Finding a major can be tricky
When Joe Hofmann came to Union, he knew he wanted to serve people—he just wasn’t sure how. But God led him through a few twists and turns toward a career in chaplaincy and counseling.
Watch the video at www.ucollege.edu/hofmann-major
Another calendar year has come to a close and we are in the early days of a brand new year! Isn’t it amazing how a simple turn of the page in a calendar can create a whole new set of feelings? The new year brings with it the hope of things to come, accomplishments to be made, milestones to meet, adventures to embark upon. I think it’s amazing that the God who created us also created the platform of time, the change of seasons, the sense of past and present and future. And with that, He gives us a promise: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God has placed within our environment, the very foundation of existence here on earth, markers in time that signal rebirth, renewal, growth, and progress. Whenever I stop and think about it, I marvel at the ingenious design of the world in which we live, and how it points both to God’s creativity and His sense of order. God is pointing us towards Him as we march through each day, as seasons change and time passes. He’s got awesome plans for us, and this year is no exception!
That said, I want to start our new year out by using our resources and time as a youth group to share hope with people in our community, so we are kicking off the new year of youth ministry activities with a service activity!
Check out the list below for upcoming events:
Saturdays in January – If you’re interested in taking a “next step” in your relationship with Jesus, or just want to start your year with the right priorities, don’t miss The Filling Sabbath School @ 10:15 a.m. each Saturday in January for our “Starting Point” study series.
January 21 – “Be a Blessing” Day – Join us after 2nd service as we prepare Blessing Bags to be handed out to people in need in the Twin Cities. Lunch will be provided in the youth room, and we will meet from 1 – 3 p.m. ***Parents/church members, ask Pastor Vanessa how you can help by sponsoring a bag (or two)!
February 4 – Winterfest – An annual classic hosted by MCA in conjunction with many other ministries in the Metro area. Let me know if you are willing to help host our Youth Popcorn Booth. Look for more details about this event coming soon!
February 25 – Grub & Games – Beat the winter blues with a fun night filled with group games and comfort food! Times and location TBD.
March 18 – Global Youth Day – The Minnesota Conference of SDA Youth Department will be participating in this worldwide event! Stay tuned for more details on event location and times!
As many of you already know, Goran and I are expecting the arrival of our little girl at the end of August. As a result, I will be taking maternity leave during the months of September and October as we begin learning how to be a family of three!
In my absence, I am confident that the Youth Sabbath School Team will continue to do an awesome job of ministering to and engaging with our youth group.
Additionally, we still have several events on the calendar for this fall, and information will continue to be released as I receive it over the next few weeks. If you are the parent or friend of a teen in our congregation, encourage them to take part in these events so they can continue to develop friendships with other Adventist youth. But most of all, please pray for and encourage our teens as they gear up for a new school year full of opportunities and challenges.
As always, thank you for your love and support of me and my family – we are honored to be able to serve here at Minnetonka!
Fall 2016 Events:
September 17 – Outdoor Movie Night (led by Andy Iverson)
October 7-9 – MN Conference High School Retreat @ North Star Camp, Brainerd
November 12 – Youth Lunch & Operation Christmas Child Packing Party
Hey everyone! I don’t know about you, but these last few months have flown by. If I had to describe Summer 2015 in three words, mine would be: eye-opening, powerful, and break-neck! What about you? What three words describe your summer? Did you experience Jesus? I know I did, even though my schedule was busy and I spent time in multiple states! Here are a few ways I saw Jesus working in my life and the life of our church and youth group this summer:
-The powerful call Pastor Conrad Vine gave during Camp Meeting for us to consider how we can serve our world through overseas missions. His mission stories were raw, heart-wrenching, beautiful examples of how the Light of Jesus’ love is casting out darkness all over this planet! Our Minnesota teens are an awesome group, and I was so happy I got to hang out with many of you during that time.
-Witnessing the results of years of preparation that culminated in the North American Division’s Ministerial Convention. For me, this conference was a time of re-connecting with old friends, being encouraged and prayed for in my ministry, and receiving valuable training for the future. The leadership of our denomination here in North America did an excellent job of vision-casting for the pastors of this division. I felt the love!
-The turnout of over 20 volunteer counselors for VBS this year! I was blessed by how many of you took time out of your precious summer months to speak into the lives of the young children of our church and community. We couldn’t run a successful VBS program without you guys!
-I was just blown away by the motivation and accomplishments those of you who attended the annual Rock Climbing Trip this year! You all climbed like rock stars! What an awesome blessing it is for me to see you all push yourselves and encourage each other to tackle challenges in such a positive way. And, like always, the natural beauty of the Black Hills reminds me just how creative our God is!
-If you attended the service on August 29, you know that Tyler and Carmen shared their hearts with our church. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your courage and transparency as you talked with your church family about your spiritual journeys and experiences this summer.
So! What stuck with you this summer? How did you experience time with God? What did you learn? I’d love to hear from you!
While you’re thinking, check out the newly-minted Fall Youth Events Calendar here. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for each of you and our youth group next!
See you @ The Filling!
With so much going on and coming up this summer, it might be difficult to keep track of all the info you need. So, I’ve listed below some helpful links and basic info for some of our Summer Staple events. I’m looking forward to hanging out with each one of you!
Vacation Bible School, July 13-17 with set-up on July 12 from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. (supper provided). Register to volunteer here.
Rock Climbing Trip, July 26-31. Cost $250. Deposit of $100 due July 15. Please contact Pastor Vanessa directly to sign up. Permission slip and trip info here: 2015 Rock Climbing Medical Release & 2015 Trip Info and Packing List
Pine Ridge Reservation Mission Trip, August 6-12. Cost $250. Lots of info and registration here.
As always, if you have any questions, please call/email/text me anytime! And please don’t let finances stand in the way of you joining us for any of the summer fun. Scholarships are available on a case by case basis.
In His Love,
This study guide is intended to supplement our weekly High School Sabbath School lesson. We are currently studying the book of Proverbs. Each week this blog post will be updated with the current week’s suggested readings and questions. Each link is labeled with the Sabbath that the readings begin on. I hope you will find these guides helpful as you dive into God’s Word!
Please feel free to comment below with your questions and insights!
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are each able to relax and spend some time with the people you care about during this holiday weekend. While you’re hanging out, spend some time penciling in dates for upcoming winter and summer 2015 youth events! Both calendars are linked below:
Happy Fall everyone!
It’s here, whether we like it or not. I had to shut the windows and fire up the furnace at my house last night. But before I make too much of the weather, let me assure you, I love this time of year. Fall colors, apples and pumpkins, new school supplies, windswept skies, bonfires, cozy evenings at home with soup and a hot drink, I look forward to this time of year for so many reasons.
And since joining the team here at Minnetonka in Fall 2012, I have enjoyed this season for additional reasons. Like kicking off the Minnetonka Youth Group activities, meeting with small groups, connecting with students at MCA, welcoming 7th graders into The Filling Sabbath School, among other things.
As my third fall as youth pastor begins, my feelings are no different. I am looking forward to a jam-packed year of youth activities and events, and can’t wait to hang out with you all. Because that’s what it’s about in the end, right? Relationships, friendships, connections. With each other, our families, neighbors, people we meet at service events, but most of all, with him.
The One who says, “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal as friends” (Rev. 3:20, NLT).
Friends. Us…and Jesus.
Think about the people with whom you generally share meals. Your parents, siblings, old friends, new friends, church members, your girlfriend or boyfriend. Maybe a stranger or two. But I think we can agree we tend to want to have a meal with people we like, have a connection with, or those we want to know and understand more deeply.
And Revelation records that Jesus wants to share a meal with us. As friends. He wants to know us, spend time with us, develop a connection with each one of us, individually. All we have to do is open the door.
When you hear a knock at the door, what’s the first thing you ask?
“Who is it?”
That’s the question that forms the basis of this year’s Youth Group theme. Over the next nine months, we will explore, through Bible study at The Filling Sabbath School, service events, social gatherings, small group meetings, and training conferences, who Jesus really is and how we can each know Him.
It is my prayer that throughout this year you will learn what it means for you to share a meal with Jesus as your friend, and that, as Paul writes in Ephesians 3:17 & 19, “Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him” and that you will “experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.”
As we gear up for our first youth gathering of the season this weekend, here are some useful pieces of information and links to guide your plans:
This Saturday, September 13, 8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. in the Youth Room: Movie Night. Snacks provided. We will be watching The Avengers. For a Christian review of this movie, click here: http://www.pluggedin.com/videos/2012/q3/avengers.aspx