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 We will also be testing out a previously unpublished curriculum called “Echo the Story.”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


Youth and Family News

News and updates about the Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Bend, OR.
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Heartfelt Newsletter

Heartfelt is designed for busy families who want to grow body, mind and spirit, and who want support and encouragement.

Medical and Permission Form for Washington, DC



Fill out this form and return it to Greg’s office by February 6th with a deposit of $150 if you want to go on the trip to Washington, DC this summer.


Sign up and share our newsletter!

This year, as you can see, our emails look a little different! We are trying out a new service called MailChimp. Our hope is to be able to communicate more broadly to more people over more platforms in the simplest way possible!

Greg is going on Paternity Leave!

Greg will be on paternity leave during the months of February and March, but don’t you worry! Sandy and Scott Hill and Pam Ziegler have agreed to take up his duty for the middle school students on Wednesday night and Bob Brydges has agreed to help out with high school students on Mondays. If you are interested in helping out contact Ron Werner (ron@nativitybend.com) or Donna Jacobsen (dj@trinitybend.org) to jump in. If you have an emergency, please contact Steven at the church office.

Middle School

Middle School will continue to meet at First Presbyterian Church on Wednesday nights from 5:30-7:30 PM through the end of February. Starting in March our meetings will move to Trinity Episcopal Church at 469 NW Wall Street Bend, OR.

High School- Parent’s sign up to provide food for Monday nights! Email Denise Wright at Denise Wright sigley10@gmail.com

High School will continue to meet at Common Table Monday nights from 6:00-8:00 PM.

Click on the picture of the Lincoln Memorial to the left to get a Medical and Permission form for the Washington, DC trip coming up July 5-13. Forms and a deposit of $150 are due to Greg no later than February 6! Scholarships are available but you must talk to Greg before February! You can also click here for the form!

Speaking of Platforms…

There is a new way to “follow” what’s going on with the BendFP Youth. Here’s how it works: You text the phrase “follow bendfpyouth” to 40404, and that’s it! Every time a tweet comes from the bendfpyouth twitter account (which I promise will be less than 5 a week) you will receive a text and have the most up to date info.

If receiving texts isn’t your thing, don’t worry! We have roughly 12 different ways to communicate information about our youth ministry. If you have a facebook account, I would encourage you to “like” BendFPYouth and the Bend Youth Collective pages. If you have a Twitter account I would encourage you to follow BendFPYouth. If those don’t work for you here are some other way that we give out information: Faith Notes, Bulletin (see you Sunday), E-News (sign-up here), BlogWebsiteCalendar, Email list (if you’re getting this you’re on it), Text, Phone Call (make sure I have your current information), and Personal Contact (see you at church). I hope that covers it. If not, we’ll send a carrier pigeon or something.








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

How do I spend less?

Here is the text from the sermon I preached December 4, 2011 at First Presbyterian Church. The texts were Isaiah 40:1-11 and Mark 1:1-8.

And here’s a link to the audio. How do I spend less?

This season of Advent we’ve invited you to join us in a conspiracy of sorts, an Advent Conspiracy. An opportunity to Enter the Story of waiting, the story of preparing, the story of hope, the story of joy that we find ina manger in Bethlehem; the story of God becoming incarnate in an infant, born in poverty; an infant that would show us a new way to live, a new way to interact, a new way to be.

I will be honest this week’s question: How do we spend less? is a hard one for me. It’s hard because one of the main ways my family shows love is through the giving of gifts. All my life, whether at the holidays or just because the way that my family says, “I love you” is through buying each other gifts.

A few years ago a book came out to help married couples communicate more effectively and help them to understand their partner. This book was called the 5 Love Language. Dr. Gary Chapman explains that these love languages are ways that people show and interpret love.

My family shows and interprets love through little gifts, it doesn’t have to be grandiose or expensive it’s just something. “Hey, I thought of you today and I bought you your favorite candy bar.” “I saw this book on the half off table and I thought you’d like it.” You know stuff like that.

So when I tell my family, we are going to spend less this year and we would like you to as well, it’s like telling them not to show us that they love us. It’s really hurtful, I can hear it over the phone. Even though my parents and sister are flying all the way across country to spend time with us this Christmas (which as you know if pretty expensive and a wonderful gift in and of itself) it is necessary for them to give us and our children something, some token of their love.

Who am I to tell my family that they can’t speak in the only language they know?

My hope is that while we think about spending less, we will hear spend differently. Whether that’s a gift from the Alternative Christmas Market or a donation in honor of your loved one to a worthy cause, or a check to them in the amount you were going to spend to them inviting them to give it away to the something they feel passionate about and tell you why.  There are a million different ways to spend, that can not only show how much you love but also can do good for someone else.

Sometimes I think that we spend because that is the only language we think is out there, we don’t know or have never heard of a different way. There are tons of ways you can give or receive a gift that doesn’t cost you any money.

Let’s look at some of the ways that a gift that didn’t cost anything has touched the lives of our community.

In the passage from Mark this morning we hear about John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus, standing in the wilderness saying, “Hey everybody, something’s got to change and I know that soon someone will come and show you. I can point to him. And he’s going to change everything.”

That’s what we are doing, we are waiting, we are preparing for something fantastic, the birth of the savior, Jesus, who came as an infant, not a mighty king, who broke bread with his enemies, not decimate them, who at every turn did something unexpected.

Even the one who was proclaiming his coming was unexpected. He was in the wilderness wearing camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey. He wasn’t in the halls of power, he never intended to go there, John the Baptist was setting the table for the banquet to come.

He said wake up, there’s something wrong here and I know who’s going to show us how to fix it.

I think right now in our world, in our society, in our economy we are at a crisis point. We are at a point where mere tinkering isn’t going to fix it, we need to completely overhaul the systems we live in, that we have become a part of, that we have fed into. I believe God is doing something new.

Now you might be saying, “You’re crazy!” You’d probably be right. Crazy enough to think that a system that is reliant on spending more and more is unsustainable, crazy enough to believe that an economy based on speculation can’t hold, crazy enough to think that there are people in this world that are willing to stand up and say I’m tired of living the same ole, same ole.

People willing to say enough!

People willing to say that for living in a “Christian” nation we don’t live very Gospel lives.

I’m not an economist, I’m not a businessperson, but I know that some of you are. I may be too young, too naïve, too Pollyanna. But I’m willing to bet some of you are too.

I heard on the news this week that Black Friday was a success for retailers. Consumers spent millions of dollars, that they out-shined projections and that Cyber Monday was the biggest day of online shopping ever. The stock market was up; people said there might be light at the end of this dark tunnel that we’re in.

From what little I understand about the economy and job creation, we need people to spend money in order for more jobs to be created. More cashiers and stockers, more manufacturers, more everything…but we also need people to have jobs in order to make money to buy more things to create more jobs. This is wholly unsustainable to me.

I know that maybe an oversimplification or a complete misunderstanding. If so, please help me understand. I’m willing to sit down with anyone who is willing to help me understand this. Because it seems to me that we need a change. We are begging for a change, we aren’t going to make it if we don’t change.

I don’t have all the answers, really all I have at this point are questions, but I know that Christ came into this world in an unexpected way and I trust that Christ will continue to come into our lives in unexpected ways. I pray that a gift will unexpectedly relieve the suffering of some of the world’s poorest, I pray that God will call those blessed with knowledge of how economic systems work to sit down with those that understand how just systems work and try and figure out how we can have a more just economic system.

The time is now, Christmas is coming, the savior of the world is coming to shock us, to challenge us, to call us to a new way of loving the lord God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Remember Christmas can STILL change the world!

May it be so!

BendFP Youth and Family News

Hey folks!

WOW!!! What a kick off to our year of midweek meetings! There were 35 people at our High School Kick Off at Common Table and 27 at the Middle School Kick Off at Nativity Lutheran!

It was a great week to be a youth pastor…or should I say Youth Mini-STAR!

This Sunday is “Back to Church Sunday” and I hope you will come to church this Sunday. We will start our new Sunday School classes for 7th-8th Graders and High School Students during the Second Service (10:45-11:45)

Here’s a little about what we are doing on Sundays this year:

·      7th-8th Grade– Confirmation- Using an expanded version of the re:form curriculum. re:form is a totally new approach to youth ministry that trusts youth to wrestle with the historic Christian faith and theology.

·      9th-10th Grade– Leadership Development- Young people in these ages will have the opportunity to learn and grow through teaching Godly Play, those interested in this will need to contact Janet Pearson. There are also some other options for learning and service on Sunday mornings, be sure to talk to Greg.

·     9 th-12th Grade– Conversations- Our older youth will have the opportunity to discuss what they have heard in the sermon, through the Scriptures or in their daily lives. This informal time will be open to questions, prayer and anything else we can thing of.

·      High School Students (9th-12th Grade)– Fellowship- Once a 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.

REMINDER for High School Students!!

This Monday, September 18th we will be announcing the 2012 SUMMER TRIP!!!! Be at Common Table at 6:00 PM to hear what exciting locality we will be embarking too AND when we are going! Stay Tuned for more details!

As always here is the link to this month’s Heartfelt Newsletter, this month is all about Reclaiming the Family Dinner and National Family Day. (http://www.thelogosministry.org/heartfelt.html)



Greg Bolt

Pastor for Youth and Their Families

First Presbyterian Church- Bend, OR

twitter: www.twitter.com/ggbolt16

facebook:  www.facebook.com/ggbolt16

email: ggbolt16@gmail.com





Flock and Fold News

Hey Youth, Parents and Partners,

The year is coming to a close and so are our weekly meetings. The last Senior High Monday night meeting will be Monday, May 30th, the last Middle School Wednesday night meeting will be Wednesday, May 25th.

Check out this link, the youth blog (bendfpyouth.wordpress.com) or the posters in the Commons area for Summer dates.

Middle School Mid-Week Gathering- Wednesday 5:30-7:30 at Trinity Episcopal Church (downtown) Come for dinner, games, small group and work projects. $3 for dinner.

Senior High Youth Gathering- Monday 6:00-8:00 at Common Table (downtown) Come for dinner, conversation, games and projects this week. $5 for dinner

More information on all gatherings: Pastor Greg Bolt, gbolt@bendfp.org

This Sunday is an opportunity to involve your family in a service project.  Members of the congregation will be picking up trash in our neighborhood.  We will head over to Bend High School after the 9 o’clock service and head down 9th street toward the circle after the 10:45 service.  Doing service together as a family and then talking about why you do it is a great way to do faith formation @ home.

Here is a link to the May edition of Heartfelt http://www.thelogosministry.org/heartfelt.html

This on-line newsletter for parents focuses on teaching honor, courage and bravery this month.

Thought this was a good reminder: http://youtu.be/x4VgObInXHA

Also here is a word from www.fosterORadopt.com on the need for foster parents. Heidi and I are currently starting the process to become certified a foster parents, this is the beginning of our journey. Find out about why here

“As a community who cares for the wellbeing of our children, it is timely that we recognize that May Is National Foster Care Month. This month, and every day, we have an opportunity to support the children and youth who live in our homes, neighborhoods and our great city. There are foster parents in our community who take children in temporarily until they can be reunited with their families. These foster parents do it because they care, because they want to make a difference, and because they know every child deserves a safe and nurturing place to call home.

Many people aren’t aware that one of the State’s greatest needs is to find safe, loving and skilled homes who can care for children and youth with disabilities. Children and youth with disabilities who are also in the foster care system are one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States. Even so, little attention is paid to the unique challenges they face as they negotiate their way through multiple systems to adulthood. One of the best things we can do to serve these children and youth while they are in care is to connect them with families who are adequately prepared to care for them.

The ideal foster parent for a child with special needs has parented before and has experience in the medical, mental health and/or education fields. The traits most important for a foster parent of a child with special needs, however, are patience, understanding of diagnosed disabilities and the willingness and time to learn, make accommodations and access necessary resources.  Could you be this foster parent?

Last year over 14,000 children in Oregon spent at least one day in foster care. You can make a difference for one. Learn more about becoming a foster parent today. Call 1-800- 331-0503 or visit www.fosterORadopt.com.”


Greg Bolt

Pastor for Youth and Their Families

First Presbyterian Church- Bend, OR

twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ggbolt16

facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ggbolt16

email: ggbolt16@gmail.com