I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this weekend! About 8 months ago God placed it on my heart that we needed to make a significant investment of time, energy, resources and prayer into the redevelopment of our Children's Ministry. In the past decade, the world has changed dramatically, particularly for our children and youth. Like many churches, we had begun to struggle with how to effectively reach this emerging generation for Christ.
While culture has changed, the need has not changed. This generation of young people growing up in our homes, our neighborhoods and our communities needs a spiritual foundation as much as any generation before them. In fact, with all the challenges our kids are facing, I think it more critical than ever. So for the past 8 months our children's ministry directors and our pastors have been dreaming, visioning and working to redevelop our children's ministry space and program. Our dream is to offer a NextGen program that is so engaging and transformational that our kids don't want to miss a single week. So, after months of preparation, this weekend we launch our new NextGen program. You can find more information or register your children at this link.
But that is not the only reason I am excited about Sunday. This week we are also introducing a new teaching series entitled "Real Hope." The series is built on a very powerful passage from Isaiah 61. This is the passage Jesus proclaims as he is beginning his public ministry. We live in a world that is hurting in so many ways. But God promised real hope through the prophet Isaiah. And as we will see in this series, Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise. He came to heal the brokenhearted, free the captive, bring light into the darkness and bring beauty from ashes. This is going to be an uplifting and hope-filled series that you will not want to miss. It is also a great series to invite an unchurched friend or neighbor to experience.
The other truly exciting thing coming up this weekend is our annual Beach, BBQ and Baptism celebration at Camp Tasker in Newton, NH. This year we are adding a special element to the service that everyone of us will want to engage in. We will gather at Camp Tasker at 1:00 p.m. We will provide the BBQ. Feel free to bring a side dish or dessert to share. After lunch we will gather at the beach for our special combined baptism service. If you wish to be baptized, please contact Lynette to let us know.
The beach service will take the place of our Rock@6 Sunday night service this week, but next Sunday we will be relaunching that service with Pastor Lee as our new leader. Our Rock@6 service is an excellent opportunity for those who are away or working Sunday mornings, or those who attend one of our morning services but want to dig in a little deeper.
On final thing I wanted to share with you is that we have officially launched Newburyport with a Thursday evenings dinner worship. It runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. with dinner, fellowship, informal worship and great community. It is open to children and adults. If you are interested in getting involved or would like more info on Thursday nights in Newburyport, please contact Pastor Paul or visit the web page.
Don't forget the free pancake breakfast this Saturday (Sept 9) as a part of the Sandown Old Home day celebration.
Have a great day. I look forward to seeing you all this weekend. It's going to be awesome!