November 5, 2007
I am reading a new book – “The Wealthy Barber” by David Chilton. More info in “What I am reading” section.
November 5, 2007
1. What’s been happening lately
Since my last report, much has happened. The After School Kids Klub has become the flagship of the youth ministry, at least as far as I can see. We have not met our maximum of 15 registrations yet. We are holding steady at 10.5 (.5 because one comes only every 2nd week). We have met and are meeting challenges as they present themselves, and are weathering the seas in good fashion. Relationships between the children and the leaders are beginning to really take shape, and our efforts are having positive impacts on their lives. We are seeing kids growing; learning to work and share with one another; learning to tolerate and celebrate differences. I need to say that it is always easy even at this stage. I have had to send some kids home for hitting another child, which I do not tolerate in my programs ever. Those are rough moments. But I have a strict ‘no violence’ policy towards all of my ministries. In general, we have had some real tough challenges, but also some really beautiful moments. Taking it in stride, I remember that this is God’s ministry, and that there is an inherent beauty that He is working to bring out for all to see here.
On another note, we recently enjoyed success in a special Halloween event I called “Hallelujah”. The purpose was to give families a wholesome, Christian alternative to trickortreating and all the ghosts, ghouls and monsters and all that. It was a three-fold event. And although the element of Fun and Games in the Church Hall didn’t work out and was cancelled at the last minute, the other two, that of “Trunk or Treat” and the Youth “All Hallows Eve” Service in the graveyard went very well indeed for a first time through. “Trunk or Treat” is when volunteers load up the trunks of their cars and drive them into the church lot, open up the trunk and allow kids to hop from one car to the next in a very safe, well-lit area. The idea was to provide safety and convenience for both the kids and the parents. But it became more than that. I only had about 5 people on list as bringing their cars, but I was wonderfully surprised by the sight of 11-12 vehicles there! Cars, vans, flatbeds and even a truck with trailer all joined in. What made it wonderful was that it was a mixture of church members and families from the After School Kids Klub coming together, shaking hands and connecting with each other. Some even recognized each other from work and now know which church they go to. It was a blessed time. People were so impressed with it that they were volunteering themselves to be a part of a new committee to organize Hallelujah 2008! The Graveyard Service was also a blessing. It was never intended to be spooky or anything like that. In fact, moving away from the scariness of Halloween was one of the main foci of Hallelujah. The focus on this portion of the evening was to remember and reflect on the saints that went before us. And the service was a simple one, with only a couple of flashlights, and glowsticks to mark the way into the graveyard. Contemporary worship was played via CD throughout the service, some scripture, a couple of prayers, and a fair chunk of time for reflection was the entire service for those who came and sat on the ground. I asked one youth what he thought. He responded with a genuine smile on his face, “It was cool.” For your information, the service we used was found in the Book of Uncommon Prayer.
2. What’s happening now?
As things are settling down, and we are 2 months into the Fall programs, what’s happening now is a time of evaluation. Especially now as my first 6 months are almost up. The lion’s share of my time is being given solely to the Kids Klub program, which is not leaving much time at all for the other, which is the Middle School Youth Meetings on Fridays. And so, amongst evaluating the current youth budget and the forecasting of the next one for 2008, I am also examining how to strike a balance between keeping the momentum with the Kids Klub and forging a solid group of middle school youth.
3. What’s coming up in the near future?
There are 2 major things coming up in the near future; the Church Army Atlantic Regional Officers Gathering and the preceding dinner; and Christmas, which I am still working on plans for the Middle School Group. They hopefully will include attending “Christmas in Uptown” with Capt. Jonathan Springthorpe in Saint John, which I believe is in early January this time. Capt. Hugh Bateman and I may also have a unique dramatic/musical Christmas presentation. But that is not certain as of yet. I am very much looking forward to the Officers Gathering. Meeting up with old friends and worshipping with them, playing Carcassonne with Capt. Susan Roberts (and anyone else who wants to join in), shooting some pool, beating Capt. Michelle Solbeck at Euchre (it’s coming Michelle… it’s coming…). It will be a good time!
4. What book are you reading right now?
I am still reading “The Father’s Loveletter” as a devotional. But I have also started to read “The Wealthy Barber” as a guide to financial planning. It was a gift to me, and I am finding it very useful indeed. It’s not really boring either. It’s financial planning instructed through a story. You read the story – the conversations between 3 young adults and this wealthy barber – and you see sound financial advice. Simple, sound and well-rounded financial advice. I am thinking that this should be passed on to Ken Neilson or Capt. Reed Fleming as they teach the 3rd year students about budgeting and such. Perhaps even have this book as a textbook. It is a must for people who, like me, are dumb as posts when it comes to financial stuff yet realize that this sort of planning is very wise for the future.
5. Prayer Requests
PRAISE! These are requests that are being met (as quoted from time of request)! Keep praying for them!
- Pray for the lost to return to their Heavenly Father.
- New faces are being seen at church!
- Pray for the families who do not attend church in any way – especially those who have registered their kids with our After School Kids Klub, knowing that they will be taught about Jesus.
- The Trunk or Treat interaction between congregation families and families from the Kids Klub program this past Halloween!
- Pray for me – that I may continually lean on God for strength and support.
- Your prayers are getting through! Thank you!
PRAYER! Keep praying for these other items!
- Pray for a hunger for deeper spirituality within the youth as well as the community. There is a hunger here now. But it needs to grow and intensify.
- Pray for continued raising of devoted Christian leaders in the Shediac area.
- Walls are starting to crumble – some old wounds are starting to heal within this community due to God’s involvement through caring individuals who are intent on making that happen. Pray that this grows and that others will rise up and join in.
- Pray for the youth as they seek for guidance.
- Pray that the message of Jesus’ love and sacrifice is brought home to families through their kids.
- Pray for revival in general, as the harvest sure seems ready here.
That’s it for now. Check back in another month for another update!
Capt. Marc Daffern