Summer temperatures have finally arrived! What a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend! It’s the time of the year for graduations, and this year we have four students graduating. They are Elizabeth Dale and Sabrina Torres from Bullock Creek, Tristan Mapes from Midland High, and Brandon Devericks from Windover. They will be honored in Sunday morning worship on June 12 with each of them receiving a gift from the church. Plus, the pastors will be taking them out to dinner at a local restaurant. Congratulations!

State Youth Convention was a great success with the music of Finding Favor, the Worship Leaders – Leo and Megan Flores plus our speaker Marsha Reeder. Everyone had a wonderful time as we worshiped, served, played and were inspired and impacted in our walk with the Lord. Great Weekend!!!

June will be a month of graduation parties, church gatherings and the finishing of the school year. We are still “silently” fundraising for the three young ladies we have attending the International Youth Convention. Keep those bottles/pop cans coming and if you wish to help any of them financially, let us know.

iyc logoWe will depart for San Antonio, Texas for the International Youth Convention on June 30, 2016 from Tri-City Airport and will return on July 7. The theme this year is “One God, One Truth, One Body and One Mission” based on Ephesians 4:4-6 – “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” We will be participating with nationally known speakers, artists, student conferences, service projects, tourist attractions and MORE while staying at the Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk. It will be a GREAT week for our students!

High School Sunday School classes continue with Pastor Jerry until July 31. Youth Meetings and GRADS @ Grahams on Sunday nights for the 2015-2016 school year are over for the summer. However, watch for details of events and happenings yet to come through July.

As most people know, Pastor Jerry will be retiring from Youth Ministry in the local church on July 31 to pursue grandchildren, other ministry opportunities and retirement life. Connie will continue to serve in her role as Youth Director for the Michigan Church of God, so we will continue to participate in state youth activities and functions. We will be formally departing from Mt. Haley to pursue other ministry opportunities and allow Mt. Haley to re-invent their youth ministry without the Grahams. We will visit occasionally and always have you in our prayers. PLUS, we have offered to organize and prepare a mission trip for Mt. Haley to Guatemala next February. If so, and you want to go on a mission to Guatemala, registration will be $150 on September 18, 2016 with the total mission costs being $450. (Includes registration and insurance) plus airfare. Our church has been faithful in this mission and we want it to continue for those who want to go. Cost of the house construction will be $6000 and we already have almost half of the funds in the treasury. Praise God and follow your heart to Guatemala.

Parents and church, your prayers, support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and we look forward every week to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our students through interaction, study, fellowship and relationship. Thank you for sharing your son or daughter and our congregation for holding the youth up in PRAYER.

Love God, Love People, Live It!


Pastor Jerry

PRAISE GOD!! Winter has arrived…..AGAIN! So much for the Groundhog! As I work here on my computer I am having visions of deep snow in the driveway that will take up hours of my time. Oh well, March has come in like a lion and hopefully this means it will go out like a lamb…and how appropriate with Easter on the last weekend of March. The good news is that the storm is in the middle of the week and we LEAVE for Guatemala very early on Saturday morning.

Our Guatemala mission begins in the middle of the night on Friday evening when we will journey to Battle Creek with our team members and lots of luggage bearing gifts and materials. We’ll park our cars at the North Avenue Church of God, which has very graciously agreed to drop us off in Chicago’s O’Hare airport with their 25 passenger bus and pick us back up on the following Sunday morning. David Beam, our missionary, is anticipating our arrival late Saturday night into Guatemala City. Then we’re off in a whirlwind as we worship with the church of the TRACKS Sunday morning and then begin our week of construction and interacting with the people of the Tracks. Everyone is going to be BLESSED! God has answered MANY prayers; we have paid all of our expenses so far, and have only luggage costs and transportation yet to deal with. However, we have money in the bank. Praise God for blessing us!! PLEASE keep us in your prayers this week, March 5 through 13, and we will see you in church the following Sunday. Continue reading

Guatemala! Mt. Haley’s mission to the TRACKS and a week with missionary David Beam has preoccupied my thoughts this month as we have prepared for our March 5th–13th, 2016, mission trip. God blessed us with great prices for our plane tickets; however, we will fly not out of our usual departure cities of Flint or Detroit but from Chicago. God saved us almost $6000 by flying out of O’Hare, but our next challenge is getting to Chicago: 6-7 hours travel time with 16 people and probably 32 pieces of luggage. Now I am patiently awaiting a phone call for a confirmation of travel arrangements that might get us there in a convenient fashion. Praying big time right now. We have five of our team coming from other churches and the rest are somehow related to Mt. Haley. A cool stat this year is that we have 8 team members under 25; Jeremy Hassen is just a little older than that; and the rest of us, well, we won’t go into their ages. Plus Pastor David and myself represent the clergy with plans for David to speak at the Church of the Tracks. We have plans to build two bedrooms and a bathroom for Sonia, the English teacher at the school and a long time friend of the Mt. Haley team. It will be exciting for her and her family, plus the satisfaction we receive in ministering to this community of Guatemala. May All the Glory Be to God!! Continue reading

Whew! We made it through the Christmas Season and are heading into the New Year with full force! Not the “Force” but the real of meaning of Christmas in our minds as we serve and celebrate the glory of Jesus Christ. A New Year, new beginnings, resolutions and all that go with the only holiday that is celebrated in the entire world (as we wish Christianity was) – the New Year? But what does it matter? Did you know that only 12 percent of us ever keep the New Year’s resolutions that we make? We celebrate the ball drop in New York City – a tradition that has happened since 1904 – say nice things we are going to do and then work on it for a few weeks. Sadly enough, many do not make any resolutions, and then there are no expectations for us to meet. After all, God loves us just the way we are –TRUE, but we could all still use a little improvement in one area or another. Why is it so hard for us to change, even when we want to? There’s a saying that “God loves me too much to leave me the way I am.” What do you think God would want you to work on this year? Continue reading

We enter November with Olive’s yard raking project completed and two events in our history. We had a successful swimming party at Four Seasons Health Club on October 11th and enjoyed the corn maze, hayride and other activities at Grandma’s Pumpkin Patch last Sunday. Our youth meetings are reaching about 8 kids a week and our GRAD meetings are hosting 5-6 young adults. We are continuing to reach out to those families to join us regularly with Sunday morning Worship participation & attendance then urging parents to help in having their youth to grow spiritually through the ministries of Mt. Haley. Continue reading

Welcome to a new school year and the beginning of a new year in the Youth Ministry at Mt. Haley. There’s always excitement and anticipation with the arrival of a new grade level for our students, whether they’re making the transition from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, becoming a “Senior,” or just moving up one more grade. The Mt. Haley Youth Ministry is for students in 6th grade through one year out of high school. It’s always a fresh start with new resolutions, goals and dreams. There’s always an expectation of doing better, making a team, or becoming involved with a new interest. With this same new determination in your student’s educational growth we all share as parents, we encourage you to have this same excitement in their spiritual & church life. Continue reading

Summer is HERE! The last week of school has come, exams are over, people have graduated and we had our final Sunday of youth meetings until the fall. Time goes so quickly working in the Kingdom of God, but we are now ready for the adventures of summer and anticipate serving Him and bringing glory to God. NO, we will not be having weekly youth meetings and GRADS @ Grahams, however we hope to see you often with our activities and a weekly time of glory called “worship” that we celebrate every Sunday at 11:00 AM. Pastor David is leading us in a discussion of “The Sermon On The Mount” which will enrich our spiritual growth and honor our Lord. Included in that package is our regular Youth Bible Study at 10:00 AM where we are learning the characteristics of “Being a Champion” for God. SO, join us this summer as we bring the Gospel to your heart and ours. Continue reading

It’s a BIG week in the Mt. Haley Youth Ministry as we prepare for the annual Youth Garage Sale at the Grahams. Thank you to everyone who has donated their “treasures” to ensure we make some money with a great sale. The weather calls for sunny and in the 70’s for the sale on Friday (May 1 & 2), so we should be counting our profits by the time you read this. Olive’s yard was also completed this week as 8 dedicated kids worked their tails off and completed the project in two days. Thank you Olive for supporting the youth so generously and providing us a beneficial fund raiser every spring and fall. The Mother’s Day Hanging Basket Sale orders are due this Sunday (May 3) so they can delivered to Mt. Haley on Friday, May 8th. Pick-up will begin at 1:00 Friday afternoon. We will be having one more Gift Card sale the last two weeks in May to help people prepare for Graduations and Father’s Day. With your blessings and help, everyone going to State Youth Convention should have their money earned to pay for their weekend. Continue reading

OUT like a Lion as we experience the Lamb of God this week! No one was more surprised than me this morning as I departed for my Tuesday morning Bible Study and my morning swim. Wow – must have been three inches of snow in my driveway —which will probably be gone by tomorrow! How appropriate though as we celebrated Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday which began the journey of Holy Week. Several services this week, Thursday @ 7:00 is our Maundy Thursday service where we celebrate the ordinance of foot-washing, on Friday there is the Community Good Friday Service @ 12:00 @ the Midland Missionary Church and then on Sunday our Easter services are 9:15 AM with the Sonrise Service, then a 10:00 AM Brunch followed by our Easter Worship Service at 11:00 AM. Everyone is invited and we encourage you to come worship a risen Savior! Continue reading

In like a Lion or will we experience the Lamb? Last week’s GRAD lesson was “The Lion and the Lamb” from Revelation so I have been weighing this in my mind for the last several days. February has been brutal with the low temperatures and the calling off of school for so many days. The brisk winter not only effects the schools but takes its toll on church participation as people don’t want to get out, we debate whether it’s safe for us to have youth or is it just too cold. Attendance in February has been down and we know one of the variables is the cold weather, but… I worry when Youth don’t attend two, three weeks and possibly even four weeks and don’t even see their families in church. And I know, once you get out of the habit of participating in church, it’s harder to come back. God’s word is still roaring like a lion and as gentle as a lamb – spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to one and everyone. Hopefully, our hard winter is gradually declining and we can come into March like a lamb and renew our commitment to God and His Kingdom.

And speaking of church, our Sunday nights are jumping into the topic “What Is The Church.” After many weeks of exploring who God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit were in our lives, we are now looking how Jesus ordained the church as a way to worship him. Luke 4:18 says: The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me (Christ) to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” This was the fulfilling of prophesy and the preparation for the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit paying an extraordinary visit to a small group of Christians, empowering and galvanizing them into a dynamic, world-changing force. Acts very clearly paints a picture of the church as God ordained it. So, with using the scripture in Acts 2:42-47 He created a fellowship of believers which we now call the church:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47 NIV)

With our study of the church, we celebrate the birthday of the church, we learn how to “Stand Strong,” we take the “Church On The Road” and we understand “The Mission” of our lives and the church. Bible Study on Sunday mornings continues to look at “Purpose, Purity, Power and People” and will throughout the year. The GRADS @ Graham group on Sunday nights is studying “Why Revelation” and will be through March. We are half way through our study and our remaining lessons are: “By the Blood of the Lamb,” “Alas, Babylon,” “The Millennium,” and “We Shall See His Face.” Again, I would emphasize that Youth begins at 6:00 PM SHARP on Sunday nights, not at 6:15, 6:25, 6:40 or whenever and GRADS start at 8:15 PM. Your help in starting on time is appreciated!

Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons the Lock-IN was postponed. People were out of town, had conflicts and we called it off when we only had 6 people coming on Wednesday before the Friday. The Lock-IN is a huge activity, needs extra adult supervision and has a higher cost than most local activities. Signing up for events is important to us in planning – so help us out! We are hoping to reschedule in April.

The time is coming for registration for the annual Michigan Church of God State Youth Convention held in Kalamazoo on the weekend of May 15-17, 2015. This year’s speaker is Reverend Doctor Todd Faulkner, campus minister of Anderson University, and the worship leaders are Alanna Story, a new and upcoming Christian band. If you register by March 29th, it’s $120 with a $40 deposit. After that, the costs go to $130 in April & $155 in May. We have a special deal for you this year. If you pay the $40 registration in March, the Mt. Haley Youth Ministry will match your $40 for a total of $80. THEN we will provide fundraisers to work on in April & May to complete the $40 balance. To have the match, you must register in March. Our fundraisers work best in April & May because the weather breaks and we can rake, collect pop cans, sell hanging baskets, our annual garage sale, gift cards etc. SO, plan ahead, save yourself $40 with the match and then earn the rest of the way to a great SYC!

On March 7, if you are a regularly attending High School student, we invite you to our annual MSLI (Michigan Servant Leadership Institute) Tune-UP. This is a one-day event in Battle Creek to challenge you in your walk with God. This year’s theme is “A Reason for God.” We will depart from the church around 8:00 AM to travel to Battle Creek, then the day begins at 11:00 AM with Worship, then a session called “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” After a pizza lunch and some recreation, we go into the second session “The Bible is Not a Myth” followed by a snack, then the session “Why Do I Have to Follow the Rules.” It costs $5 (which Mt. Haley will pay) and wraps up around 4:00 PM. The only money you would need would be for dinner on the way home. It’s a great day, plus lots of fun.

Guatemala was AWESOME! Ask anyone on the mission and they will smile & give you lots of details. Although I spent most of the week sick, God was ever present in our adventures. Everyone had a blessed experience and we were able to truly feel community with the people of the TRACKS. A wall has now been completed preparing for the building of a house, art classes taught, hair cut, lots of clothes, etc. given away and the list goes on with the experiences we had. We were able to visit with my Mom & brother and they are doing well in Guatemala. Exciting experience in worship as several people accepted Christ as their personal Savior. PRAISE GOD! We are already beginning plans for next year which will probably be the first week in February and many other churches and people are interested in being involved. Registration will be in September and the fundraising for next year’s projects begins NOW. Awesome experience for all involved and a wonderful outreach for the church.

As soon as we returned from Guatemala, we immediately went into volunteering with the Housing for the Homeless Coalition up at the Community of Christ Camp in Sanford. What an easy way to spread God’s Kingdom by helping families in need – especially in the cold weather we have had – just by simply helping meet the needs of families who are down on their luck. We encourage others to join us next year in helping out. Also, on Thursday, March 5, from 5:30 -7:30 PM we will be helping to pack diapers for distribution at the Midland County Diaper Alliance. Come join in the fun and make a difference in our community.

The 360 Conference is in April and we hope to have people in attendance. Pastor Jerry will be speaking on “Becoming a Leader” at one of the sessions.

Parents and church, your prayers, support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and we look forward every week to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our students through interaction, study, fellowship and relationship. Thank you for sharing your son or daughter and our congregation for holding the youth up in PRAYER.

Love God, Love People, Live It!

Blessings, Pastor Jerry