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IMPACT 16-17 Calendar

IMPACT 2016-2017School is back in session and we are gearing up for a great school year in IMPACT Student Ministry. The image above is a snap shot of the special events and activities planned for the next 9 months.  The school year is full with academic, athletic and other extra-curricular activities.  We hope that by getting this information out early, it will help families and students balance the busy schedules.

Here is some more specific information for upcoming events.

Small Groups promo 16-17

Small Groups start September 11!  Small Groups have become one of the most important things we do in the school year. We have some great adults who meet regularly with students to talk about life, read the Bible together, ask questions and pray together.  We think that the relationships that are developed in small groups are so helpful and important that we encourage all of our students to be a part of a group.  There is still time to get signed up for a group.  Register online to be a part of Small Groups!

As part of our Small Group kick-off on September 11, we will have an IMPACT Tailgate Party @ 9:30 am.  Our Junior High and High School classes will meet in the front parking lot of the church for breakfast, games and a fun start to the school year. People get geared up for the big game by tailgating.  We are getting geared up for a great year of small groups…so let’s tailgate.

color wars imageTo welcome student back to the regular schedule of the school year, we are having a IMPACT Kick-Off Event on Saturday, September 17, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.  We will have food, play 9 Square in the Air (our students love this game) and we will end with our very first Color War.  Students need to wear a white shirt for this event. This is also a great time for our students to bring a friend.  We ask students to sign up by Sept. 14.  Sign up for the Kick-off Online!

Stitch_exportEvery fall we participate in the retreats hosted at our church camp, Butler Springs Christian Camp.

The Junior High Retreat is scheduled for Oct. 21-23. If our students went to summer camp, it’s a chance to reconnect with students they met. It’s also a great chance for our group to experience a weekend together. Total cost is $60 and registration is due Sunday, Oct. 2.

The High School Retreat is scheduled for Nov, 4-6. This retreat,due to attendance, is held over two different weekends.  We will attend weekend #1 and, in order to reserve enough spots and get the best price, a $25 deposit is due Sept. 18 (after this date, the price goes up $10).  Total cost for the retreat (if registered by the early bird deadline is $60.

Both weekends provide a great environment for students to connect with their own youth group as well as meet other students.  There are times of singing, teaching, discussion, sports tourneys and other great elements.

 

We want to do our best to communicate well with families.  There are a few different avenues we use to communicate.  Please choose the one(s) that are best for you:

FACEBOOK:: “Like” our IMPACT Student Ministry Page or Wilmington Church of Christ page

INSTAGRAM:: Follow our IMPACT Student Ministry Account

TEXT – text IMPACT909 to 95577 to receive occasional text updates

EMAIL Click here to subscribe to receive occasional email blasts

Website – Visit our WCC Webpage

We are looking forward to a great school year!

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Messy Grace

messy graceAs I was thinking through my review of the book, Messy Grace, I received a text from my wife that a dear friend is planning a wedding at the end of this month; a same-gender wedding. Hearing the news came as a bit of a shock, but also a reminder that the issue of same-gender relationships and marriages is not going away.

In his book, Caleb Kaltenbach shares his story of growing up with gay parents. He tells of his memories of growing up splitting time between mom and dad (as most kids of divorced families have to do). What makes his situation somewhat unique is that the time spent with his mom also involved spending time with Vera, his mother’s partner. Kaltenbach didn’t find out until college that his father was also gay.

The author writes about how his parents responded to people who were opposed to and in favor of the homosexual lifestyle. He tells some not so flattering stories of how “church people” spoke in very unkind ways to his mom and her friends. His mom took him to several events and he had a very close interaction with that particular LGBT.

In the book Kaltenbach shares scriptures and his unique insights into how the church can respond and live out the title of the book, Messy Grace. While there aren’t easy answers to this issue, Kaltenbach speaks with one who has unique insight that most of us don’t have.

While I think this is an important issue that the church is still wrestling with, I found this book to be somewhat of a harder read than I expected. It didn’t engage me as much as I thought it might. Despite that issue, I think this book can be a good tool for those who need some direction in how to show this Messy Grace,

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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#BrackemyreBonanza

Sat Jul 16 2016 20-58-25 GMT-0400This was a pretty significant weekend in our family as our oldest child got married! It was a great weekend of family and friends coming together to celebrate the happy couple. They chose the hashtag #BrackemyreBonanza. I looked up the definition of “bonanza” and one definition is “a large amount of something desirable.” We did have a large amount of fun and celebration so the hashtag fit.

The groom is from Ohio and the bride is from New York, so the wedding drew people from several states including Oregon, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, New York, Illinois, Virginia and others. We were grateful for all those that came in and the relationships that were started due to this bonanza.

It’s always good to get families together, especially when it means we get to eat, laugh and even dance together. It was definitely a family affair as one dad gave the bride away, the other dad performed the wedding, the youngest sibling served as ring bearer, sisters were part of the bridal party and both sides of the family showed up in force.

We have many good memories of the weekend and can’t wait to see the moments the photographer captured. Here’s some pretty good candid shots from the day.

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Groom Dancing with his Grandmother

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Groom and His Sister

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Bride and Groom

Sat Jul 16 2016 12-42-53 GMT-0400

Little Brother & Ring Bearer

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Bride & Father before walking her down the aisle

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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AdoptTogether Featured in PEOPLE Magazine

hank-fortener peoplePEOPLE magazine recently named Hank Fortner as one of their “Heroes Among Us.” Hank stared AdoptTogether, an organization that allows would-be adoptive parents to invite their friends, family and strangers alike to help them meet the costs of adopting (which can reach up to $40,000). This is close to our heart as we have used AdoptTogether to raise funds for our next adoption (which we are still waiting on) and we have friends who have used it as well.

Here’s a couple of cool statistics that PEOPLE magazine highlighted::

 

  • AdoptTogether has raised over $8.6 million to help people adopt.

 

  • AdoptTogether has helped 2,100 couples, families and individuals open their homes to children in need.

 

There is a great article about AdoptTogether on the PEOPLE magazine website along with an interview with Hank. It is well worth your time!

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Breaking the Silence with Brief Family Update

I realized as I looked at my dashboard for this site that I haven’t posted anything for 38 days.  I’m sure many of you were quite concerned by the absence so I thought I would break the silence with a quick update on family things.  Part of the reason for the absence of any activity is that we’ve had a number of transitions happening.  Three of our kids wrapped up the school year (two in college and one in high school), one of our kids got a new job and relocated and our two-year old just keeps us on the move.

Joe Gap

Joe started a new job June 6 with International Disaster Emergency Services in Noblesville, IN.  He will serve as the GAP Program Director for this ministry.  He was able to stay with a family for a few weeks while he got to know the area and last weekend we helped move him into his new apartment.  In just a couple of weeks he will be married and the two of them will get settled into live in the Hoosier state.

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Sydney is in the process of transferring schools.  The multiple surgeries to her knee are just not allowing her to endure the constant practice and work outs required to play at a D-I school.  She will be attending the University of Indianapolis and playing ball as a Greyhound.  So, we have a few more basketball games in our future – in Indiana! – and two of our kids will be near the same city.

God has continued to provide what is needed at just the right time and we look forward to seeing what He continues to do in the coming year.  Now, back to enjoying the summer after breaking the silence.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Honoring the Class of 2016

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate graduation.  One of our county schools has already hosted commencement exercises and more will take place this weekend.  This past Sunday we honored our seniors during our two morning services. As we’ve done the last few years, we put together a brief video highlighting the members of the graduating class.  Here is this year’s class of seniors.

Congratulations to the class of 2016!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Good Article for Parents of Middle Schoolers

12669641_10153940312118011_3463812157598707071_nIf you have a middle school student (or several) living under roof, you may have asked yourself the question, “How do I deal with this child?” The middle school years is a time of growth and transition both for the student and the parent. I received the following article in my inbox this week and thought it was worth sharing with parents.

Mark Oestreicher has worked with middle school students for years and has created some solid resources for youth workers, parents and students. This article is helpful to parents of middle schoolers.

Here’s the quick recap of the article:

1) The best thing a parent can do is deepen your own connection to God.

2) The second best thing a parent can do is understand young teens.

The article goes into more depth on the subject and would be worth your time. It was originally posted on TheSource4Parents.com. You can read the full article below.

I’m convinced that understanding middle schoolers is the second most important thing you can do to increase your effectiveness as a parent. Yeah, it’s the second most important thing. So we’ll return to it in a couple of paragraphs.

The most important thing you can do to increase your effectiveness, as a Christian parent of a middle schooler, is to deepen your own connection to God. See, parenting a middle schooler flows out of who you are, not what you know. You can have all the best tricks for getting conversation going, an almost mystical ability to motivate your child, a deep understanding of middle schoolers, and the relational ability of Oprah Winfrey, but if you aren’t authentically and deeply connected to God, how would you stand a chance of pointing kids in God’s direction?

But I want to focus here on the second most important thing you can do to increase your effectiveness in parenting a young teen. And that, as I’ve said, is to understand young teens. Deeply.

I’ve been working with and studying young teens for more than three decades. And I can honestly say that while I’ve learned a ton about kids in that time, I still feel as though I’m always learning new stuff.

Early adolescence is a profoundly unique period of human development. Really, it’s just astounding how much is going on and how different it is from other developmental life stages.

Where most people go wrong (especially those who don’t work with young teens or don’t care about them) is in making one of two assumptions. And historically, most cultures have erred in one of these two directions.

The first extreme is to assume young teens are just little adults. (Or, that they are little versions of high schoolers, which is slightly different, but still inaccurate.) Young teens seem like teenagers in many ways, and they certainly want to be treated like teenagers and don’t want to be perceived as children. So we parents capitulate to culture—and to the premature desire of kids themselves—and assume they’re slightly smaller versions of ourselves (or slightly smaller versions of their older siblings).

Historically, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have treated young teens this way (at least for the last couple of hundred years). And with a media culture that serves up more of what young teen consumers want, this perception has deepened in recent decades.

The other extreme, of course, is the assumption that young teens are really just oversized children. This, for many reasons, seems to be the default in lots of churches. I believe this often comes from a desire to protect young teens from rushing into adulthood and adult-like behaviors. In some ways this is a good motivation, and it carries some developmentally appropriate freight. But it can also be misguided—an overprotection that stunts the growth of kids during this critical transitionary time of life.

The dealio, as I’ve clearly tipped my hand, is that neither of these extremes is especially helpful.

One-Word Definition
If I asked you to summarize the young teen experience in only one word, what would you choose? I’ve asked this question from time to time during seminars and conversations, and here are a few common responses I’ve heard:

Stressed
Immature
Confused
Impossible
Annoying
Fun
Potential
Eager
Emerging
Spontaneous
Unpredictable
Challenging-but-full-of-possibility (People always try to get away with strings of hyphenated words when you ask for just one.)

If you asked me (Go ahead and ask. Say it out loud: “Marko, if you were to describe the young teen experience in one word, what word would you choose?”), I’d respond calmly: “Change.”

Change.

That’s it, in a word. The life of a middle schooler is all about change. As previously noted, it’s the second most significant period of change in the human lifespan. Stepping into puberty, and the two or three years that follow, brings about cataclysmic change in pretty much every area of life. It’s a deeply radical seismic shift that upends everything that was and ushers in a period of profound instability.

Think of a significant change you’ve experienced in your adult life—maybe a move or a new job. Remember how you felt during that time? You probably experienced a combination of uneasiness (from fear of the unknown) and excitement (from the prospect of what could be). That’s very much akin to the experience of early adolescence.

But the difference between a significant change you may have experienced as an adult and the significant change young teens are slogging through is this: Your feelings associated with change are mostly due to external factors. You likely experienced all kinds of internal stuff as a result of the external factors. But for young teens, the momentum of change is largely internal (although most young teens experience a host of external changes—such as a new school, new youth group, new friends, new freedoms—that further radicalize the internal stuff). The massive tsunami of change in the life of a 13-year-old is developmental, stemming from physical, cognitive, emotional, relational, and spiritual changes that are taking place in their bodies and minds.

This article is an excerpt from Mark Oestreicher’s book, Understanding Your Young Teen (Zondervan, 2011).

Mark Oestreicher is a partner in The Youth Cartel, and the author of multiple books for parents.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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