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

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!

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. (

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!

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!


Emily’s Youth Message – Their Safe Place

Emily’s Youth Message – Their Safe Place

There are so many places and environments your teen has to hold his or her emotions together, and their home is the one place they feel safe to let down their guard and release what may be pent up inside. For you as the parent, however, this is a test of faith and patience!

Be encouraged, however, and hang on to the promises in God’s Word that He loves your teen more than you do. He has a plan and a purpose for them, and though you might not be able to see it now, you can trust in the One who does. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

When you spend time with God and His Word, you’ll be able to better manage those times when you are at a loss for what to do with your teen. I know you want to fix the problem, but sometimes you’ll need to let them process their stress. Watch this week’s parenting class.

When you feel like you are at your wits end, and there is no easy solution for your teen’s frustration, it’s time to get on your knees. Prayer is the harder work, but it is the most effective. Find prayer warriors to “fight” the battle with you—ultimately, your teens are experiencing a spiritual battle, so you need to fight for them with spiritual weapons. Ask God for His wisdom to know how to pray. In the book of Psalms, it says, “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven” (Psalm 107:28–30).

In these three verses, we are given some great encouragement. The Israelites “cried out to God,” and He “delivered them from their distress.” Stand in the gap through prayer, crying out to God for your teen’s distress—and ask Him to “hush” the raging waters in their life and make them “quiet.”

And, don’t be afraid to tell your teen you are praying for him/her. Saying something like, “I wish I could make things better for you. I don’t know what to do to help, but I want you to know I’m praying for you every day,” is a powerful way to let your teen know you love them.

I am praying for you and your family too! Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions or concerns. I’m here for you!

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