In This Issue: Summer Recap, The STORY, Fall Teaching Series, Invite Nights, Parent Socials, Renovations


I hope that you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend and having the kiddos all back in school again.  Can you believe that it is September already?  I want to start off by thanking you all.  This time last year I was packing everything in a moving van and moving across the country to lead, guide and equip your students.  It has been a wonderful year full of laughter, joys, changes, and learning.  I could not have asked for a better place to work full-time in student ministry.  Thank you for all your support, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this second year!  

[Summer Recap]
While we are on the topic of reminiscing, let’s take a look back at the summer.  We took a break from our regular schedule and took advantage of our summer schedules to do some different events: Mondays in Motion, Bible and Biscotti and House Church.  I was amazed at the response that we saw at these events week after week.  I think one of my favorite moments was in July when we went to Starbucks for a Bible and Biscotti and had to leave and head back to the church because there was no more space for us!  What an awesome problem to have!  Not only did our students learn lots about what it looks like to read their Bibles, they grew closer together and to God as well.  It is so cool to see how the students are all hanging out with one another outside of the church.  I am sure many of your houses have been ransacked by numbers of youth coming over for sleepovers and hangouts as of late.  I continue to pray that God will give us this unity as we grow and mature as a group together.  Not only did these weekly events provide growth and unity, but I know Breakaway and our mission trip to South Dakota played a large role as well.  What a wonderful time of learning and growth this summer has been for us.  Take a moment and just praise Him and thank Him for all that has happened this past summer and for what you have noticed in your own child’s life.  

As I am sure you are well aware, over the next school year we are going to be going through The STORY together as a church family.  For those of you who have not heard of this, The STORY is a condensed, chronological NIV Bible.  Their purpose in putting this together at Zondervan was to intentionally show how God has a plan of redemption and salvation for mankind. The STORY shows the upper story of God alongside the lower story of mankind and how the two run together.  One reason I am very excited about this, is it creates a very easy way for our students and adults (including myself) to read the Bible. While on the airplane this past week, I read 7 chapters in one sitting! The STORY definitely puts the Bible in a wonderful, simple way to read.  How awesome will it be to see your students not only reading the Bible, but enjoying it as well? My hope is that after going through The STORY our students will have a desire to read their own Bibles regularly. If you have any questions about The STORY please do not hesitate to call my office or send me an email.  I would be more than happy to answer your questions.  Also, if you have not picked up your student a copy we still have about 15 teen books left to sell for $7.  I will have them in the Rafters on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning/evening for purchase.  Pray that God will make our time together in The STORY fruitful.

[Fall Teaching Schedule]
With The STORY starting, our schedule will be following the chapters in the book.  We are asking the students to read the chapter for each week before we meet on Sunday morning. 
   September 9thSTORY intro (buy your books today!)
   September 16th – Chapter 1: Creation
   September 23rd – Chapter 2: God Builds a Nation
   September 30th – Chapter 3: Joseph
   September 9/12th – Bible overview
   September 16/19th – Further discussion on Chapter 1: Creation
   September 23/26th – Photo Scavenger Hunt and Chapter 2: God Builds a Nation
   Sept 30/Oct 3rd – Further discussion on Chapter 3: Joseph

[Invite Nights]
As I am sure you noticed, on September 23rd and 26th we are going to be having a Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Each month we are going to be having what I am calling, “Invite Nights” for our evening worship.  I want to provide an atmosphere that is easy and enjoyable to bring a friend to.  Those evenings will go for a little longer than the usual Evening Worship.  Whereas our Evening Worship times will run from 6:30-8pm these will run typically from 6:00-8:30pm to provide enough time to fully create that “low key” atmosphere without rushing.  In the month of October, we will have our annual Hoedown.  In November, we will have a dress like a pilgrim or Native American in honor of Thanksgiving.  In December, we will have our Christmas parties.  Be sure to keep an eye out for those, and challenge your son/daughter to bring their non-Christian friends!

[Parent Socials]
Communication is a very important between us.  As I have mentioned many times, you as the parents are the primary disciplers of your children in accordance to Deuteronomy 6.  In light of that passage it is my job to resource you.  One way is through this monthly parent newsletter and the second is through parent meetings.  Well, no one likes meetings, so we are going to change them up.  Instead, we have thought it would be more fun to have a “parent social”.  And instead of “mudding” (is that a word?) up your schedule we have proposed that we do this on a Sunday morning.  The plan is to host them at the church during the 11:00 am Connection Class time once a quarter.  We will still have a morning class for your children so don’t worry about that!  We will also let you know well ahead of time when they are coming up, that you can prepare yourself to be absent from your Connection Class if necessary.  This will be a great opportunity for you as parents to connect with one another and myself in a relaxed environment.  This will also give me an opportunity to expose you to many resources that are out there to help you navigate through the jungle that is the teenage world.  I hope that we will see you at our first one on October 21st.  

Woohoo!!!  Can you tell I am excited about this one?  I have wanted this to happen so much since coming to CONCORD.  I am sure that if any of you have been upstairs you agree with me as well.  In any case, a team led by Larry Summers is going to begin ripping up the old carpet and wrecking the old stage to build our new raised areas.  They will be working on the building and routing of electric over the course of the next 2 weeks.  At the end of the month a friend of Brian Mulder’s, Tom Clark (the designer), will be coming out to paint and leave all of the finishing touches on the room.  If you have not seen the pictures you can check them out by clicking here. Make sure to take a peek up there to see all the changes.  

Phew!  Well, there is a lot going on.  I hope that this helpful for you in keeping track of all the insanity that is CSM.  We pray that God will give you strength, energy and most of all wisdom when it comes to bringing your child(ren) up in the faith.  I know that this is no easy task, so we want to encourage you as much as we can.  If you ever need to just talk, vent or need some encouragement, please, please be sure to give me a call.  That is what I am here for.  Your spiritual health is my greatest concern and I pray that God will continue to encourage, stretch and teach you this coming fall.  Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

          Ben Wahlman 

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