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EPC Student Ministries is a network for youth workers in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Paid, Volunteer, Full-Time, and Part-Time). It is open to all who work with EPC youth, as well as our friends and colleagues.

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11 January 12

FREE - ONLINE YOUTH MINISTRY COURSE

There’s still time!
Join our FREE online course in Youth Ministry from Jan 16th -Mar ‘12
.

Student Ministries is excited to offer its first online course in Youth Ministry from January 16 to the end of March 2012.

Youth Ministry, is taught by Covenant Seminary professor, Mark Davis, through their worldwide class room. Mark Steimer, Student Ministries Committee member and youth pastor at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, TN will facilitate the class forum.

Youth workers will benefit from quality training without leaving home; yet, benefiting from interaction with “classmates” from around the EPC.

The course is ideal for all EPC youth workers (volunteer, part-time, fulltime, interns, veterans and newbies alike). Whether you are a volunteer hoping to get something started for the students at your church or a staff member looking for some continuing education this course, the cost (did we mention it’s FREE) and interaction with other EPCers has it all.

Those taking the course will listen to 2 audio lectures each week and thereafter interact with the group through an online chat room/bulletin board. Conference calls will be scheduled to cover the supplemental reading.

Suggested reading: Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, Doug Fields; Starting Right: Thinking Theologically About Youth Ministry, Dean, et. al.; Connecting, Larry Crabb

If you are interested or have question, contact Mark Steimer at Marksteimer@cspc.net or Susan Holland susan.holland@epc.org, 248.345.2913.

If you’re ready to sign up then follow the 3 Steps to Register Below!

STEP ONE:  Register for the Covenant Seminary course:

1.        Go to http://worldwide-classroom.com/

2.       Click on the Register – Free link

3.       Create your Profile

4.       Choose your Study Plan

a.       Which Plan?  - None, I’ll follow my own study plan or other as desired

b.      Select all that apply

c.       Publications to select if you wish

5.       Submit Profile page

6.       Continue to Log-in Page

7.       Log-in My Classroom

8.       Click on - Start a New Course

9.       Click on CE521 - Youth Ministry (in alpha order – last course)

10.   Preview Course – check out listening options/syllabus/study guides/suggested reading

STEP TWO:  Become a Member of EPC Community at www.epc.socialgo.com

1.       Click on “Not a Member?  Sign up Now”

2.        When prompted for an Access Code use:  EPC1981 This is case-sensitive

3.       Complete Registration Page by filling in your personal information

4.       When completed click on “Sign Up” link

5.       A confirmation email will be sent emailed to you - Look for a message from Evangelical Presbyterian Church. In that message is a link that says “Click here”. When you click that link, your Web browser will open to http://EPC.SocialGo.com and you will be logged into your account.

6.       Need further help becoming a Member?  Find written and audio instructions, by clicking the HELP tab then click on either the “How to create an EPC Community profile” link for video instructions or the “Step-by-Step How to Join EPC Community” for written instructions.

STEP THREE:  Join the Group – YOUTH MINISTRY COURSE – January to March 2012

1.        Click on the Groups Link

2.       Click on the New Groups Link

3.       Near the top of this list you will find the YOUTH MINISTRY COURSE

4.       Join Group by clicking on the link of the right side

15 October 11

TEEN TRANSFORMERS IN KENTUCKY

 Whether you are a fan of the Transformer’s movies or not you probably are aware of the concept, a small rather innocuous car transforms into a powerful alien robot serving a cosmic purpose. The movies involve a lot of metal and flying objects. However, in Menifee County, Kentucky the transformation is happening on a more human, yet, vitally more powerful scale because God is the ultimate Transformer.

 Last year, Student Ministries transitioned from offering a mission’s trip to Appalachian Impact to supporting churches that desire to lead a trip to Salt Lick, Kentucky. Essentially, the Appalachian Impact trip is still transforming.

Appalachian Impact began as a trip for junior high school students, about 20 years ago. Now, the hope is that new mission’s trips will be “planted” each week until the summer is full of EPC churches transformed by God, doing His transforming work through construction projects, literacy programs, relationships and the living out of God’s Word. Churches can choose to partner with another church or lead their own week.

One partnership opportunity comes from Grace Chapel EPC of Farmington Hills, MI. They would like to invite another church to serve alongside them the first week of July. Their intent is to partner with a church or youth group that also feels called to eventually lead a mission’s trip week in KY. The church or youth group would send a leadership team (comprised of adults or adults and teens) to travel with Grace to gain experience and to prepare to lead their own trip the following year.

If your church is interested in partnering with Grace Chapel or finding out about other church partnership opportunities or leading your own week in KY, please contact Susan Holland, EPC Student Ministries Coordinator, at susan.holland@epc.org or 248-345-2913 for more information.

15 September 11

Teen Same-Sex Attraction: Resources for Presenting a Biblical Perspective in a Culture of Tolerance

The pressure on youth and young adults today to conform to a distorted message on sex is nothing short of overwhelming.  Our culture, media, internet and peer influence all contribute daily to this distortion.  Teens and young adults in the church are becoming ensnared in sexual struggles and sin at virtually identical numbers as those outside of the church. 

Unfortunately, the church is largely silent on this issue.  Meanwhile, many are swept away from faith and church in the wake of unbiblical influences.  Youth workers, parents and volunteer leaders often don’t know what to say.  And students who want to follow Jesus and God’s design for sexuality are increasingly confused by misinformation and distortions. 

Student Ministries seeks to enter this conversation, equip leaders/parents and provide resources to those who love a generation bombarded by the message that any form of sexual expression is acceptable. 

In our search for reliable resources Student Ministries came across Harvest USA ministry.  They are making an impact by coming alongside the local church.  Harvest began as an outreach ministry to the homosexual community located near their PCA church.  Today it serves numerous churches by equipping and resourcing people to step into the lives of individuals and families affected by all kinds of sexual struggles. 

Some of the resources available through Harvest USA include:

  • Seminars and workshops for youth leaders, youth and/or parents
  • Harvest News – God Gives the Best Sex: A Positive Theology of Sex & Sexuality
  • Books and Sunday School series

The Harvest book series entitle “Proclaiming the Truth & Mercy” is an excellent place to start.  Each book in the series is a compilation of chapters authored by different individuals writing from their personal experiences.  Harvest will be adding to the series in the coming months.  The series covers the following topics:

Book One – The Homosexual Debate and the Church.  This book provides insights into the controversy surrounding gay-theology and cultural issues.

Book Two – First Steps of Compassion.  A great book for anyone coming alongside those who struggle with same sex attraction.  The book includes a section on ways to afford comfort to hurting parents.

Book Three – Gay…Such Were Some of Us.  A compilation of personal stories where lives were transformed and changed.

Another excellent resource is the EPC Position Paper on Homosexuality which addresses the issue from a biblical perspective.  Student Ministries welcomes additional resource suggestions, please contact susan.holland@epc.org with your ideas, comments or questions. 

See below for links to suggested resources. 

Helpful Links:

  1. Seminars and workshops -
    http://www.harvestusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=357&Itemid=50

  2. Harvest News – God Gives the Best Sex: A Positive Theology of Sex & Sexuality http://www.harvestusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=158:god-gives-the-best-sex&catid=48:questions-you-ask&Itemid=57

  3. Books and Sunday School series - http://www.harvestusa.org/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=13&Itemid=39

  4. Proclaiming the Truth & Mercy Series - http://www.harvestusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=373&Itemid=59&limitstart=1

  5. EPC Position Paper on Homosexuality -
     http://www.epc.org/about-the-epc/position-papers/homosexuality
30 August 11

Training in the Ancient Arts of Warfare

 English longbows, Highland games, medieval longswords, samurais, riding horses and practiced solitude are among a few of the spiritual disciplines experienced at a Warriors Path retreat for men, aged 18-35.  Guys will divide their time between personal spiritual disciplines, teaching on the epic battle of good & evil, and exciting opportunities to train in the ancient arts of warfare.

 The founders of the Warriors Path ministry believe that young men want to experience a Christianity that is bigger than a classroom; that is big enough for their strengths, passions and wildest dreams. 

 John Eldridge expressed it this way in his book, The Way of the Wild Heart:

 “The heart of the warrior is wounded in a young man when he has no one to train him. No king to give his allegiance to.  And no cause to fight for.” 

 Therefore, if you’re a youth leader looking for a unique training weekend for personal growth, team building, or a mentoring opportunity to come alongside young men in your ministry, check out the Warriors Path retreat at http://www.warriorspathonline.com/p/retreats.html.  The next retreat will be held in Silver Lake, Michigan on September 16-18, 2011.

 Contact Derrick Steel derrick@wholeness.org or David Anderson sonluvr@yahoo.com for more information. 

8 July 11

Curriculum Suggestions Anyone?

I have been teaching Sunday school and choosing Curriculum for 25
years (and I am only 35). For the past ten years I have used Great
commission publications curriculum for middle school. I like having a
larger scope and sequence so I can cover certain parts of scripture
and theology over several years. I have also appreciated having a
reformed evangelical approach. I have held a quiet pride of teaching
the scripture and not relying on curriculum for bells or whistles.

A few weeks ago I taught in our 5th grade Sunday morning program. They
supplied me with PowerPoint slides and the three points of my lesson
before I spoke. To my surprise, I really liked it. I was able to
communicate important content with my own reformed perspective in way
that seemed effective.

My question as I approach a new year is what have you find helpful –
what curriculum do you use? Why do you use it?  - does anyone have a
suggestion of a curriculum that supplies the PowerPoint slides and
perhaps even small group discussion questions.


Submitted by:
Mark Steimer
middle school pastor
Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church
Knoxville, TN

28 June 11

Small Churches Reflect God’s Kingdom in Big Ways

I arrived home from GA to a bit more stress than I had hoped.  I am the sole caregiver for my mom who is 91 years young.  God provided in a big way when He directed me to just the right caregiver to come in to stay with my mom while I was gone.  All went well but I think mom is having a delayed reaction to the stress and has been a bit under the weather and needing an abundance of TLC since I arrived home. 

So forgive me for being remiss in bringing you the highlights from GA.  I will do so in short order; however, in the mean time I read an article that caught my attention and I thought I’d pass it along.  It just so happens that the article is by one of our 2011 GA speakers, Ed Stetzer.  As I read the article it brought to mind so many stories that I heard from those I met at GA who primarily minister in and through small church settings.     

Here are a few quotes from the article to wet your appetite:      

“Jesus confused a lot of people when He showed up and announced that the kingdom of God had come near. Then, he confused even more people when he described it as small”

“Jesus is unembarrassed, unashamed and unperturbed by describing the Kingdom using small things.”

 “Actually, what’s normal (and very valuable) is small churches living on mission in their contexts, being about the business of the kingdom of God.”

The article is entitled, Small is Kingdom Big.  Here’s the link: http://ow.ly/5scTl

 I’d love to here your thoughts in our comment section below.

30 May 11

Welcome to the new EPC Student Ministries website!

Welcome to the new EPC Student Ministries website!

If you’ve ever visited our webpages on epc.org, perhaps you are wondering “What’s new, besides the design?”

What’s new?  It’s you!  In other words, this website is yours to shape and direct.  What do you need or wish you had in order to follow your calling more effectively?  And what resources and ideas do you have to offer others who serve junior or senior high students in the EPC?

The three ways Student Ministries hopes to serve are to Equip, Provide and Connect:

Equip – We seek to respond to your leadership development needs here.

Provide – The spot to find and share opportunities and resources.

Connect – A place to network, collaborate, share ideas, find encouragement and prayer support. 

We are also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to make staying in touch only a click away.  After you have cruised the website a bit, we’d love to hear your comments concerning what you’d like to see this website become to assist you and other EPC youth workers.  If you have a few extra moments give us a bit more feedback by clicking on our Survey Monkey link.

We look forward to journeying with you in ministry and as Christ followers. 

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh