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Light & Life Magazine

Over the course of the next 2 weeks, we will be posting articles from the most recent edition of Light & Life Magazine, a Free Methodist publication. Here is the intro…

by

llm-oct14_covView From the Middle (Age)

I think of myself as young, but society (and my younger co-workers) might not agree.

After all, I’ve never used Netflix, and I own two VCRs. The music of my youth is now on the oldies station, and if I can’t find a song there, I can turn to my cassette collection. When I mention a TV show like “The Jeffersons,” I get blank looks. I’ll never land on Christianity Today’s “33 Under 33,” but in just 10 years I can join AARP.

When I walk into some churches, however, I’m still one of the younger people in the room. Where are the Millennials? According to Barna Group researchers, only 20 percent of adults age 30 and younger consider church attendance important (fmchr.ch/barnamil).

What can be done to reverse this trend while respecting people of all ages? I’m probably not the right person to answer that question — no matter how many issues of Relevant Magazine I read or how many hashtags I put on my tweets.

Thankfully, these pages contain the perspectives of several young adults who have much to say about how churches can reach and serve Millennials and the rest of us too.


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Do I Really Need To Know About Youth Culture?

By Walt Mueller

I think I’m your average looking fifty-six year old man. That might be why I get so many funny looks when I go to the mall. The cashiers and people in line behind me either think that I’m a crazed middle-aged maniac, some kind of creeper, or a terrible father. On one mall excursion several years ago I stood in line at the book store to purchase a stack of magazines including YM, Seventeen, Cosmo Girl, Teen, Rolling Stone, and Tattoo Savage. When I catch people curiously glancing back and forth between me and my armload of goodies I quickly utter what I’m sure comes off sounding like a pretty lame excuse – “I study youth culture for a living.” I can always tell what they’re thinking – “Yea, right.”

But is it really that important to know today’s youth culture? And why do I feel it’s so important to convince you as a youth worker to do the same? The answers are many. Here are four.


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Pastors Start Strong

Pastor Darwin Mowat and his wife, Joan Mowat, of the Lighthouse FMC in Barryton, Mich., join in worship during Starting Strong.

New Free Methodist Church – USA pastors connected with bishops and each other Sept. 8–10 during the Starting Strong Conference in Indianapolis.

“Monday afternoon, there was a real sense of excitement as the pastors arrived. There was a sense of hope to build lasting relationships with each other and the bishops,” Ministerial Credentialing Services Coordinator Douglas Britt said. “Wednesday, when they left, those hopes had come to fruition. The new pastors connected with each other and the bishops in a deep and meaningful way that can serve as a springboard to strong relationships of mutual support as they work for Christ throughout the years.”

The conference included both longtime Free Methodists who are new to pastoral ministry and experienced pastors who are new to Free Methodism.


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Ebola Outbreak: Pray for West Africa

west-africa-outbreak-infographic

Free Methodist World Missions Africa Area DirectorMike Reynen requests increased prayer for our churches in Liberia and Guinea, where the Ebola crisis is severe.

The Free Methodist Church’s Liberia leader reported his next-door neighbor died last week from the virus. News media have also reported many who have non-Ebola illnesses are unable to get needed care, either because of concerns their illness resembles Ebola or care services are unavailable. Tragically, there are not enough facilities to handle Ebola patients, and regular health care facilities are overcrowded and vastly understaffed.

Pray for all persons suffering, especially those experiencing terrible stigma and no one to care for them. Pray also for this disease to be contained. It is estimated that the number of cases could be in the tens of thousands. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 5,347 cases as of Sept. 18.) Pray for U.S. troops and others who are providing vital logistics, training support and set up of more care facilities. Pray for these workers to successfully avoid contact with the virus while accomplishing effective steps of intervention. Pray for people in the host countries to understand the disease and how they can unite to end its spread.

In addition to Liberia and Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal all report one or more cases.

For more missions news and prayer requests, read the Missions Hotline.
This post originally appeared on http://fmcusa.org/blog.


Stepping Back

For the next 8 Thursdays, we will be posting a series originally posted by Mark Oestreicher, longtime youth ministry guru and partner with The Youth Cartel.

Question: When should I start to back off and be less engaged in actively parenting my young teen?

In one sense (and you all know this), you’re never done being a parent. I still seek out advice from my parents, and I’m 51. And of course, parenting teenagers has stretched well into (and sometimes through) the 20something years in most cases. Adolescence has extended on both ends of its age delineators.

But I have a couple theories I’d like to suggest you consider reality…


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How to Help People Fleeing ISIS

ISIS Response: Bishop Thomas from Light & Life Communications on Vimeo.


The rise of the Islamic State terrorist group (commonly known as ISIS or ISIL) has resulted in persecution and beheadings of Christians and created a refugee crisis in the Middle East.

Bishop Matthew Thomas said that Free Methodists in Jordan and other parts of the Middle East are responding and helping thousands of displaced brothers and sisters in Christ from countries such as Iraq and Syria, but they need our help. One small congregation is caring for 8,000 refugees.

“They’re overwhelmed with the need – the physical, human need – to be able to care for those who have fled their country,” said Thomas, who added that many refugees “have had their own family and friends murdered and their houses destroyed. It’s in this kind of context that our churches, located in safer places in the Middle East, have been overrun with the need.”

While helping the refugees, churches continue to reach people for Jesus Christ.

“In Kurdistan, in one of our churches there, 13 people were recently baptized. There are still people that are needing the Lord and finding Him and finding the joy and the peace that passes understanding and coming to know Christ,” Thomas said. “We invite you to participate in any way you can.”

The churches in the Middle East need both prayer and financial support. Donations can be made to the Bishops’ Crisis Response Fund. Please designate your gift for the “Middle East Crisis.”
This post originally appeared on http://fmcusa.org/blog


Proud of the Progress

Mike & Vickie Reynen

Mike- Africa Area Director

Vickie- Regional Coordinator for

International Child Care Ministries (ICCM),

Proud of the Progress


Not many things make us happier–in missions–than to see our national church leaders, leading at levels beyond what we anticipated. That is what we are seeing in Malawi. Most who will read this know Henry and Bonnie, personally. And you know the years of service they gave in Malawi. One of the primary endeavors they were involved in was developing the Bible school for pastors. Many of you also know that their successors, Ryan and Jen Willson continued for several years, but in January of this year returned home, to pastoral ministry. So, we planned and worked and prayed all through last year for a good transition. Leaders were selected for the Bible school and ChildCare ministry. And, when the Willsons left, these leaders took full responsibility.

 

In late January, Vickie and I made a brief visit, while the Bible school module was still in session. All was going well and we received warm, African hospitality in the same guest house we had stayed in several times.

In August, we made another visit, this time with Bishop and Lavone Kendall. Again we found top notch hospitality. The school is going well. Principal Kalukusha gave an excellent report of the two sessions, and new developments at the Bible school. Rev. Annie is attending well to the ChildCare administration. And all three conferences brought good reports. All these things contribute to making us proud of these leaders. We had high hopes and they are leading even beyond them. This is not to say they are perfect. But, all of us continue to have room for growth. God’s Spirit is very much at work through the Free Methodists in Malawi. Praise the Lord for the foundation Henry and Bonnie laid, and the further building work of the Willsons. And Praise the Lord for all He continues to do through many leaders in Malawi.

Mike and Vickie will be our guests on Missionary Weekend, October 18 & 19.



Kiddie Korner News

New staff members are an answer to prayer!

New Teacher’s Aide for 3 year olds:  My name is Tiffany Anderson and I was born and raised in Warsaw and graduated from WCHS. While I was in college, I was an Elementary Education major.  I have a lot of experience with children. I have worked in a daycare previously, while I was in college. I have also worked in our school system.  An interesting fact about me is that for the past 4 summers I have worked at Cedar Point. I worked the children’s areas and family rides. I also love the colors purple and blue, the Chicago Blackhawks, open-wheel racing and reading.  Aside from my experience, I love children. I love working with kids, seeing them grow, the light bulb go on when they finally get a concept they have been working so hard to understand. I am very excited to be working at Kiddie Kollege and in the Preschool class! I am looking forward to getting to know everyone!

 



Self Centered and Perpetual Now

For the next 8 Thursdays, we will be posting a series originally posted by Mark Oestreicher, longtime youth ministry guru and partner with The Youth Cartel.

Question: Why is my middle schooler suddenly so self-centered? It seems like she thinks the whole world revolves around her!

This is an almost universal issue with preteens and young teens. Consequently, the frustration parents and youth workers experience is also almost universal! Young teens who were, just months ago, generous and outward-focused turn into themselves and become seemingly obsessed with themselves and incapable of noticing others.

kind of a big dealEverything’s about me!


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What Do You Know?

They knew she was dead. They knew it!

There was this guy that lived a long time ago. He did things. He did amazing things. And he spoke truth. But the truth was so amazing, people had a hard time believing it. They didn’t accept it, or didn’t want to accept it.

But he would do these amazing things anyway. He would do them for free. So word began to spread and people began to call him for help, hoping he would do something amazing for them.


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