Monday, March 26, 2012

The Bible in a Year: Week 12 (Thoughts on Synod)

So, as you have probably figured out, I'm reading through the entire Bible this year!

If you are at all interested in doing the same, I'd like to recommend the ESV study plans, as I am currently using their "Every Day in the Word" plan for my daily readings. I'm a couple of days behind (March 23rd right now) but it's going fairly well!

I am very excited to announce that yesterday, at our Annual Vestry Meeting, I was elected to be the Youth Delegate for Emmaus Anglican Church at this year's Synod! I feel honored and privileged to be chosen for this job, and look forward to taking lots of photos this November when the event is taking place.

I've always been kind of hesitant to get involved in any kind of church politics. Perhaps this aversion was partly due to my aversion to politics in general, but it seems more likely that I just didn't think of the church as a place that should be governed by any kind of meetings or structure. Of course I now realize that's crazy, but hey, we're all young and ignorant at some point or another. When I was asked to let my nomination stand for this year's election, I was initially hesitant, but mostly because I wanted to give the opportunity to somebody else. They turned down their nomination though, so I let mine stand, and I'm pretty glad I did! I think it's going to be a rewarding experience, and it should open my eyes to things I have been otherwise unaware of about the workings of our diocese. Plus, it's a trip to Ottawa for a weekend, with my pastor and two or three other people, so it should just also be a lot of fun!

Well, I'm pretty exhausted from a super long weekend and too much walking, so I'm going to call it quits and watch some mind-numbing television for a few hours, eat some bad food, and pass out.


Monday, March 19, 2012

The Bible in a Year: Week 11

Well, it's been about a week since my last post, sorry about that!

This past week was my "reading week" at school- but when you have two classes and one of them is Phys Ed, reading week really becomes "watching TV and hanging out with friends week"

Speaking of readings, I am actually a few days behind on my Bible readings for this week, and am going to spend the morning fixing that. Because I've fallen behind a bit, I don't actually have much to say today (again) so I'm going to use this post for a couple of shout-outs instead!

My good friend Alex Richards is currently preparing to run a marathon with Team in Training, as a fundraiser for cancer research! Alex is an amazing guy who faithfully serves the Lord through his work with Crosstalk Ministries, and you can learn a little more about this project, and make donations, by clicking this link!

Alex's sister, Natalie Richards, also a great friend of mine and soon-to-be guest-speaker at Emmaus Youth Group, has spent the last five or six months doing missions work in Cambodia, and you can read more about her trip by checking out her blog!

My former youth coordinator and good buddy Reg Mclean, and his band The Fundamentals are currently raising money to help produce their debut album! This is super exciting because they're really great, and you should definitely like them on Facebook and, if you feel so inclined, make a donation!

Last but certainly not least, I'd like to shout out to my good friend and former bandmate Lilo Lynx! She's a promising young singer-songwriter and you should definitely go check her out over on Facebook!

Well, that's all for today! Thanks for dropping by, and be sure to keep checking back for more fun stuff! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Bible in a Year: Week 10

So, after a couple of weeks of hiatus, we're back into things!

For the last couple of weeks, I have been reading through Mark and Numbers as part of my effort to read through the entire Bible in 2012. With about four books finished now (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and Matthew) I am making good progress!

Reading the Scriptures intentionally every day is a really interesting experience. It really encourages you to spend more time thinking about and reflecting on your relationship with God, and the way you live that out in everyday life. During this process, God has been bringing up some stuff in me that has been really significant and also just really cool to think about more! The most significant example of this is that God is convicting me to actually spend more time studying His word!

As a youth leader, it's kind of my job to familiarize myself with the Scriptures so I can more effectively teach and lead the teens. I've always been kind of a terrible student, so the idea of actually studying things in depth for any reason was always a really daunting task for me. Committing myself to this project has done a really good job of showing me that I am actually willing to put in the extra effort and time to really study this stuff, which is super exciting because I don't really feel that way about anything academic.

So, I'd like to ask you guys to be praying for me as I look for new, exciting ways to get into this stuff!


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Annual Ministry Report

Hey everyone!

So, this week I sat down with Angela Henderson, my co-coordinator for youth ministry at Emmaus Anglican Church, to write our annual report. I figured, since I haven't had a lot of time to actually write any new posts in awhile, and so many of you out there are praying for us and our ministry, it would be a cool idea if I shared that report here!

At our June 2011 Retreat, we encouraged the teens to spend more time in community, living as the Body of Christ, pointing them toward the Christian life examined in the early church in the book of Acts. This summer was a time spent building community with one another in intentional ways. Coming off of this, our year started with a close group of teens who were very excited to get back into things and to welcome the new members of our group!

Our objective going into this year was to help the teens realize how God sees them, how to be a Christian in everyday life, and why that’s good and exciting! To do this, we started with an overview of what it means to be a Christian. We then discussed our identity in Christ, why we pray, why we memorize Scripture, how to glean from a sermon, what a testimony is, how to write a testimony, and why we serve one another.

After this, we asked the teens what topics they were interested in covering for the rest of the year. The topic we started with was being content with where we’re at in life, specifically with regards to singleness (a huge concern among high school students). After this, we had our Winter Retreat. God blessed us immensely by leading us to use The Friendly Home after our location cancelled, and we had a really good turnout. We discussed spiritual gifts, with the main focus of the weekend being “Value and Self-Confidence.” The teens went away encouraged and closer to one another and God than ever before.

Some other special evenings we had this year were a costume party at Hallowe’en, a Christmas party and a Q&A night with Keith which was enjoyed a great deal by both Keith and the teens!

Plans for March-June

Please be praying for the upcoming months as we have some serious as well as fun things planned. One topic that many teens have asked about is homosexuality. We will be taking 2 weeks to discuss it in April. We also have guest speakers, the 30 Hr Famine, a possible retreat at Rivercross Farm, a leaders’ retreat and our annual summer retreat in June. When we discussed the 30 Hr Famine with the teens, they decided that they wanted to support World Vision’s efforts to provide safety to children and teens being used as prostitutes and soldiers. They’re very excited for this event and we would encourage you to support them financially, if you can, and prayerfully the weekend of April 27-28!

Some Important Numbers!

7- Leaders currently serving on Friday nights!
5- Hours spent praying for and encouraging one another on our Winter Retreat!
11- Teens whose faiths were refreshed after our Winter Retreat!
1- Fence-sitting leader deciding to pursue a relationship with Christ!

On behalf of all the leaders,

Angela Henderson & Tom Zalatnai
Youth Ministry Co-Coordinators


Hey everyone!

It's been awhile since I last wrote a proper post, and I wish I could say that streak is coming to an end right now, but it's not. I just wanted to quickly let you know that I'm still alive, and plan to get back into things as soon as possible! Unfortunately, that is not what tonight's post will be.

In fact, this post is going to be very short, as I've basically already said everything I wanted to say. Sorry things have been lacking, but thank you for continuing to read and support, and I assure you things will be back to normal soon enough!