Welcome to our third day of Day Camp 2017, “Friendship National Park”! This time, let’s see today’s activities through the eyes of Lindsey, a kindergartner.
“Do you remember your verse for today, Lindsey?” She replies, word perfect, with John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should have eternal life.” So starts Lindsey’s day in her classroom, the “Raccoon Lodge.” In reality, this whole week has reflected that truth! Speaking of reflections, during today’s opening session, “Mirror Lake,” Lindsey learned how she was lovingly created by God, and has a special purpose for her life. She learned that her image is uniquely reflected back to her when she looks in a lake, like a mirror. She laughed when saw a S’more arguing with itself–how silly! The chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow are all needed for a delicious treat! And so are all God’s children uniquely made in his image, able to help others in all kinds of special ways. After craft time, games, and snacks, she recited John 3:16 once more to her teacher before she left. She loves that verse and can’t wait to come back tomorrow. It’s hard to believe that there’s only one more day left–we hope that it’s amazing!
Let’s join Max, a 3rd grader, who has returned to “Friendship National Park” for another day of adventures: this time to “Tadpole and Caterpillar Marsh!”
First, Max saw all of his new friends again in his classroom, “Squirrel Hollow.” He learned about teamwork with his fellow hikers, and has continued memorizing verses from the Bible like Nehemiah 9:17 and John 3:16 about God’s grace, compassion, and forgiveness–and he did a very good job! During today’s opening program, he sang and danced to a new song, “The Big Oak Tree.” He saw characters like Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and Princess Peach learning how to be good friends by forgiving each other. He even got to see how Jesus is our best friend because he makes it possible to receive God’s forgiveness and have a relationship with Him. He designed a glass frame with eye-dazzling colors for his craft, and played water games where everyone got soaked. Fortunately, Max was able to wind down in Squirrel Hollow with his friends afterwards because he was so tired from all the exciting activities. When his mom came to pick him up, he said, “I can’t wait until we go to ‘Mirror Lake’ tomorrow!”
Your child received a take home that they can complete and bring back for points. Just in case it did not make it home, click to open Wednesday’s Take Home.
Youth Alpha is a unique time for Friday Night Coffeehouse. There is a party each week with food, games, laughter, and music. Alpha is also a place where students may freely explore questions of life and faith in a non-judgmental way.
- 60-75 in attendance each week
- Bubbleball battles
- Free Youth Alpha t-shirt for all who attend
- Meaningful table discussions
- 16 new guests since March 10
- Students exploring faith in Jesus
As we enter week 5 of 10, here is a cool story that embodies what Friday Night Coffeehouse and Youth Alpha are all about.
Omar Z, a sophomore from Glenbard East HS in Lombard, visited us for the first time on March 10 and has not missed a Friday yet. When I asked him why he attends, his answer was, “I feel like I belong here. People talk to me and have been really open with me. They also have answered my questions about faith. Volunteers have had conversations with me and I can tell they care. Other students had talks with me too, even though I was a stranger to them. I used to be depressed and hurt, but ever since I gave my life to Jesus, I have seen how His people can be loving and kind – like He is.”
We hope to have more stories of students like Omar. Stories of students transformed not only by our living God but by the love and fellowship offered by the church community.
Join us for Youth Alpha @ Coffeehouse on Friday nights from 6:30-11:00p (High School) and 6:30-9:30p (JR High).
Who is Youth Alpha for?
Short answer: Everyone.
As a Youth Ministry, we have identified three target audiences of people who come to Youth Alpha. 1) Students who only attend Coffeehouse. 2) Friends of students who are not connected to the Youth Group. 3) Students who are active attenders of Bloomingdale Church.
The bottom line: All students, regardless of background, are welcome to participate. We hope that students will come, bring their friends, be connected to the youth group, and engage with the topics of Youth Alpha.
Welcome to Day Camp 2017! Let’s join 2nd grader Lucy on her first day at Friendship National Park:
Lucy was greeted with the smiling faces of counselors, teachers, and fellow hikers. Upon entering her classroom, the “Beaver Lodge,” she began to learn her Bible verse for the week: to love God with her whole being and to love her neighbor as herself (Mark 12:30-31). She soon joined all of her fellow hikers at “King’s Mountain” where she sang songs like “The Jesus Chant” and “Good Good Father.” Lucy learned how God is the best friend she could ever have, and how she could be a good friend by showing love to others! After hiking back down King’s Mountain, she was not only able to hear stories of God’s love with hikers in her grade, but also played games like “zombie cow tag.” After a refreshing snack time, she joined her fellow hikers in decorating tie-dyed t-shirts, and returned to the Beaver Lodge where she did more fun activities with her friends. She can’t wait to come back tomorrow and visit “Tadpole and Caterpillar Marsh”!
Your child received a take home that they can complete and bring back for points. Just in case it did not make it home, click to open Tuesday’s Take Home