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February 2009 New Town UMC Youth Ministry Parent Newsletter

Youth want what they think fame brings It is no surprise that we live in a culture that glorifies the rich and famous. We have become obsessed with breakups and breakdowns of the stars through magazines, Internet, television, and all the other venues. If you don't think this is an issue with youth, think about this question Jake Halpern asked to over 650 teens in his book called "Fame Junkies": "Given a choice of becoming the CEO of a major corporation, the president of Yale or Harvard, a Navy SEAL, a U.S. senator or "the personal assistant to a very famous singer or movie star," almost half of the girls — 43.4% — chose the assistant role" ( You might think this is absurd, but for many youth this is reality. Youth want what they think fame brings, and that is the Three A's: affluence, attractiveness, and achievement. The picture painted by our culture shows that the more of the Three A's you have, the better your life will be. God reminds us in Luke 14 that we have our priorities all wrong. Jesus tells a story of someone being invited to a wedding feast. He reminds us not to take the place of honor because someone more distinguished could show up. Then, He says in Luke 14:11, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." Helping youth see the value of exalting Christ instead of themselves is where true success and fame can be found. As we lift Him up, our priorities shift to Him and to others. The most famous in God's eyes are the one's who love, serve, and give when no one else is looking.

Here are some tips to help parents keep fame-obsessed youth under control. 1. Resist putting a television and computer in your child's room. This allows them to watch indiscriminately. It is better for you to know what they watch; that way you can discuss the programs. 2. Encourage your children to think about their favorite shows and media personalities. Do they reflect the values of your family, school, community or church? 3. Ask your children to talk about the kinds of things they like best about their friends, family, teachers, and coaches. Is it that they're famous, rich, and good looking? Or is it that they're fun, funny, helpful, caring, friendly, and smart? 4. Stay current with the programs, music, and video games your children are consuming so you'll be able to have an informed discussion with them about the people and images they're exposed to. (Excerpt from the New Mexico Media Literacy Project's publication, "The State of Media Education") asked youth some very interesting questions about famous people. Here is what they found: Which quality matters most to you in a celebrity? (Pick one) 36% Talent 32% Personality 17% Character 15% Looks

Do you agree with this statement: When celebrities make the following choices, a lot of teens want to do the same. 77% - Lose weight 62% - Pierce a body part 58% - Get a tattoo 48% - Drink alcohol 47% - Smoke cigarettes 39% - Take drugs

Great Questions to Ask It's amazing how many youth (and adults) are mesmerized by the thought of being famous. See what your child thinks about some of these questions. 1. Who is your favorite famous person? What do you like about them? 2. If you could be friends with any famous person, who would it be? Why would you want to be friends with them? Do you think they would be a good friend?

PRAY THAT: 1. Your child will have the desire to store up treasures in heaven instead of trying to store up treasures here on earth. 2. God will continue to use your child for His glory and for His fame. 3. Your child will find their importance in Christ, instead of how the world tells them to find their worth. 4. God will help your child pursue the things of God, to find satisfaction in Him and only Him.

Verse of the month

3. Why do you think we are so obsessed with famous people and their mistakes? 4. Do you think fame comes at a price? What are some of the advantages/ disadvantages of fame? Would you be willing to pay that price to be famous? 5. Can you name any celebrities who are famous and live for Christ? Why aren't there that many?

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV) It is amazing how much cool "stuff" the rich and famous have. It's no wonder that youth want to be famous. The perks seem limitless! It could make any person, not just youth, covet and want those things that bring status and temporary happiness. In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, He reminds all of us where to store our treasures. "What do we treasure?" has to be the question for all us then. When you answer that question truthfully, you figure out where you are storing your riches. We cannot take the things of earth with us to Heaven. Let us pray for our families to have the heart of Christ. When that happens, all the temporary fades away and the eternal becomes the most important.

What’s Up With Kids * When given an option to become stronger, smarter, famous, or better looking, boys in a survey chose fame almost as often as intelligence, and girls chose it more often. ( * 31% of American teenagers believe they'll become famous one day. ( * Students were asked to choose which famous person they would most like to have dinner with. The top three choices went to Paris Hilton and 50 Cent (both at 15.8%), who tied for third place. Second place went to Jesus Christ (16.8%) and the winner was Jennifer Lopez (17.4%). ( * Teens who described themselves as often or always “depressed” were more likely than others to believe that becoming a celebrity would make them happier. Teenagers who described themselves as feeling “lonely” were also more likely to believe that fame would make a positive impact on their lives. (

This page is designed to inform and educate parents and isn’t meant to endorse any music or movies. Our prayer is that you will make informed decisions on what your kids listen to and watch.


Background: On April 19, 2005, after nearly 10 years with Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas began his solo career with the release of …Something to Be which shot to #1 on the album chart. This marked the first time a male artist from a rock and/or pop group had debuted at number one with his first solo album since the Billboard Top 200 was introduced 50 years ago. Albums: Cradle Songs (2009), Something to Be (2005) What Parents Should Know: In his music, Thomas bares his soul, often mixing promise and pain within the same song. But the prevailing sense is that good things await those who bear one another’s burdens and refuse to wave the white flag. Young fans of his style may also enjoy ’90s CCM band Big Tent Revival. Ambiguous lines often refer to lovers (“Lonely No More,” “When the Heartache Ends”) and an overnight comforters (“Fallin’ to Pieces”). What Rob Thomas Says: “What we learned here is love tastes bitter when it’s gone.” Discussion Questions: Who do you love the most in this world? Is there anything you could do to make them stop loving you? In what ways have you experienced God’s love? Will God’s love ever run out?

Background: David Crowder began this band after realizing that almost half of Baylor University’s students weren’t attending worship. As a student, he co-founded University Baptist Church and began leading worship and writing songs. The church eventually released an independent CD, followed by more from Sparrow Records. The David Crowder Band is part of the Passion Conferences. Despite extensive touring, the band makes it back to Waco, Texas, almost every Sunday to worship where it all began. The band has received four Dove Awards and remains a top seller on iTunes. Albums: Remedy Club Tour (2008), Remedy (2007), B Collision (2006), A Collision (2005), Sunsets and Sushi (2005) What Parents Should Know: Remedy is a worshipful album focusing on how everyone needs Christ, the ultimate remedy. One reviewer called the album “a great journey through sound, passion, conviction, and exuberance for our risen King!” What Crowder Says: “I’m always aware that first and foremost our function isn’t to express ourselves as artists. We help people articulate their faith.” Discussion Questions: How easy or difficult is it for you to articulate your faith? What methods of worship are you most comfortable with, and why? When you worship, is it mostly for your sake or for God’s? Explain.

Movie: The Pink Panther 2 (releases February 6th) Rating: PG for some suggestive humor, brief mild language and action. Starring: Steve Martin Genre: Comedy Synopsis: When legendary treasures from around the world are stolen, including the priceless Pink Panther Diamond, Chief Inspector Dreyfus is forced to assign Inspector Clouseau to a team of international detectives and experts charged with catching the thief and retrieving the stolen artifacts. Discussion Questions: Have you ever had anything stolen from you? What was it? How did it feel? Did you get it back? How do we steal God’s gifts to us? (Luke 16:1-13)



* 5-6th Youth Group * 7-8th Bible Study * 9-12th Adventure Team

3 * Youth Choir







* 5-6th Bible Study * 7-8th Youth Group * 9-12th Youth Group

* Adult Volunteer Gathering

8 * 5-6th Youth Group * 7-8th Bible Study * 9-12th Adventure Team

9 * Study Smarter, Not Harder

10 * Youth Choir

11 * 5-6th Bible Study * 7-8th Youth Group * 9-12th Youth Group

14 Valentine’s Day

** JP Meeting



* 5-6th Youth Group * 7-8th Bible Study * 9-12th Adventure Team

22 * 5-6th Youth Group * 7-8th Bible Study * 9-12th Adventure Team

17 * Youth Choir


24 * Youth Choir








* 5-6th Bible Study * 7-8th Youth Group * 9-12th Youth Group

25 * 5-6th Bible Study * 7-8th Youth Group (New Town Wednesday) * 9-12th Youth Group

* Winter Jam

Study Smarter, Not Harder – Monday, February 9th @ 7 pm. Sign up by 2/4 on the youth table or by calling the church office. This is a free event for High School Students Winter Jam – Sunday, February 22nd. This is for all youth and the cost is $10/student. We will leave at 3 pm and return around 10:30 pm. New Town Wednesday – This occurs on the final Wednesday of each month and it is for the 7-8th grade students. We will head over to New Town and have a great experiential outing for the kids.

Jeremiah Project Mission Trip Meetings: For those signed up for the Jeremiah Project trip we will have our first meeting for youth Sunday, February 8th between the 2 worship services just to get together, pray, and go over some important dates. Please be there if you are able – we won’t keep you long!

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to talk to me. I can be reached at or (757) 258-1072

New Town United Methodist Church 5209 Monticello Ave. Williamsburg, VA 23188 (757) 258-1072

Matt’s Top Ten Things All Parents Should Know in February 1. A Look Back at the January: In January we had a High School retreat at a cabin in James River State Park. We took 12 youth and had a great time! Adventure Team is an amazing opportunity to draw youth to Christ and to each other. We spent the weekend laughing, snow tubing, and digging deep in the Gospel of John. If your High School aged child isn’t in Adventure Team – I strongly urge you to get them there on Sunday Mornings at 9:15 am 2. Study Smarter, Not Harder: Monday, February 9th Karen Bossieux will be leading a workshop for High School students and parents teaching youth how their brain works best and how they can maximize studying. Please don’t pass this up – Karen is a very gifted counselor and teacher! It will take place at the church from 7:00-8:30 pm and it’s FREE. To reserve your spot please sign up at the youth table or call 258-1072. 3. Adult Volunteer Gathering: Sunday, February 1st after the 2nd worship service we will begin having gatherings for Adult Youth Ministry Volunteers. This will be a time to eat, fellowship, and share what God’s doing in your respective area of ministry. Please plan on attending if you are able. 4. Jeremiah Project Mission Trip Meetings: For those signed up for the Jeremiah Project trip we will have our first meeting for youth Sunday, February 8th between the 2 worship services just to get together, pray, and go over some important dates. Please be there if you are able – we won’t keep you long! 5. Winter Jam: Sunday, February 22nd we will head to Norfolk’s Scope Arena for Winter Jam 2009. This is a great concert featuring Toby Mac and Hawk Nelson. And the best part is – it’s only $10! We will leave the church at 3:00 pm and return no later than 10:30 pm. The only other thing you will need is dinner money - $5. Please sign up at the youth table since car space is limited – this will be a first come first serve basis. For more information, visit or watch the video on the youth blog about it. 6. Lay Witness Mission: Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15 we will be having a Lay Witness Mission at the church. If you don’t know what a Lay Witness Mission is – it’s a time to eat, hear stories of God’s power, and a chance to gather in small groups. And a very important aspect of the mission is the youth component. The youth will have their own events throughout the weekend. It will be a very special time for the youth – so please plan on being there. 7. Junior High Youth Group Changes: We’ve decided to make some changes at Wednesday J.H. Youth Group. The times will remain the same, but a few important aspects of the format will change. We’re modeling it more after the High School Adventure Team model. We will be going through Acts story by story and at the same time going on monthly events to New Town and planning a bigger event later in the spring for just the Junior High students. We’ve also created a section on the youth blog just for the Junior Highers to keep them up to date with all that will be happening. So if you’re child hasn’t been there in a while – give it a chance and check it out! 8. Youth Ministry Blog: for all the up to date events and activities as well as a plethora of spiritual growth resources for parents and youth. 9. Spring 2009 Weekly Schedule • Sundays (9:15-10:30 am) o 5-6th Youth Group (Room 139) o 7-8th Bible Study (Room 136) o 9-12th Adventure Team Bible Study (Room 143) • Tuesdays (6:00-6:30 pm) o Youth Choir (Sanctuary) • Wednesdays (6:35-7:30 pm)  5-6th Bible Study (Room 134)  7-8th Youth Group (Room 139)  9-12th Youth Group (Room 143) 10. February Lesson Series: Just so you know what we’re teaching your kids… • 5-6th Grade Youth Group – Pre-Teen Grapple • 5-6th Grade Bible Study – Chronological Look at the Old Testament (Faithweavers Curriculum) • 7-8th Grade Bible Study – Active Bible Studies (by Simply Youth Ministry) • 7-8th Grade Youth Group – ACTS of the Apostles • 9-12th Grade Adventure Team Bible Study – 2 Corinthians • 9-12th Grade Youth Group – Voice of the Martyrs Curriculum

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Which quality matters most to you in a celebrity? (Pick one) 36% Talent 32% Personality 17% Character 15% Looks Do you agree with this stat...