The brand new Activity Center is perfect. We had Hal Wood, who has been a Youthfront Board Member for 30 years, cut the ribbon. Hal is featured in the first picture with his son Grant. Grant was a student involved with Youthfront when Hal started as a board member. Hal is retiring from the board this year and we've asked Grant to fill his dad's seat. So cool.
The first week of campers are loving this new addition to Youthfront Camp West. Here are a few pictures of the facility. The last picture features our Camp Director Andy Garlich playing table soccer with SportingKC's Aurelien Collin.
The Activity Center is complete and could not have been done without your generous contribution to this project. We would like to thank you to a Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting Celebration and walk through of the Activity Center on Thursday, May 29th at 6:15. This event is free and we hope to see you there!
Please join the community at Youthfront LaCygne in the traditional Jewish Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with the disciples on Thursday before Easter. The Seder meal will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday April 17, 2014. A $6 donation per person is recommended but not required. Please fill out the form below to let us know you’re coming.
In 2012, hundreds of leaders, ministers, volunteers, parents, and students gathered in Washington, DC, for “Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity” (CYNKC) a groundbreaking gathering about spiritual formation, young people, and the future of the church. After the success of this event, CYNKC founder Dave Csinos launched Faith Forward as a not-for-profit organization aimed at continuing the movement that began at that seminal event in Washington. Faith Forward is an ecumenical Christian organization that brings together forward-thinking leaders in children’s and youth ministry for collaboration, resourcing, and inspiration toward innovative theology and practice.
It’s with this vision in mind that Faith Forward will host its 2014 gathering in Nashville on May 19-22 (www.faith-foward.net). By bringing together pastors, Christian educators, youth leaders, denominational representatives, parents, and allies, Faith Forward will deeply explore what it means to really form sustained faith in youth and children. The 2014 gathering will be really unique. Events include:
· Presentations from an all-star lineup of speakers, including yours truly, Phyllis Tickle, Brian McLaren, Andrew Root, Sandy Sasso, Anne Wimberly, Melvin Bray, Mark Yaconelli, Ivy Beckwith, and many others
· Unique workshops offered by cutting-edge practitioners and leaders
· Music led by Aaron Niequist and Sharon Irving
· A spoken word performance by teens from Southern Word
· Resources and exhibits from all sorts of organizations
· Opportunities to forge relationships across denominations, traditions, and perspectives
Join me and many others in Nashville as we re-imagine children’s and youth ministry, May 19-22. Visit www.faith-forward.net for more information and to register.
On April 3rd, Andrew Zirschky will be our guest for a day of conversation, learning and theological reflection. This year we featured a session in the Theology Track at the National Youth Worker Convention led by Andrew entitled Communion Beyond Connection: Youth, Social Media, and Christian Sociality in an Age of Networks. This session was a highlight so we are bringing it to our Kansas City area youthworkers.
Social media, text messaging, and other forms of technology-driven interaction are changing the way adolescents and young adults craft identity and find community. Through “selective sociality” in a culture of “networked individualism” teens write their own identities and communities into being — a process that increasingly leaves them lonely and anxious.
Andrew will help us explore changes to adolescent understandings of personhood and social connection and will consider opportunities for a faithful response by Christian communities. The training will happen at Second Presbyterian Church (318 E. 55th St KCMO 64113) from 9a to 1p.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to register.
In Matthew 25, Jesus shares a parable in which he says, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." The righteous ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?..." And the King replied, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
This teaching of Jesus fires my imagination and provokes a response. What are we doing in this to literally minister to Jesus himself by serving others? Desiring to shape young people formationally as disciples of Jesus in the context of this teaching we started Something to Eat™ several years ago. By the end of this year young people will have raised money and packaged well over two million meals for those lacking proper nutrition in Haiti, Africa, Central America, the Philippines, and also throughout the USA where millions of people are dealing with food insecurity everyday.
We have developed amazing collaborative partners such as FH and Generation Alive. We've had incredible support from foundations, donors and others who believe that it's not only part of God's mission to "give them something to eat" but who are also passionate about discipling a generation of young people to follow obediently in the way of Jesus.
This weekend, I'm working with my dear friend Jeremy Affeldt, who has provided deep vision and passion for Something to Eat™ , to package 250,000 meals. The cool thing is that the teenagers packaging the meals are from East Palo Alto. Most people know Palo Alto as the home of Google, Facebook, the Silicon Valley, the wealthy land of the innovator and Venture Capitalist. On the other side of the highway is East Palo Alto, a place that many people have written off. But that is not the story that these young people are embracing. Through the opportunities provided by organizations like Able Works, these young people are leaning into a different story, a story that mirrors the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 25. Pray for us this weekend.
Pray for young people who want to not only give something to eat to those who are hungry but also want to stand up for the stranger and push for immigration reform; shine a light on the naked and end the scourge of sex trafficking; and cooperate with God's mission in the world in hundreds of other ways that bare witness to the reality that a day is coming when restoration will be completed and God will get God's way on Earth as in Heaven. This is a generation of young people that according to some of the latest research by Barna are more faithful than any other age group to speak up for Jesus and the Gospel.
In Matthew 25, Jesus was not giving an exhaustive list of the things we should be about in order to come alongside the "least of these." What are ways that you can minister to Jesus directly by serving the least of these? Listen deeply and allow God's Spirit and your imagination to open up the possibilities all around you.
Youthfront Camp West is perfect for upper elementary and middle school age students! We are passionate about bringing youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ so we do camp in a way that allows authentic discovery and growth for each camper. We do this using three primary values...
Fun. There's no denying that a huge part of being a kid is having FUN. We believe one of the best ways to worship God is through wholesome play. A typical camp day holds plenty of time for activities like swimming, a high ropes course, theme nights, paintball ($7), riding ATVs ($7, ages 12+), the Blob, karaoke, sand volleyball, water sliding, and more!
Environments. We provide an atmosphere where students grow in their relationship with God while having a blast in an environment specially tailored to their needs. Time and space is carved out for students to connect with their creator through play, worship, community, scripture, solitude, prayer and reflection.
Community. We are about learning and living in community. Doing so sparks greater passion and pushes us to think more deeply as a result of being in community. We also surround students with adults who have an overflow of an intimate relationship with Jesus as they share life together and build meaningful relationships.
In response to the devastating typhoon that surged through the Philippines killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands, our Something to Eat distribution partners at Food for the Hungry are working with other crisis response agencies to assess and address the immediate needs.
Many have been asking how they can participate with Something to Eat and how we fit into this response. It's important that aid agencies know their timing and their place in disaster response. Flooding a country with food and medical supplies does no good if roads are impassable with debris, water isn't drinkable, and there is no gas or cooking supplies to prepare food. The good intentions of too many aid organizations are poorly timed, are often wasted or misused, and their help ends up hurting. Multinational organizations like the UN and Red Cross are providing this critical first step and are drawing from food stockpiles in the region.
But needs will soon surpass the stockpile of regional aid and the Something to Eat meals distributed by Food for the Hungry will provide 'just in time' aid. We have several thousand meals that are ready to be shipped and in the next few weeks we want to package even more to arrive in the Philippines precisely when they're needed most.
On Friday, November 29, when many of us are shopping for Christmas presents we really don't need, join us in packaging the most critical of presents this year. Take your family, your friends, church, small group, or office to celebrate Something to Eat's Pack Friday event. On Pack Friday, join hundreds of others in packaging thousands of meals that in the coming weeks will be shipped to the Philippines to arrive when regional food stockpiles run thin. Plan your day and prepare your group now.
In response to the devastating typhoon that surged through the Philippines killing thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands, our Something To Eat™ distribution partners at Food for the Hungry are working with other crisis response agencies to assess and address the immediate needs.
Many have been asking how they can participate with Something To Eat™ and how we fit into this response. It’s important that aid agencies know their timing and their place in disaster response. Flooding a country with food and medical supplies does no good if roads are impassable with debris, water isn’t drinkable, and there is no gas or cooking supplies to prepare food. The good intentions of too many aid organizations are poorly timed, are often wasted or misused, and their help ends up hurting. Multinational organizations like the UN and Red Cross are providing this critical first step and are drawing from food stockpiles in the region.
But needs will soon surpass the stockpile of regional aid and the Something To Eat™ meals distributed by Food for the Hungry will provide ‘just in time’ aid. We have several thousand meals that are ready to be shipped and in the next few weeks we want to package even more to arrive in the Philippines precisely when they’re needed most.
On Friday, November 29, known as Black Friday, when most people are shopping for Christmas presents we really don’t need, join us in packaging really critical presents this year. Take your family, your friends, church, small group, or office to celebrate Something To Eat's™ Pack Friday event. On Pack Friday, join hundreds of others in packaging thousands of meals that in the coming weeks and months will be shipped to the Philippines to arrive when regional food stockpiles run thin. Plan your day and prepare your group now. More details to come next week. Go to www.youthfront.com/somethingtoeat/ to register!