Be Still

As I’ve been reading through The Bible Project’s Read Scripture plan, I came across Psalm 37. It’s a long psalm that King David wrote, but the part that stuck out to me was these four commands near the beginning.

Trust in the Lord…

Take delight in the Lord…

Commit your way to the Lord…

Be still before the Lord…

I have struggled with each of these at different times in my life and I have focused on different ones at different times. This year I’ve begun reading through the Bible from start to finish and I’ve found myself concentrating on being still before the Lord.

Working with teenagers and church media tends to be fast paced and my nature pushes me to work hard with little thought as to the reason for my work. Reading several chapters of the Bible each day followed by a Psalm helps me slow down and be still.

I feel connected to God in the stillness. He calms my racing mind and lets me concentrate on what’s important: my relationship with Him (love God) and my relationship with people (love others).

Christmas is behind us and Easter is before us; we need to trust, delight, and commit to the Lord, but let’s also be mindful to slow down and be still before the Lord.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
   trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
            and wait patiently for him.

                        Psalm 37:3-7

 

With love,

Trey

The Gift of Love

Love is in the air folks! Hint, hint fellas... Valentine's Day is coming.

Typically with this special celebration of love, sweet and thoughtful gifts are close to follow. Not speaking for all lovely ladies in the world, but practical gifts aren't always the key to our hearts; you can never go wrong with a  personal, heartfelt gift. 

Our Heavenly Father sent us the most personal, thoughtful gift of all: Jesus.

The gift of Jesus is always something to celebrate. Please take time around this holiday to thank God for all that He has done in your life and for sending Jesus as your savior. 

"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13:13

With Love,

Abby

The Bible, a Unified Story

I stumbled across The Bible Project while I was doing my morning quiet time with God. They posted their Torah video series to the Youversion Bible app and I began watching to see if it would be something I was interested in.

 

After seeing their creative way of explaining the first five books of the Bible, I immediately looked up their website to find out more. Tim Mackie and Jon Collins had a dream to change how people read and use the Bible. They believe the Bible is a unified story that points people to Jesus, and can speak for itself with wisdom for the modern world.

 

The Bible Project offers an animated video for every book of the Bible that explains the themes, context, structure, and how it is part of a unified story. There are also videos that explore key themes found throughout scripture, like the Kingdom of God, Holiness, the Messiah, and others.

 

I have been using their read-the-bible-in-a-year plan on the Read Scripture app. Their daily readings include a Psalm after each set of chapters to allow you to spend time worshiping God. The app also provides an explainer video for each book as well as theme videos to help you comprehend what the passage means when it talks about atonement, the law, covenants, etc.

 

Our youth group will spend this semester going through the Old Testament and next semester going through the New Testament led by The Bible Project’s videos; we’ll discuss the major themes and how God’s plan of reconciliation through Jesus Christ started in the Garden of Eden.

 

I am so thankful for The Bible Project’s dedication to building God’s kingdom and helping us learn that God’s character has never changed.

 

 

The Bible Project is a non-profit organization that gives away all of its resources for free. If you would like to help sponsor their amazing work, visit www.thebibleproject.com to make a donation.

Trey

Building God's Kingdom, Not Our Own

There's something about seeing churches realize that they need to focus on building God's kingdom and not their own that gets me excited. 

I've had the opportunity to build friendships with local youth pastors over the last four years; these friendships have led to partnerships that make tangible differences in our community. A group of youth pastors created the summer mission project Serve Springfield with the goal of partnering youth ministries together to do some good for the Kingdom of God. This will be the fifth year for the event, and recently we had a meeting to share the vision with other youth pastors.

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Serve Springfield has become the most anticipated event our group does because it is so much more than the typical mission trip. Our students work with kids from their schools, sports teams, and music groups to help local organizations that are making a difference in Springfield. They can see the long term benefit of what we do. 

When churches stop seeing their neighbor down the road as a rival and instead see them as a partner, great things will happen for God's Kingdom.

These youth pastors from all over Springfield and the surrounding areas come from different denominations and backgrounds but have decided that it is more important to reach the people of Southwest Missouri with the Gospel of Christ than it is to build their own numbers. 

I'm thankful for our church and its desire to partner with others to see God's Kingdom grow. 

"Ceremony of Carols"

FROM THE MINISTER OF MUSIC

A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten is an oft performed work consisting of several modern settings of medieval carols.  And, much like Britten 'borrowed' these old texts as his inspiration for this work, I have 'borrowed' a set of excellent program notes written for a performance in San Francisco in 2008. I hope that these well-written notes will aid in your understanding and appreciation.

Perhaps the most enchanting and haunting feature of Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols is its simplicity. What could be more sublimely austere than medieval carols in middle English, sung by robed choirboys, accompanied by the plucked strains of a lone harp? The picture and the sound evoke the hopeful, watchful sense of the days leading up to Christmas.

All of this goes a long way to understanding A Ceremony of Carols' enduring popularity, and the piece is indeed all of these things that it appears to be. But as is often the case with much-loved music -- particularly when much is known about the composer's life and times -- there is more to the story. Britten wrote Ceremony in 1942 while crossing the Atlantic aboard a Swedish cargo ship -- a dangerous proposition at any time, but much more so during wartime while German submarines prowled the ocean. (Britten actually intended to use the month-long voyage to complete what would become his well-known Hymn to St. Cecilia, but these early sketches were confiscated by customs authorities who feared that the music was in fact a secret code.) Britten had departed his native England at the outset of the war in 1939 and headed for the United States, where his fame was growing quickly, and where, it must be noted, he was unlikely to be conscripted into the British army. After several years abroad, he found it time to return home, and embarked on this voyage not knowing if Britten's return home would be greeted by admiration for his boldness, anger at his flight, mere indifference, or -- as it turned out -- a mixture of the three.

Shortly before departing the U.S., Britten had received a commission to compose a harp concerto, and in the meantime he had begun to familiarize himself with the instrument. This provided the basis and probably the inspiration for his choice of harp to accompany the vocal parts in Ceremony. Although the first published edition of the work recommended that boy sopranos -- not an uncommon lot in Britain -- sing the three treble lines that comprise the chorus, Britten's early manuscripts show that he originally conceived of them as women's parts. Some years later, Britten authorized an arrangement of the piece for four-part mixed voices (possibly at the suggestion of his publisher). To be sure, Britten's notion of exactly who should sing the piece was not as concrete as contemporary practice has borne out.

A Ceremony of Carols consists of eight polyphonic settings of mostly anonymous 15th- and 16th- century poems, which Britten had discovered in a handbook called The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems that he found in Nova Scotia while the ship was in port. These eight carols are bookended by statements of the Gregorian chant “Hodie Christus Natus Est” ("Christ is born today"), and midway through the set is an astounding interlude for harp solo that features this same plainchant tune. The carols themselves show a remarkable diversity of styles, from the jubilant exultations of “Wolcume Yule” and “Deo Gracias”, to the pastoral solos of “That yongë child” and “Balulalow,” to the to the martial urgency of “This Little Babe's” expanding canon -- and whose vivid "holy war" between the infant and Satan must surely have been inspired by the real-life world war. 

Merry Christmas!

Chris Brammer

My DYM100 Trip

Download Youth Ministry is an online store designed to help youth workers win by providing high quality, trench-tested resources. Curriculum, games, small group studies, devotionals, and even administrative paperwork is available for purchase at an extremely affordable rate. Youth workers can spend less time searching for material and spend more time doing what they’re called to do: minister to teenagers.

Doug Fields and Josh Griffin, founders of the site, are former youth workers with 50+ years of experience between them and have ministered at churches like Saddleback and Mariners in Southern California. They love helping other youth workers succeed in reaching teenagers.

 

What is so unique about DYM is that they not only sell incredible resources to youth pastors but they also invite youth pastors to send in their own resources to be sold on the site. The youth pastor makes 50% of the profit on each of their items sold.

Doug and Josh also host a podcast-turned-webshow where they invite youth workers to send in their questions.

 

Many youth pastors attend conferences to gain new ideas to incorporate into their ministry. A typical youth ministry conference is set up for experts talk about the nuts and bolts of youth ministry, go to breakout sessions, then head back to the hotel to do it all over again the next day.

DYM100 was launched as a different kind of conference. Instead of paying a large fee to share a conference room with hundreds or thousands of people, DYM100 had an application process where youth ministers from all over North America had to share why this kind of conference would help them. Only 100 were selected to attend.

 

This smaller, more intimate group shared time around tables discussing triumphs, struggles, youth ministry in particular, and life in general. We not only heard from world renowned speakers like Reggie Joiner, Tim Timmons, and Kay Warren, but we also heard from Olympic Gold Medalists Kaitlin Sandeno and Bryan Clay, UFC Champion Mark Munoz, and pastors and professors from the area. Instead of just listening and taking notes, we were invited to ask questions and interact with the speakers.

 

Out of all the topics we covered, one that has stuck with me is hearing Kay Warren talk about grief and ministry. After Kay and Rick lost their son to suicide, they were devastated. She spoke of coping with depression, loss, and how grief is a good thing, especially for Christians, because it helps us deal with pain.

 

We also got to hear from a panel that involved each DYM staff member that worked in youth ministry as well as their spouse. They talked about the balance between ministry and family and how important it is to treat your family as your first ministry.

 

 

DYM100 also gave us opportunities to relax and have fun with other youth pastors. One night we had a trampoline park, similar to Sky Zone, to ourselves. Another night we played bingo and had the chance to get a massage, haircut and beard trim. Doug also invited his friend, Scott Rummell, to hang out with us. Scott narrates many of the action movie trailers like Jack Reacher and many of the Marvel movies, and lent his voice to many youth pastors’ voicemail answering system (if you call and get my voicemail, you might get to hear some of his best work).

 

The entire DYM100 experience was incredible; I’m still processing what I learned and hope to incorporate some of these ideas into the UHBC Student Ministry. I am so thankful to Doug, Josh, and the rest of the DYM team for selecting me for this incredible time of learning, connecting, and refueling.  I’m thankful to my UHBC family for giving me time away and the resources to travel to Southern California for this amazing opportunity.

Trey Hathcock

Children's Ministry

Dear Church Family,
           Change is in full swing with our Children’s Ministry here at UHBC. With some UHBC Kids graduating to new areas, our new fall Wednesday night schedule, and Children’s Church almost here, our fall semester is shaping up to be a fall full of fun! Please be in prayer for our children as the school year is almost upon us as well…hoping for a strong start for our children as they being another school year.
 
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE: Missions and Music will be from 5:30-6:45pm
-K-5th Grade Mission Friends (Rm. 225) and CIA Missions (Rm. 223) 5:30-6:15pm
-K-5th Grade Music Children’s Choir (Rm. 205 ) 6:15-6:45pm
 
PROMOTION SUNDAY: Sunday, August 14th
This will be the last Sunday our children (who are being promoted) will have in their current Sunday School class. Our soon-to-be middle schoolers will take a tour of the youth room, enjoy a donut, then head back to their class for their last children’s Sunday School lesson. All preschoolers will enjoy their last Sunday School lesson in the preschool suite as well. We will have a special time to observe these promoting children in the worship service that Sunday.
 
CHILDREN’S CHURCH: Sunday, August 28th
          We will continue Children’s Church for the fall semester on August 28th. After children’s message all children Kindergarten through 5th grade will be escorted to the third floor “Tree House” area for worship, games, crafts, and a bible story. As Pastor Danny is focusing on prayer these next few months, so will the lessons in Children’s Church. We will teach our children how to talk to God and why prayer is so important.
          Be mindful of our “Movie Under the Stars” tonight, August 5th from 8-10pm. This is our last free summer outreach night for the community. We will be watching Disney’s Aladdin and eating popcorn and snow cones, while children sit in their homemade cardboard box cars! Bring a lawnchair and come be the church tonight from 8-10pm.
 
                                                                                      Because of Christ,
                                                                                              Abby
                                                                                      Abby Hathcock
                                                                                      Children’s Minister