January 19, 2017
This Week at Sunday School: The Disciples
What Jesus did most often was teach. Jesus had a group of people who followed him and learned from him, called disciples, which means “students.“ Today’s bible story is from the Gospel of Matthew and it is about five of Jesus’ students who were called to follow him.

Sometimes it can feel like following Jesus is only about following rules -- if we act like Jesus wants and follow Jesus’ rules we will not get in trouble, and make the world better. Rather than a bunch of do’s and don’ts, Jesus teaches us that God loves us all, rule followers and rule breakers alike. Jesus teaches us how amazing God is and how amazing God’s love is. What would it look like if we always remembered that God loves us? What would we do differently if we lived in the light of God’s love? Where do we see the love of God in our lives already? How can we be like Jesus and teach others that God loves them?

Peace and Blessings,

Upcoming Sunday School Lessons
Sunday, January 22nd – The Disciples
Sunday, January 29th – The Beatitudes
Sunday, February 5th – Salt and Light
Sunday February 12th – Jesus Teaches about Anger
Sunday, February 19th – Love Your Enemies
Sunday, February 26th – Do Not Worry Sunday
March 5th – Transfiguration Sunday
Youth Group Ski/Snowboard Retreat
I've heard from several youth who are excited about the possibility of a Ski/Snowboard Weekend Retreat. Now is the time to speak up and turn that possibility into a reality!

I need a minimum commitment of 4 people by this Sunday to kick the gears into action, claim our trip host Dart Westphal's weekend, and reserve a lock-in night at the church upstate.

Here are the key details so far:

  • Possible weekends: February 3-5 or February 10-12
  • Location: We will ski/snowboard at Windham Mountain. We will stay at the house of Advent members Dart Westphal and Ellen Pollan in Windham Mountain Village on Friday night, and do a lock-in at their upstate Lutheran church in Oak Hill on Saturday night.
  • Itinerary: Leave Advent Friday afternoon. 2hr 15min drive upstate. Stay at Dart and Ellen's place in Windham Mountain Village (within walking distance to the ski lifts) Friday night. Ski and snowboard all day Saturday. Evening programming and lock-in at the Lutheran church in Oak Hill. Worship Sunday morning, grab lunch, and head back to Advent. Expected return around 3pm.
  • Estimated cost: Lift ticket is $73 and ski/snowboard rental with all safety gear is $45. (That's the rental price at Windham Mountain. We may be able to find a better price in town.) You'll need to budget a small amount (less than $50) for food, but it's likely some meals will be provided by Dart and the church too.
  • Who's this for? Advent's Youth Group, consisting of any high school youth and our youth who have been confirmed but are still in 8th. Friends from school are also welcome to join us on this trip! I will just need to have a medical release form on file for every person who attends. We have a simple online form that's quick to fill out.

Let me know ASAP if your son or daughter is interested, as well as which of the possible weekends they could do.


Upcoming Youth Group Events
Our next Youth Night is currently scheduled for Sunday, February 5 from 6-8pm. (However, that may change if the Ski/Snowboard Retreat ends up being this weekend.)

Also, we're partnering with Pinecrest, a Lutheran youth ministry program encompassing the whole New York metro area, to offer a special youth event on Friday, March 3 from 7pm to 9:30pm here at Advent. Pinecrest will reach out to their own network of youth to join us, and provide information about their awesome program and summer camp. At the event they'll lead mixers, games, and a Refugee Simulation activity they've developed just for teens, which I hope will be as engaging as it is timely. Please keep that on your calendars, and hopefully many can come!
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