Fall Events

Dear Parents, Youth & Partners,

This fall youth in Bend we will continue the radical journey of faith. Members of Nativity Lutheran, First Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal are following the call from God to combine our gifts and skills to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. We seek to serve our community with energy, passion, thought and a whole lot of fun – together.

* 3 churches > 1 community

* 3 traditions > 1 faith

* 3 histories > 1 future

The team leading this effort consists of Ron Werner, Director of Youth Ministries at Nativity Lutheran; Caitlin Jarvis, Associate Director of Youth Ministries at Nativity Lutheran; Rev. Greg Bolt, Pastor of Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church; Donna Jacobsen, Youth and Family Ministries Leader at Trinity Episcopal Church; and many, many volunteers. We have some big opportunities for growth in community, in faith and in love this fall. We hope you will join us for any or all of them.

Youth (6th-12th Grade) Ministry Fall Sunday Morning Opportunities – Beginning October 7

7th-8th Grade – Using the re:form Traditions curriculum. Traditions gives your youth the tools they need to deeply explore their particular faith tradition with witty videos, engaging individual and group activities and an online forum for sharing what they’ve learned along the way. We will also be testing out a previously unpublished curriculum called “Echo the Story.” “Echo the Story” is an innovative line of resources and events, inspiring churches to discover the art of Bible storying. Storying provides an imaginative experience of the Bible’s overarching narrative that prompts creative and meaningful responses.

9th-10th Grade – Leadership Development – Young people in these ages will have the opportunity to learn and grow through teaching Godly Play.

High School Students (9th-12th Grade) – Fellowship – On the first Sunday of the month we will go out for coffee or breakfast. We could be at a shop, a restaurant or someone’s house. This will be a time to sit and be with one another after worshiping together at First Presbyterian.

Bend Youth Collective – Mid Week Offerings: Middle School (6th-8th Grade)—Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 PM Nativity Lutheran will be the weekly meeting place for the middle school BYC starting our first meeting of the year on Wednesday, September 19; and we will continue to meet there through the end of November. December through February we will meet at First Presbyterian, and in March we will start meeting at Trinity Episcopal, where we will finish out the school year. During this time we will work on service projects, play games, watch some videos, have conversations in small groups and gather together to eat dinner.

In order to cover food costs for this upcoming year, we are asking for $50 per student per semester or $100 for the year. If you are unable to pay this amount, scholarships are available. This year we are giving parents the opportunity to host a meal for one of our weekly meetings. We ask that the meal feed approximately 30 youth, and in return we will reimburse you up to $75 in food costs. If providing a meal is something you are interested in or if you have any questions, please email Sally Brogan at sbrogan56@yahoo.com or give her a call (541-771-8467).

High School (9th-12th Grade)—Mondays 6:00-8:00 PM Looney Bean Coffee will be our new weekly meeting place! This awesome coffee shop with a big back yard located at 961 Northwest Brooks Street in Bend will provide a great place for us to meet, play, eat and learn together. It also affords us an opportunity to be downtown and take advantage of all that downtown has to offer.

In order to cover food costs for this upcoming year, we are asking for $50 per student per semester or $100 for the year. If you are unable to pay this amount, scholarships are available. This year we are giving parents the opportunity to host a meal for one of our weekly meetings. We ask that the meal feed approximately 30 youth, and in return we will reimburse you up to $75 in food costs. If providing a meal is something you are interested in or if you have any questions, please email Greg at gbolt@bendfp.org or call him (541-350-8074)

Other Fall Events;

Middle School Mania – Oct. 26-28, Camp B’NAI B’RITH Lincoln City, OR Using Jeremiah 29:10-14, we will explore the promises of God. We will talk about the realities of Middle School life, including bullies, school, relationships with parents and friends, and peer pressure. We will consider the ways that we hide from God and what it means for us to seek God. Through worship and music, in small group conversations and activities, we will explore these concepts and hear again and again God’s promise: “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me” (Jeremiah 29:13–14a, NRSV). Look for a registration brochure in the Commons’ Area Kiosk or contact Greg for more details at gbolt@bendfp.org.

CPYA – Nov. 16-18, Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Turner, OR The working theme is “Don’t Tempt Me.” Amazing speakers, Greg and Heidi Bolt, will lead students through discussion of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and the temptations that we face every day in school, from our peers, and from our families. You know it will be awesome! Look for registration brochures in the Commons Area Kiosk or contact Greg for more details at gbolt@bendfp.org.

Blessings, Rev. Greg Bolt


2011 Has Been a Good Year

Taking time to reflect on the last year I am struck that 2011 has been an amazing year in the life of the Youth Ministry of First Presbyterian Church, not only have we begun an exciting endeavor, the Bend Youth Collective, but also more of our youth are participating in the life of the church than ever before. It is an exciting time to serve as the Pastor for Youth and their Families here in Bend.

In the winter, we continued our step out in faith to do something completely out of the box with the Bend Youth Collective. After meeting with the high school students at Common Table we have found that the idea to love like Jesus is broader than our own community. We have had deep discussions of the radical teachings of Jesus Christ, we have explored what it means to feel left out, we have had a WHOLE lot of fun and the bonds between our students are growing stronger and broader every day. We look forward to more service, fellowship and learning opportunities as we continue to live into this new partnership.

Our middle school students have been meeting at the churches every Wednesday. Every week we pack about 100 backpacks of food so that children on the free and reduced lunch program will have food for the weekend. It has been remarkable to watch youth who receive these bags pack them for others. Those that are in need are providing the help for others, it is a highlight every week to watch kids help their friends. Our small group discussions are deep and thoughtful; they open up and share their joys and concerns. Our community is growing into a wonderful and supportive community of diverse backgrounds and experience.

This summer we took 38 people to Los Angeles for an Urban Immersion Trip with our high school students. We stayed in Angelic Lutheran Church in the Pico Union District of Los Angeles. We worked, played, ate, and created some magnificent space for our youth to grow. Here are some thoughts from two of them:

“The most important thing I learned, though, was that often times prejudices are forced on us by our society, religion, government, race, or our ignorance. The steps that we took on our trip to really immerse ourselves in other cultures were life-changing. I wish that everyone in the world could try doing it for a week. I have always thought of myself as an open-minded person, and I still learned so much about things I thought I knew all about.”

                        -Jasmine Wright, Senior Summit High School

“Overall this trip was an amazing experience. I grew close with those around me, and I feel like I came back carrying a great amount of knowledge and love. I am looking forward to spending time with the friends I’ve made this summer, as well as accompanying them on the mission trips to come.”                 -KT Ainsworth, Senior Bend Senior High

We also took 9 to CITY CAMP, a middle school camp in Salem, Oregon. For several days, we played, prayed, worshipped, sang, and worked. There were amazing experiences at several different organizations that feed hungry people, there were laughs had at the North Clackamas Aquatic Center, there were holy moments in the youth room at Westminster Presbyterian Church. Here are some quotes from the week:

“I saw God today!”

           –Manuel Ponce, 8th Grader Pilot Butte Middle School

“Greg, when we get back I’m going to do your job!”

                –Elijah Tucker, 6th Grader Cascade Middle School

We also took 13 high school, college, and young adults to Nicaragua. We spent most of the time in Condega, a small town in the Estelí region of Nicaragua. Condega is a Sister City of Bend and created the foundation for us to start to build relationships for our brothers and sisters in Central America. I think one of our college students sums it up best:

“Before we left, Ron [leader at Nativity Lutheran] said that he didn’t have a doubt in his mind that this trip would somehow change every one of our lives and he was right. Being back home is amazing, I love being able to drink from the faucet and not having to soak myself in deet every morning, but I can’t help but wish I were still in Nicaragua with all of the other amazing members of our Team.”

                           -Caitlin Jarvis, Senior University of Oregon

As you can see, we are very busy! In my own ministry, it has been remarkable to learn and grow with you all over this almost four years of ministry.

As I sat in worship one Sunday singing with the Praise Team and looking around at all of the college students returned from school, all the youth singing, helping with worship, all the families smiling and singing I was struck about how blessed I am to have a church family that gives me space to grow and helps me along the way.

The only words I have left are, “Thank You!”

Respectfully Submitted,

Rev. Gregory G. Bolt

Pastor of Youth and Their Families

First Presbyterian Church—Bend, Oregon

BendFPYouth News

Summer is coming to a close and we are getting ready for another great year at First Presbyterian. I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of some stuff coming up in the life of the youth.

Sundays this fall we will offer several educational and fellowship opportunities for youth. Keep your eyes peeled for updates coming soon! If you’re interested in teaching or subbing for any of these contact Greg!

There will be a Teacher Training, Sunday, August 28 9:20-10:45 AM. If you’d like to attend contact Greg.

Condega Connect! Check out the displays in the Commons Area to learn more about the trip to Nicaragua and the life changing experiences of the participants.

Kits for Kids: Friday, August 26 10:00 AM meet at First Presbyterian to pack the last 10 Kits for Kids and move them all into the Sanctuary for Sunday Worship. We’ll have fun and go out to lunch afterwards. Contact Greg for more details!.

Youth Over-Night Hike: August 30 – September 1 – Obsidian Falls and Middle Sister

Youth Day Hike: September 24 – Soda Creek Loop

Youth Day Hike: October 14 – River Rim

Also check out this month’s Heartfelt Newsletter this month’s edition “Nurturing Spiritual Growth in Our Children”. (http://www.thelogosministry.org/heartfelt.html)

Greg Bolt
Pastor for Youth and Their Families
First Presbyterian Church- Bend, OR
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ggbolt16
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email: ggbolt16@gmail.com