Emily’s Youth Message – Dating

Emily’s Youth Message – Dating

We can probably all remember the go-to lines our parents used to say to us comparing life from when they were growing up to our lives growing up. And you’ve probably cringed when you heard yourselves saying those same lines to your own kids. Without even trying very hard, we’ve become a lot like our parents. And maybe nothing looks more different in our generation compared to theirs than relationships with the opposite sex. What has always been complicated now feels entirely mystifying.

The terms for dating and the cultural standards are different. What you may expect for your teenagers in your family may be different than what other families expect. In fact, your expectations and guidelines may vary with each of your kids.

Thankfully, the most important thing for you to do, has little to do with the cultural whims of the day, the current relationship status of your kids, or even whether you’ve had the chance to talk about it with your students before.

When it comes to your role in the relationships your kids have in the dating realm, your first step is to fill their tank.

Students (and children, and adults, for that matter) tend to make their worst mistakes out of a place of insecurity. It’s not a conscious decision, but when someone feels insecure, they’ll do just about anything to feel otherwise. In her TED talk, author and researcher Brené Brown says, “the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging.” Meaning, every child comes pre-built with a tank made for love and belonging. So, if you work hard now to make sure your students believe beyond any doubt they are loved and they fit in your family, there is less chance they will look elsewhere for the affirmation and acceptance they are wired to experience.

No, this won’t provide them with an invincible shield of armor that fights off every potential dating pitfall. But it offers a solid base your kids can build on—an anchor that grounds them when relationships change. And when they know they have what they need at home, they won’t be as desperate to find it somewhere else.

Try This

While words are powerful, they’re only worth something if they’re believed. And belief comes from hearing messages and seeing actions that support one another. We know from our own experience that someone whose behavior and words matchup is far more believable than someone whose actions contradict what they say.

Try choosing one of the messages below that you feel most strongly about your student believing.

  1. You are accepted. You fit in this family just the way you are.
  2. You matter. You are an important person.
  3. You are better than you think. You’re more talented, more intelligent, and more valuable than culture gives you credit for being.

Now, think of one way action you can do this week to reinforce that belief for your student?

Reserve Your Christmas Tree by Nov. 17

Reserve Your Christmas Tree by Nov. 17

Reserve a beautiful, fresh-cut Christmas Tree and support our youth!

Merge Youth Ministries is selling fresh Fraser Fir Christmas trees with the proceeds helping to provide mission trip scholarships. The trees are delivered only 48 hours after they are cut. The trees range from 3 – 14 ft. You can reserve your tree via our online form until Nov. 17.

You can also order your trees in person on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12. The youth will be selling trees 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Harnish Activities Center on Nov. 5 and in Courtyard and Magnolia Patio on Nov. 12.

Tree pick-up will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30 in the main parking lot. If you can help distribute trees on Nov. 30, contact Kathy.

Youth Ministries Summer Mission Trips

Youth Ministries Summer Mission Trips

Family Mission Trip – El Ayudante “The Servant” Leon, Nicaragua If you have ever felt called to serve the poor, this is a wonderful opportunity for you.  No special training or particular skills are required.  You need only to have a kind and loving heart and a desire to help and serve the poor. Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere.  What the people lack material goods they make up in spiritual richness.  The people of Nicaragua are some of the happiest and friendliest people you will ever meet.  After a week in Nicaragua, you will feel like you received something … a life changing experience. Learn more about our mission partner here.

When: July 14-21
Cost: Cost of the mission trip – Approximately $1,500 per person.  This includes round trip airfare from Tampa through Miami to Managua; all transportation in Nicaragua; food and lodging at El Ayudante; and funds to pay for construction materials, snacks, and school supplies we will use in Nicaragua. Deposit Due Jan. 19. Anticipated Service Hours: 48 (subject to change)
Sign Me Up!

Domestic Mission trip — Weaverville, NC Recreation Experiences is committed to providing groups of youth, adults, and families with opportunities to “Share Christ Through Our Service to Others”. They are committed to offering opportunities that are safe, healthy, affordable and spiritually powerful. The main goal is simple but profound: To touch lives through hammers paint and hard work. Arrival is on Sunday evening for dinner and orientation and departure is following breakfast on Saturday Morning. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are workdays. Wednesday is a full day off to relax and regroup as a team while White-Water-Rafting.

When: July 8-14
Cost: $500 Anticipated
Anticipated Service Hours: 40 (subject to change)
Sign Me Up!

High School Mission trip — Bahamas Bahamas Methodist Habitat (BMH) is a nonprofit outreach ministry dedicated to disaster relief and home repair in The Bahamas. Founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, BMH has since served as a catalyst for disaster relief throughout the family islands of The Bahamas and even as far as Haiti and Turks & Caicos. When not responding to disaster, BMH organizes and facilitates short term missions for about 500 volunteers per year. These volunteers serve on projects that address substandard housing and promote community. Volunteers serve on home repair projects in settlements throughout the island. Projects are supervised by locally hired site leaders who can teach volunteers some of the basics of work onsite. Projects may include roofing, tiling, painting, installing doors and windows, and hanging drywall. In Nassau, BMH partners with St. Michael’s Methodist Church on home repair projects in the local community.

When: July 22- 28
Cost: $1,500—Everything included in this price! Deposit Due Dec. 31.
Anticipated Service Hours: 48 (subject to change)
Sign Me Up!

Merge Small Group Fun Night

Merge Small Group Fun Night

Instead of regular Merge, our Small Groups will be meeting off property at different times for some fun! This is a great night to invite your friends!
Here’s what everyone is up to:

6th Grade Girls and 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Boys: Join us at the West Shore AMC to see the Lego Ninjago Movie. Bring money for the movie at 3:15 p.m. Pick up outside P.F. Chang’s at 5:15 p.m.

7th and 8th Grade Girls: Scavenger Hunt at the West Shore Mall! Meet in the food court at 4. Bring money for food or snack at the end of the hunt. Pick up at 6 in the food court.

9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade: Cookout at Friendship Park! Meet us at Friendship Park, 4142 W. Bay to Bay Blvd. Tampa FL 33629, from 4:00- 7:15 for a cookout, games and time to hang out. Please bring $10 per person to cover food and pavilion rental.

If you have any questions about where the different groups are meeting, please contact Megan.

Merge Mission Sunday

We will celebrate Missions Sunday by having some of our featured mission partners come and doing hands-on-activities with our students. We have a goal to make 100 hygiene kits together and are asking our small groups to split up the supply list and bring supplies for our time together Sunday.

6th Grade Girls – 600 total adhesive bandages
-¾ inch to 1 inch size
-Common household Band-Aids
6th Grade Boys – $1 bills – This will help to purchase toothpaste
7th Grade Girls – Combs; Comb needs to be sturdy and longer than 6 inches long
-No pocket combs or picks please
-Rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable with a minimum of 6 inches of teeth
7th Grade Boys – washcloths
8th Grade Girls – Metal nail file or nail clippers; No Emery Boards please
8th Grade Boys – bath size soaps; -3 oz. and larger sizes only
-No Ivory or Jergens soap due to moisture content
-Do not remove from original packaging
9th Grade – hand towels; 15 x 25 inches to 17 x 27 inches
-Kitchen, Cleaning and microfiber towels not acceptable
10th Grade – 1 Gallon size sealable plastic bags
11th & 12th Grades – Tooth brushes; Adult size only, Do not remove from original packaging

Thank you everyone! We will meet from 5:30-6 p.m. for dinner in the Magnolia Building. Please bring $5 and invite your friends to come and serve together!


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