Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Who's the new guy??

Hey everyone! I’ve been able to meet so many of you and you probably know the basics about me
already. But I’d love to take a chance to properly introduce myself. 

My name is Nick Richart and I am loved by God. That’s where everything has started for me.
My decisions, my mistakes, my life story - it all stems from this love that I still can’t fully explain. 

Starting at too young an age, I have faced many hardships and heartbreaks in my life.
I used to think these hard times were what defined me. Granted, they are a huge part of my story and
have helped shape who I am today, but these hardships created cracks in my life that allowed God to
pour through. I’m not certain that God made these cracks, but the love that God offers was certainly able
to work through my times of trial. 

Through death, lies, temptation, guilt, and so many other heavy things that I have experienced in
my life (and I’m sure you have, too!), I knew that I loved God and that God loved me. I thought that these
heartbreaks were necessary for me to love God - and in some ways, that's true - but ultimately, this
love story that God has written is much simpler. Do you want to hear it? Here it goes:

“God loves me. The end.”

No seriously! That’s the whole story.  Everything else that has taken place, good or bad, has been a normal
part of life that our non-normal God is trying to be present in. Now you may think this diminishes the big
events in my life, but I think it adds so much more! God was present with me when I peed my pants in
kindergarten. God was present with me when my 4th grade crush rejected me (no hard feelings, Hailey!).
God was there with me when my mom died, but is also there anytime I remember the times she made me
laugh. God was with me when I met my lifelong friends and has been with us as our friendships have
continued to grow. God was there when my niece and nephew were born and has been present with me
as I get to show them the love that God has shown me. 

The point is, God loves me so much that I can’t get rid of the guy. That’s why I’m here. I have been offered
a love that knows no bounds - one that has seen my mistakes and said “I still love you.” This love makes
me whole and challenges me to be a better version of myself. 

The best part? That love is offered to you too. 

I hope I can show, experience, and teach that love as best I can in our time together. It’s my prayer that
beyond anything, the NRUMC Youth know that they are loved. So let’s talk video games or basketball!
Let’s grab a milkshake or go hiking! However you want to hang out, I’m game. I’d love to be present in
your life just like God is present in ours. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

April: Summer scheduling, Welcome Nick, Big Idea Photos

April 10, 2019

First of all, a HUGE THANK YOU to all who made Big Idea 2019 a weekend to remember!
Remember, you can view all the pictures from the weekend on our Shutterfly ShareSite.

Recap Video Links: https://youtu.be/gSPvssBkKLo     https://youtu.be/JHiQaGqG3iI
Thank you Sarah and Spencer for capturing the weekend in such an amazing and meaningful way!
I pray that all will continue to explore their calling to "Co-Create" with God through community.

 We have a new Associate Director!  Nicholas Richart

NRUMC is thrilled to announce that Nicholas Richart will be joining our staff as the Associate Director of Youth Ministry beginning April 23rd, 2019. Nick is currently the Director of Youth Ministries at Central UMC in Shelby, NC where he has served for the past 3 years.  Nick grew up in Mooresville, NC and attended Appalachian State University graduating in 2015 with a degree in Religious Studies and a minor in Recreation Management. In his spare time Nick enjoys picking the banjo, rock climbing, and reading comic books.

We hope you will join us in praying for this transition in our youth ministry and warmly welcoming 
nick to our staff and our church community! ALL YOUTH AND PARENTS are invited join us in "officially" welcoming Nick on Wednesday May 1 6:30-8:00! If you feel led to bring a gift for Nick, we encourage gift cards to local restaurants and shops so that he can try all the places you love!

Please check out the last blog post about our current ministry needs! It will take a while for Nick to get his bearings and we need your help going forward!

  • Beginning Sunday June 9th all youth grades 6-12 will meet in room Y1 for Sunday School.
    Summer Sunday school will be more casual as we read through Love Does by Bob Goff.
    Please let Jen know if you are able to help facilitate Sunday School this summer!
    Youth Sunday School classes will resume on Starting Point/ Promotion Sunday, August 25th
  • Beginning Sunday June 9th all youth grades 6-12 will meet on SUNDAY nights for youth group at our normal 6:30-8:00 time. There may be some weeks that we meet earlier for fun events so watch the Youth Blast and our Instagram so you're in the loop!
  • We are still in need of 2 adults each to attend our Middle School Mission trip June 16-22 and our High School Mission trip July 7-13.  Specifically we need adults who can serve as site leaders and lead housing repair projects. We MUST have additional adults sign up or we cannot attend these trips! Trip fees for adults will be waived.

    View my Previous Blog Post on General Conference 2019 and The Way Forward

    Interesting in being involved in a Reconciling ministries?  (Contact Melissa Auten)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

General Conference 2019

The following was shared with High School youth on Sunday evening March 10th as a way to educate students on UMC current events and polity. Please reach out if you have questions and know that all of our pastors are available and willing to speak with you.
The General Conference of the global UMC met in St. Louis February 23-26, 2019. This body meets every 4 years and at the 2016 gathering of GC the conversation about the marriage and ordination of our LGBTQ+ friends was so much a point of contention that the GC decided to table the conversation and readdress it at a special GC session in 2019. A Council of Bishops was assembled to lead us in "The Way Forward" and find a plan that would keep the United Methodist church true to its name.
This Council proposed multiple plans that would keep us unified, but endorsed the plan they named the “One Church Plan”. The One Church plan was basically a 'states’ rights' type compromise allowing for individual conferences, congregations, and individual pastors to decide for themselves whether or not to marry or ordain LGBTQ persons. The plan that was ultimately passed by the General Conference is named "The Traditional Plan" and calls for keeping the current language as well as a more strict enforcement of the prohibition of ordination and marriage for LGBTQ+ persons.

A bit of UMC History:  in 1972 the current language of the Book of Discipline was added which currently reads that “homeosexuality is incapitable with Christian teaching" Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

Essentially, adopting this "Traditional Pla"n means keeping the current language, and more strictly enforcing it which many are opposed to. The vote for the Traditional plan was by very small margin (3%) with the Majority of US Delegate highly favoring the "One Church Plan" instead.  Many pieces of the Traditional Plan are currently unconstitutional, specifically some of the “punitive” language or plans to punish those who go against this, and therefore The Traditional plan still has to go through the “supreme court” of UMC- through judicial review this April --- NO CHANGES will go into effect until January 2020 regardless- AND in May of 2020 we have our normal session of General Conference all over again.  This is not the end of this conversation for United Methodists.

We have to remember that we are a GLOBAL church. 
The One Church Plan was actually supported by 66% of our US delegation. The Traditional Plan passed by 53%, which is basically 45-50 votes out of over 800 total. (So when you’re old enough to vote in elections, don’t think for a second that your vote doesn’t count!) Each Annual Conference will elect delegates to General Conference this June-- so the 2020 session of General Conference will have newly elected delegates… Basically, this decision is not final and the conversation is far from over.
But MOST importantly:
God loves you and I do too. I believe our church will work to continue to welcome and love all of God's children in the life of our church. No one is saying that persons in the LGBTQ+ community are unwelcomed in our congregation, on our staff, in church leadership, to take communion or be baptized or that they will be denied any of those things…
We are called by God to be welcoming and create a community of faith for all persons. For those of you who may be part of the LGBTQ community or an ally to that community, please know that you are not alone and that you are loved in ways bigger than any words or decisions can communicate. If you need someone to talk to or someone to pray with you, please reach out to me or our other ministry leaders who love you dearly

We hope that you will join us in prayer for our LGBTQ brother and sisters and continue to be the welcoming and encouraging community of believers that we know you to be. We have work to do!


More Resources: (To stay informed)





Monday, March 11, 2019

March Update--Current Youth Ministry Needs. (Updated April 10)

Parents, please read below and find somewhere that you can help us this semester! Your support is greatly needed!Please reach out to me with questions.
Thanks in advance,

Mission trip Chaperones:
- MS Mission Trip/Tekoa- 1 Man and 1 Woman needed
- HS Mission Trip/ ASP- TWO Additional Site Leaders needed!

Send- Off Celebration for Cade: Sunday, April 28th
- Food (6-8pm)
- Set up (5:30-6:30pm)
- Clean Up (8-8:30pm)

Welcome Party for New Associate Youth Director:  Wednesday, May 1
- First Wednesday starts at 5pm-
- We will continue Rise against Hunger until goal is met
- S'mores and fire outside !

Sunday School Teachers:
- SUMMER  Sunday School 9:45 hour      from June 2-August 18th

Confirmation Celebration Dinner: (May 11)
- Set Up and Decorating
- Kitchen Team
- youth servers
- Clean up
- Photographer

Golf Tournament: 

- We still have room for a few more teams and we need more door prizes!!!
- Spread the word to help us get players and teams registered

---------------------------THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT---------------------------------

BIG IDEA: (March 29-31)
- Family Group Leaders   (We need 6 more adults!)
- Saturday Lunch Team (March 30, 11am-2pm)
- Saturday Dinner Team (March 30, 3-8pm)
- Sunday Clean Up/Reset Team (March 31, 1-2pm)
- Donate from our Wish List! https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d4daaa923a0fd0-bigidea2 

Golf Tournament: 
- Join us this Saturday to go out for sponsorships!

- Day Of Tournament Volunteer SUG (April 29th)  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d4daaa923a0fd0-april

- Spread the word to help us get players and teams registered

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

February Parent Meeting Info

February 19th, 2019

Thank you to all who attended this Sunday's parent meeting! If you missed the meeting or need a reminder, here are the details:

Golf Tournament:

-The United Methodist Men contacted us in November offering to revive the Golf Tournament fundraiser of years' past and split proceeds for missions! This is our one BIG fundraiser for 2019 and will benefit youth missions all year (Costs for Tekoa, ASP, Peru, as well as Rise Against Hunger at Big Idea and other mission projects.) This fundraising also helps us keep the cost of retreats and events low by covering overhead costs, chaperone costs, and transportation expenses. 
- We need your help for this to be successful! We're organizing teams of youth and parents to visit local businesses and service providers, as well as NRUMC Sunday School classes to ask for their support of the golf tournament as a sponsor and/or by giving donations. Youth can earn volunteer hours for this time. Your first opportunity is THIS Sunday!
- We will also need volunteers leading up to and the day of the tournament (April 29th), for things such as set up, registratration, lunch, clean up.  Stay tuned for more info and get involved!

Hiring Update:

-The hiring team is made up of members from Staff Parrish committee, youth council, and other youth parents. We've been receiving applicants since January and are still in our first round of interviews. We are interviewing another person this Thursday and we appreciate your prayers for discernment during this time.

Summer 2019:

-The registration deadline for Breakaway (Summer camp), Tekoa Mission Camp (MS mission week), and Appalachia Service Project (HS Mission week) is next Sunday, February 24th. After this date, we will hold a waiting list for these trips and the price may increase.
- We need additional adults to attend the middle school mission trip (specifically men!) as well as experienced site leaders for ASP-High school trip. 
- All summer registrations can be found on our website at http://www.nrumc.org/youth-ministry/
 Click on the registration button to read more about the trip and sign up.

BIG IDEA Retreat 2019:

-Registration is now open for our local retreat March 29-31st called Big Idea! This retreat is for youth grades 6-12 and is a GREAT event for students to invite friends to! Our theme for 2019 is Co-Create--Together, we will begin to answer the call to create God’s kingdom together through ideas like peace, justice, mercy, forgiveness and joy! As those made in the image of God, we will learn what it means to “co-create” alongside our creator for the transformation of the world.  Visit our website or click here to view the registration form and sign up today!
- We need MANY MANY adults to help make this weekend happen! Let us know how you can help whether as a family group leader, host home, donating to mission projects, or serving on a meal team. 

Current Ministry Needs: 

  • Sunday School Teachers for Senior High class (Sundays 9:45-10:45) 
  • Mission Trip Leaders for Tekoa and ASP
  • Big Idea Meal Team for Lunch (March 30)
  • Big Idea Meal Team for Dinner (March 30)
  • Big Idea Family Group Leaders (March 29-31) 
  • Golf Tournament Sponsors (February through April)
  • Office Volunteer Help  (Tuesdays 10am-12pm)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

JEANUARY and more!

Hey Y'all! 

We have one PACKED semester and I hope that this blog is just one more way for you stay in-the-know about all youth ministry happenings! 

January 4-5th  nine ministry leaders and I spent 2 days at The Refuge camp down in Ayden, NC. We attended a youth workers retreat called "Cultivate" and started the year off reflecting on our faith journeys and our roles within our ministry. I'm so thankful for that time together with adults who really "get it" when it comes to youth ministry and especially relational ministry. For us to begin the year together in that way was such a blessing. If you missed the Cultivate retreat, mark your calendar now to join us next January because we will definitely be going back, even if it's just to get ice cream, right John?

This month in High School youth group we have a chance to hear from Coach Phil, a church member and local school basketball coach, who has graciously offered his time to spend with us and share some words of wisdom from his 75 years of life. Then, on the night of the 27th, we will have a mission project and a snack supper together- this night will also end JEANUARY so be sure to bring in your jeans to donate by that night. 

This month in Middle School youth group we're beginning a series on Miracles- looking at the miracles jesus performed that we read about in scripture but also training ourselves to look for the everyday miracles that we often miss. We are also remembering to collect change to bring with us to support Joel and Brenda, our friend we sponsor through compassion international.

If your student is playing a team sport, or has band concerts, or is part of a play or musical this semester, please send me those dates! I'd love the chance to come support your student at what they enjoy! (I've promised them that I won't embarrass them TOO much...)

The Golf Tournament is BACK! The United Methodist Men had the best idea to resurrect the Golf Tournament Fundraiser from years' past and partner with the youth ministry to split proceeds. This money is used to help keep our event and retreats cost affordable by covering scholarships and transportation costs as well as supporting various missions we participate in. We are thankful to the UMM for providing the opportunity to work together on this endeavor. We've only had a few meetings so far to make preliminary plans, so it's not too late to join the planning party! We definitely need more youth parents involved in this and we will need all hands on deck as we begin to collect sponsors and recruit players. Look for a parent meeting to be announced very soon where you can learn about how to get involved, but in the meantime, save the date: Monday, April 29th, 2019. 

This month also begins the long awaited hiring process for a full-time Associate Director of Youth Ministry. We have a team assembled, we're collecting applicants, and we're hoping to begin interviews this month. Please join us in praying for the discernment of our hiring team and especially for the person who will join our ministry staff this year. And, If you've read this far, thank you! If you can be the first to text me at 256-577-5362, you can claim a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts! (Update: gift card has been claimed! Check my next blog post for another chance to win!) 

                   Grace and Peace,                                                                                                    


 Calendar Things:

  • Peru Mission Trip FINAL Interest Meeting is Sunday January 27th at 4:00pm. This is the tentative deadline for committing to this trip with a $500 deposit. Read more about the trip and view the registration form here.
  • REGISTRATION DEADLINE for NC Breakaway Summer Camp, Tekoa MS Mission Trip, and ASP High School Mission Trip is February 24th.  Parents, we need your leadership to make these mission trips possible! Visit nrumc.org to view all open registrations!
  • First Wednesday Fellowship Dinner. If you haven't attended one of these yet, you are missing out on some great food and fun mission projects! RSVP for February here!
  • BIG IDEA REGISTRATION opens soon! There will be a prize for the first 10 students to sign up -so look for registration to open on Friday February 1.
  • Superbowl Family Tailgate is February 3rd from 6:00pm until the end of Half Time.We really want this to be a family event and give parents the opportunity to fellowship and hang out together. So bring a dish to share and come support your favorite team!
  • February 16th—HS boys night at Defy Gravity! 

Current Ministry Needs: 

  • Sunday School Teachers for Senior High class (Sundays 9:45-10:45) 
  • Big Idea Design Team Members   ---- Meeting TBA
  • Big Idea Family Group Leaders (March 29-31) 
  • Golf Tournament Planning Team (February-April) 
  • Office Volunteer Help  (Tuesdays 10am-12pm)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Jen has a blog now!

Testing this thing out.... Can you hear me now?

The hope is that this blog will be a place to recap ministry events, provide parent resources, explain upcoming ministry happenings, and most of all just be another way to communicate with parents and students in the best ways possible. Thanks for stopping by!  

Grace and Peace,


PS. If you're an expert "Blogger"- hit me up, I might need your tech expertise ;)

Have you bought a youth ministry Tshirt yet ?!?They're only $15
You know you need one, or two, or three....