also looked at Matthew 22:15-21.  Here we are reminded that we are supposed to give to God what is God's.  Like a coin, we bear God's image and belong to God, therefore we are to give ourselves to God!  As a reminder, we each took a penny to keep with us through the week to remind us that we are to bear God's image and reflect God in the world.  How have you reflected God in the world this week?  Comment on this post with your responses!

Don't forget: Youth usher this Sunday for the 11am service.  Email me if you are able to help.  See you next week for Sunday school and FUSION Gathering! 


We had a great time at our lock-in on Friday night!  We began the night with painting two of the walls in one of the youth rooms!  It's looking great!  We will have to do a few touch ups later, but it was a great start to redesigning the room.

After painting, we had some snacks and then baked 6 mini loaves of banana bread for the hospitality ministry!

After baking, we grabbed our Bibles and headed to the Sanctuary for a devotion on Matthew 5:14-16 and how God calls us to reflect God's light to the world!  We spent time sharing Scripture passages aloud that mean a lot to us, then we each lit a candle to remind us to reflect God's light in the world.

After our devotion, we played Gorgon--an absolute favorite game among FUMC Youth!

Then is was time for popcorn and a movie before falling asleep!

Saturday morning we had breakfast and cleaned up while we watched the end of Rio since most of us fell asleep before the movie ended! We had a great evening full of fellowship, service and fun!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Speak: Obeying the Call

This Sunday at FUSION Gathering, we began a new series called "Speak: Obeying the Call".  Throughout this series we will explore the lives of men and women in the Bible who grasped God's call and how we can do the same!  Our first lesson in this series was all about how great God is, and how valuable we must be because we are God's creation!  We started with a chalk board reflection of what you think is one of the coolest things God has made.  Then we divided into two teams and had to put 6 of the world's most expensive paintings in the world in order of value.  We realized that one of the most important factors in deciding the value of a painting is the artist.  Similarly, if we think of God as an artist, we see that his creation is extremely valuable...and that includes us!

We spent some time traveling to different exploration stations where we focused on the topics of "God is everywhere", "God is all-knowing", "God is all-powerful", and "God is eternal".  There were things to read and do at each station as we learned more about who God is.  Before leaving for the evening, we spent some time outside in more of God's creation playing a favorite game called SPUD.  I wonder...what do you think is one of the coolest things God made?  Comment on this post with your responses.

Don't forget the LOCK-IN is this Friday!!!
Let me know if you will be attending!