So we have come to THAT time of year. Summer is just around the corner, and school is winding down. Well...winding up first! It's very easy to lose focus and get complacent. We just celebrated Christ's conquering over death and hell, and we made it through spring break, 3/4 of the school year and the LOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG winter of 2014. Time to relax right? Not exactly. Read a few of these quotes if laziness is tugging on you, and PUSH ON!! Matthew 10:22 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Romans 5:3-4 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
Galatians 6:9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Philippians 1:6And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
James 5:11Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
2 Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Revelation 2:2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.
C.S. Lewis Quotes About Perseverance
God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.
Christian Perseverance Quotes
By perseverance the snail reached the ark.- Charles Spurgeon
If you’re running a 26-mile marathon, remember that every mile is run one step at a time. If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time. If you’re trying to master a new language, try it one word at a time. There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and you’ll find that no job is all that intimidating.- Charles Swindoll
Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth.- Rick Warren
Many of us harbor hidden low self-esteem. We deem everything and everyone more important that ourselves and think that meeting their needs is more important than eeting our own. But if you run out of gas, everyone riding with you will be left stranded.- T.D. Jakes
Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.- William Wilberforce
Battles are fought in our minds every day. When we begin to feel the battle is just too difficult and want to give up, we must choose to resist negative thoughts and be determined to rise above our problems. We must decide that we’re not going to quit. When we’re bombarded with doubts and fears, we must take a stand and say: “I’ll never give up! God’s on my side. He loves me, and He’s helping me! I’m going to make it!- Joyce Meyer
We are able to persevere only because God works within us, within our free wills. And because God is at work in us, we are certain to persevere. The decrees of God concerning election are immutable. They do not change, because He does not change. All whom He justifies He glorifies. None of the elect has ever been lost.-R.C Sproul
“Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
‘Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.’” -Matthew 10:5-8 (MSG)
If you passed by the Cathedral on Friday, April 4, 2014 after 7:30pm, you would have seen space marked off, tents pitched and cardboard boxes assembled outside on the west lawn. On Friday night, youth and their leaders camped outside to explore what it is like to live outside for one night, as some of our brothers and sisters do every night. This was only a start to 20 hours of experiencing and learning what it means to be the “harvest hands” in our community and in our world.
We gathered together in St. Alban’s Parish, Nourse Hall, where Mr. Micheal Lawyer, the Rev. Cara Spaccarelli, and small group leaders led large and small groups in talking, singing, praying, and exploring where God might be calling us to serve in our own communities. This call, they reminded us, might be uncomfortable, but calls us into a deeper relationship with Christ and others.
Following Eucharist on Saturday morning, we were split up into different groups and went out into Washington, DC to serve 5 locations in our community: Epiphany Mission Center, Grace Table Georgetown, Seabury Age-in-Place (two locations), and Capital Hill Group Ministry. Throughout the city, we served meals, invited people to Sunday morning Welcome Table at Church of the Epiphany, pruned trees, cut down shrubs, prayed with people outside Union Station, and taught arts and crafts.
We returned from our service sites with so many stories to share. We debriefed on what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world and how we can continuously love our neighbors as ourselves.
Thanks to the youth, youth leaders, families and committee members who participated in sharing Christ’s light in DC through the Youth and Family Service Day.
Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours God, help us to live now and serve now! Amen. -St. Teresa of Avila
Winter Retreat Recap “Identity Crisis”
Over President’s Day weekend the youth traveled down to Duck, NC for a weekend getaway and refocusing on what being a follower of Christ means, looks like, and calls us to change, reform or give up in our lives in everything from our personal relationship with God, to our actions in life, and how we love and share Christ with those around us every day. The weekend was full of group time hanging out, playing games, seeing the first flight memorial at Kitty Hawk, beach time, and lots of singing and discussion time where we focused on becoming known as followers of Jesus Christ.
“Identity Crisis” then is how we began the weekend with a discussion and devotion based on being given a new identity when we become known as a follower of Jesus. Just as a taste of the weekend I will leave you with the devotional we worked through together. In Matthew 16: 17-18, Jesus is talking to His disciple, Simon Peter. The name Simon when translated means “shifty” or “one who sways”. In other words, Simon who was his given name indicated that he was a little wishy-wahsy and had a problem with stability and doing the right thing. However, in verse 18, Jesus says, “But I tell you that you are Peter.” The name Peter translated is “petros” or “the rock”. Jesus was telling Peter, I don’t care what they say about you, I’m giving you a new name. You’re not going to sway in your faith anymore, but you are going to be firm. Your faith is going to be like a rock and you’re going to do the unthinkable for the kingdom of God.
God has given us all a new identity in Him that calls us to be changed and redeemed in Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin as John 3:1 tells us. Questions to ask yourself:
1. What have I allowed my identity to be? When people ask, who do I say that I am?
2. Who have I allowed to help define my identity?
3. How is my identity going to change now that I understand who God says I am?
That was the beginning of our weekend and is the beginning of walking through life with Christ as our guide, savior, comforter, and friend. But we are called to follow and find our identity in Him. The retreat focused on that to begin, working on us, and then bridged that out to how that affects how we share that love and grace that Christ gave us with our neighbors.
McKenna Center - Feed my sheep!
2014 - What's new?
Seabury Age-in-Place, McKenna Center, & More! First up is the Age-in Place program which will be the second saturday of each month. It is a new service/outreach opportunity for the whole parish to get involved in serving shut-ins and seniors who are trying to make it in their own home with assistance. For more on this opportunity check out the "Christ's Hands and Feet" tab at the top. The McKenna Center is our next new service opportunity, and it's an incredible chance to serve the homeless in DC. The McKenna Center offers a shelter, and food service to the homeless in DC and is currently only open Monday-Friday because of a lack of volunteers. It is a great opportunity to bless our neighbors with gifts God has given us. It will be first saturday's starting in February as well. Again, check out the "Christ's Hands and Feet" tab for more information and dates on the McKenna Center. Lastly, for now, is the Diocesan Youth and Family Ministry Day April 4/5. It will be a day of service on Saturday the 5th, preceded by a junior high/high school overnight at the National Cathedral on the 4th. It will be complete with worship, small groups, poverty awareness, and learning to serve as a lifestyle, not an extracurricular event. For more on that check out the "Upcoming Events" tab up above and sign up if you are interested in serving your neighbors that day.
St. Francis Youth Ministry 2013-2014
To Live is Christ…To Die is Gain – Philippians 1:21-22
This verse is well known, but it takes a whole lot more time and study to truly understand and grapple with then intensity with which Paul challenges us in these eight words alone. Let us look at what dying is, and what we are called to die from and then take a look at the opposite, which, if my theological math is correct, would be living…right?
So what does it truly mean for Paul to tell us that to die is to gain? For us to fully understand that we must first look at what we are told living in the world is. Let us start with the American dream, and quite possibly it will be sufficient to use that alone as the basis for dying. The American dream is one of insurmountable success and prosperity through making yourself the best you. It is the ideals that if you work hard enough, and be a good moral person and accepting of others that you will find financial success, career success, family success. Temporal things such as nice cars, big houses, bigger bank accounts, people liking you and an easy life are what the American dream tells us. It tells us beautiful women are 5’8” and 110 lbs. and argue this if you want, but that is the size of women who model the clothes and are in the ads you buy and see.
Let us look quickly then what Christ has to say about some of these same things in this life. In Matthew 19:24 he says, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." This isn’t to frighten us as we live in prosperity, but to warn us that if we use our riches as our own instead of blessing the kingdom, the poor, the oppressed, we will get back exactly what we gave. See it as an opportunity to bless others, not as a fulfillment of the American dream. Then we go on to see James give us an even harsher view of the call from Paul in chapter 4 verse four where it says, “don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” What are things that we like to be “friends” with that are outside of what Christ has called us to? It is a very intense call, and we should be quick to see it as such and very slow to ignore that call! Finally John says a few words to wrap up this part of the unpacking of Paul’s statement. In 1 John 2:15 it says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Anything in and of the world covers a whole lot of that American dream it seems, and maybe some stuff we don’t want to let go of. It is not a call to live homeless, it is not a call to quit your job and go volunteer, it is not a call to sell your car and walk everywhere, but what it is most definitely is a call to use all of those blessings not for yourself but to bless the kingdom. The question we all must ask is what are we doing with our blessings to bless God, by blessing his kingdom work?
Let us leave it here for now and ponder how we are to come to a deeper understanding of what exactly in our lives Christ is calling us to die to so that we might live for him. Are you putting your job before Christ? Do politics come before Christ in your life? Does your bank account get more attention than your Bible? Do you spend more time nourishing your physical body than your spiritual? This is just the beginning of what it means to say, “to live is Christ… to die is gain.” We are called to put into question every part of our life, even those things given by God such as family, friends, and our homes, and to answer those questions by being able to say without a doubt that Christ is above all of that. That is what we will be unpacking this year in the student ministry where students are hammered with the ideal outcome of 4.0 GPA’s, ivy league colleges, relationships built on false ideas preached by culture, getting a great job that will pay well, and being “successful”. We are going to challenge the idea of being successful this year, and instead I suggest we forget being successful and worry about being faithful. I dare bet that more joy, hope and enjoyment will be shared if being faithful becomes the goal rather than just being successful. Walk with us this year in this difficult but Christ-like challenge! AmenJ
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Student Ministry Contact Information Josh Ruiter - Youth Minister Office phone: 301-365-2055 Cell phone: 301-830-1060 email: firstname.lastname@example.org