Merry Christmas! Our Mt. Haley Church celebrated the “Hanging of the Greens” last Sunday night and I was very excited because of the 13 youth in attendance. This is a GREAT improvement over the last few years, and I am excited students are involved in the church at large. We will be having a couple of Christmas lessons in youth in addition to beginning our study “Who is the Holy Spirit?” We have a young group and have been pleasantly surprised with good participation with the expectation of more mature faith walks as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“GRADS @ Grahams” has been progressing also with very in-depth discussions and Bible Study taking place every week with 6-8 people involved every week (although the names might change week to week). This ministry pulls 18-24 year olds from several churches who really want to grow in the Lord. We work around their busy life – homework deadlines, work schedules, out-of-town, family obligations and who knows what. What’s exciting is we started small, but the potential number of people identified as participants now is growing. God is blessing this ministry!

Registration is still open until December 29th for our annual Church of God Youth Winter Retreat on the weekend of January 9-11, 2015. Although we have already sent the pre-registrations, you can still go. A $60 registration deposit is DUE by December 29th, with the remaining $49 due by January 4, 2015 (total cost $99). It’s a great deal for two nights’ lodging, five meals, snacks, all programming and much of the recreation. This year’s speaker is Brett Talley from the Church of the Crossing in Indianapolis. Josh Lavender (recommended by Tommee Profitt) will be our worship leader. Winter Retreat is a great Christmas gift for students unable to attend because of financial reasons. Connie is already praying for snow and making some of the final preparations!

We MADE A DIFFERENCE again on November 23rd as we helped pack over 500 Thanksgiving baskets (pictured above) at the Aldersgate Methodist Church. Our packing was preparing the contents for Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. The Midland County Food Pantry Network and groups from all over Midland sponsored the event. You can be proud of our group as they worked hard to serve others on this big project. We enjoyed some bowling afterwards to celebrate a great day of service.

Again, for your calendars, these events are being planned. They are as follows:

  • Youth EVERY Sunday at 6:00 PM
  • No Youth on December 28 (Christmas), January 11 (Retreat), or February 8 (Guatemala)
  • December 21: Christmas Party @ Mt. Haley
  • January 9-11: Winter Retreat @ Cran-Hill
  • January 23: Mt. Haley Lock-In
  • February 22: Swimming Party @ Four Seasons
  • May 15-17: State Youth Convention

Fundraising has been successful if you participated in them. This Fall, we had 5 different projects in preparation for Winter Retreat. We will begin fundraising again in February as we prepare for State Youth Convention.

Our Guatemalan Mission Team has now met two times. We are anticipating purchasing our tickets in the first couple of weeks in December. Please pray that ticket prices will decline. We have 8 people from Mt. Haley, 1 from the Meridian Church of God, 3 from the Community Nazarene Church and 2 from the First Church of God in Saginaw. These churches will be helping in the fundraising. However, our goal of $5000 to help with the cost of a Guatemalan home is set and we are praying for God’s blessings in helping out another family. THANK YOU for the contributions that have already come in. We will also be having costs for luggage, insurance, and other miscellaneous things as we come closer to departure. Please consider how you can BLESS this church ministry and help our team. Each year it is exciting to anticipate the blessings of 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

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