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S T O O R S GRAS Vol.1

Spring 2009

Have you seen spring? No...that’s not the name of a student I left at the winter retreat! It’s this brief season we’re supposed to have after winter and before summer... but I seem to have missed it. At any rate, I really hope you’re enjoying this early summertime weather! Life doesn’t always go as planned, does it? Sometimes that’s the result of our decisions that didn’t pan out like we imagined they would, while at other times it is a direct result of choices that others made that affect us. Often the results are quite comical and make for good story-telling; equally often the outcomes are not comical at all and we’re left to figure out how to put things back together. Well, what about seasons of life when we expect things to go awry and only the details catch us by surprise. Take the teenage years, for example. Our culture expects that tweens and teens (“tweens” usually refers to 8 to 12 year-olds (some say 10 to 14 year-

olds)) are supposed to ‘go find themselves’, or simply ‘check out’ for any lengthy period of time (often years) and that parents, usually feeling helpless, should just be glad when they return (if you will) or, worse, if they return as the child we somewhat knew them to be...with some character and personality modifications. What’s more disparaging is the multiple millions of dollars spent targeting these tweens and teens. So what’s a parent to do when nearly everyone around says that you’re supposed to expect this, ride it out and hope for the best, knowing that millions of dollars and many, many people are quite literally against you? What are your unexpected circumstances: whether because of your or another’s choice (family, friend, acquaintance, whomever)? What hard decisions must you make as a 21st-century parent? May I suggest that you not do it alone;

may I suggest that you find a few likehearted parents and other adults that need your assistance as much as you need theirs? Equally yoke yourself with others. That’s what the Roots Youth Ministry is all about! We certainly don’t have it all figured out, and we are learning every day. One thing we know for sure: these tweens & teens are wonderful creatures (yes, creatures at times) who God be part of the greatest work on they’re tweens and teens. And since He “knit them together” (Ps. 139), He best knows how to navigate these tough times. He means for us to use His Word, the Spirit and each other (a three-fold cord) to co-navigate! Join us as we traverse this season! More than allowing your teen(s) to attend (which we greatly appreciate), share the expected, the unexpected, and together let’s experience the faithfulness of God in our, and your tween’s/teen’s, lives!

JH Sunday School Brenda Breitz, Mike & Danielle Fortini

Introducing the Roots Youth Parent Newsletter. Yes...I had the same thought...not a great name! So I’d like your help creating a name. Everyone likes a little friendly competition, so we’re gonna have a little contest...that’s right: A CONTEST!


The newsletter name should creatively connect the newsletter and the Roots Youth vision and “roots systems”. The winning name will be chosen by the Roots Youth staff and pastoral staff. The person/couple who submits the winning entry will receive a $50 date night, compliments of Roots Youth! Up to 5 submissions per couple must be made by e-mail to Pastor Matt ( before 11:59pm on Monday, July 01, 2009.

JH Weekend Youth Group Zach & Lauren Collier, Colleen Ferguson, Pete Klimek, Stacie Kott JH Parent Support Team Leaders Greg & Brenda Breitz

In Revelation 3:15-22, Jesus Christ speaks to the church at Laodecia, exposing their hearts and where they stood in relation to Him; The Lord says,” I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Then, out of love Christ says in verse 19, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. Continued inside, bottom-right

SH Sunday School Wendy Bentson, Carl Grossi, Chris Niehoff, Elaine Rinaldi, Matt Seeland SH Weekend Youth Group Will Davis, Cherilyn Magee, Ethan Mindrebo, Tim Landrud, Tim & Lydia Myhren SH Small Groups Will Davis, Elizabeth Jones, Cherilyn Magee, Ethan Mindrebo, Courtney Morrison, Tim & Lydia Myhren, Jaime Robbins SH Parent Support Team Leaders Bob & Noemi Davis

that you’ve been through enough of life to experience something...okay many things...that I have not. Especially given that Cherilyn and I are just now expecting our first child. So...parents in our church family should anticipate the day that we come knocking on a few doors to ask our fair share of questions. My hope is that that will continue throughout our parenting season. Paul encourages the Corinthians with these words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” A primary aspect of our philosophy for parenting in community is this: God allows both good seasons and incredibly hard seasons to help make us more like Jesus. As God comforts us, He in turn teaches us how to comfort others. The reason? That we can point them to Jesus. I believe it is also safe to say that we can replace the verb, comfort, with any other means of grace we receive from God and are, therefore, expected to show toward others (encourage, exhort, love, etc.). When we live like this we are both receiving from God and extending His grace to others. The Roots Youth Parent Support Team is much more than you might think when judging a book by it’s cover. Their mission is to undergird and complement the vision of Roots Youth. They aim to accomplish this by sharing the administrative load, cultivating an interdependent parent community and reaching out to the un-churched parents of teens who visit Roots Youth. Godly interdependent relationships require vulnerability, commitment, humility and Christ-like love . But they begin on very simple common ground which might look (or sound) like this: “Hello. My name’s ___________, and I have a teenage child.” Ahhh...the beauty of common ground to break the ice. This is the basis for our open-house dinners this spring! Hosted by folks like you who care about your teens and want the very best for them. Simply stated, we want to provide a relaxed environment for you to get to know other parents in your area who have tweens and teens and attend SEFC. There’s no “meeting”, except to say that we want them to know you and you to know them. We’re trusting God with the rest. You are cordially invited! (Locations & times coming soon!) Gear up your teens for a great New York City missions trip this summer! This JH & SH missions trip is open to all current 7th through 12th grade students. Our trip will involve a variety of activities, ranging from cleaning a camp, working with children at Camp Hope/Camp Joy (for underprivileged/handicapped children), evangelizing on the streets of NY, performing dramas, puppetry, music, and praying for NYC in Central Park. Be sure to get your teen’s application in soon. You don’t want him/her to miss this trip which will prepare them for the rest of their JH/SH ‘career’. Sign up today!

No, not because I am one anymore, but because I’m raising some now. Ah, youth! Their vitality, beauty, exuberance…their strength, talent and tenacity. Youth! The envy of the ages. I don’t think they always feel that way, though. No, they have struggles and pain like you and I. Isaiah 40:30 says, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.” More than simply surviving the teen years, we want Jesus to be exalted in every aspect of our teens’ lives. It’s why the vision for our youth is that they would actively engage Christ in their world. Join us in praying together for our youth. Everyone is welcome! The prayer band meets every Wednesday in the Library from 6:30 - 7:30. Jesus said, “ Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer” (Matthew 21:13). And Acts 1:14 tells us, “They all joined together constantly in prayer...” (emphasis mine) and in Colossians 4:2 we are exhorted, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” 

That our youth grow in the grace and love of our Lord Jesus, and that they are passionate in their prayers and their faith.

That they are led of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Ephesians 3:16 says, “I pray that out of His glorious riches He

may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.

For Pastor Matt as their spiritual shepherd, that he guide

and support them in all truth and righteousness. And, for Cherilyn, his wife (now pregnant and feeling very ill), that the Lord will give her a healthy pregnancy, healthy baby, and great joy in this time of expectation.

For all the volunteers on the youth staff that help serve on a

weekly basis and the parent support team. Ephesians 6:18 encourages us to “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

(by Nancy Kempf)

Did you know: •   I n 2011 (less than two years) the cell phone will be the greatest distributor of pornography for kids?

WARNING: what you are about to read is, and should be, quite disturbing...and still, you need to read this. So ask God for a discerning mind and read on. (Cont’ d from pg. 1: Will Davis, Youth Intern)

•   “ Sexting” is the new ‘craze’ reported by CBS news (April 1)? 1 out of 5 kids have received an unwanted text photo of someone naked on their cell phone? And 50% of Junior High boys will have at least 1 photo of his naked or partially-naked girlfriend? •   1 2-million people in America participate in “self-injury” (mainly cutting) each year, most of whom are young people? •   A  t least 1 Sussex County High School uses a sex-ed curriculum called “Sex, Etc.” developed by teens, for teens?

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Two years ago the Lord spoke these very words to my heart and rocked my soul, -and I had to evaluate the direction I was headed. Was “I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God” (Gal 1:10a)? Although by God’s grace I was saved at the age of 13, I was never fully gripped by the greatness and holiness of God. My life revolved around myself and I penciled God into my daily schedule rather than allow the Lord to guide my every step and what He had predestined me to do. Finally, my focus adjusted and my path made straight, I was able to study for the past two years at Word Of Life Bible Institute. There the Lord stretched, disciplined and renewed me. I am currently a student of Liberty University (online) where I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in youth ministry and the Lord has called me into the ministry. My desire and passion is to disciple and instill passion and excitement of God’s absolute truth and redeeming grace in the lives of young people, so they, in-turn, can reach others in their generation. I’ve recently been working under Pastor Matt, and I’m grateful for the blessing it has been to be able to work with these remarkable young people and become part of the youth staff here. I’m looking forward to what the Lord has in store and beginning an internship under the influence of the godly men God has put in place at SEFC.

that the youth approached Pastor Matt and asked him if they could have a day of prayer and fasting, and to meet weekly before Bible study for a time of student prayer (all are welcome, Wednesdays at 6:00), so the Lord would move among them and do mighty deeds. Wow! Parents, help them fan into flame the gift of God. And watch these youth, their pas

experience a growing relationship with CHRIST

know Christ by knowing God’s WORD understand God’s design for your FAMILY pursue and invest in godly FRIENDShips

tor, and their leaders. Encourage them, support them, and pray, pray, pray! Ask, pray! Jesus will answer. All glory to His beautiful name!

Grassroots Parent Newsletter  

A newsletter dedicated to encouraging, informing and equipping parents of teens at Sparta EFC.

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