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September, 2017 - Issue #156
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

"Experienced, caring adult and teen leaders will foster an environment of reassurance and safety so each child feels welcome and appreciated for WHO THEY ARE."
Ah, those Awkward Junior High Years
We all experienced it: that painful transition from elementary school to high school, otherwise known as "junior high." It's easy for a kid to get lost in the confusion. Add the proliferation of negative social media messages and you have a recipe for a very tough couple of years.

"Encounter" is Christ Lutheran Church's newly-revamped ministry for junior high. Youth Director Steven Neaton is very excited about getting started! Through games, music, development-appropriate teaching, small-group time, prayer and retreats, kids in seventh and eighth grade will be encouraged to connect with each other and God in a deep, meaningful way. Experienced, caring adult and teen leaders will foster an environment of reassurance and safety so each child feels welcome and appreciated for who they are. They will share tools and strategies with parents so they can have valuable, in-depth conversations with their student.

Encounter will meet Wednesday nights from 7pm to 8:30pm on the Christ Lutheran Church Campus. Dinner is served from 5pm to 7pm and there are programs for kids from preschool to sixth grade from 6pm to 7pm. Your family is invited to join in on the fun!
Christ Lutheran Church 259-0200

"We believe that studying scripture is best done with other people SEEKING UNDERSTANDING."
Back to School, Back to the Bible
by Steve Peralta

No other pattern or schedule has more of an impact upon American society than the school schedule. The annual ritual of new clothes, new school supplies and new backpacks prepares our students for another season of learning new ideas, new concepts and new skills. Even in the life of the church, "back to school" often serves as a call to focus on our faith again.

A healthy religious faith requires study and learning if we have any hope of it affecting our life and our actions. Every religion has writings it considers holy and instructive and faithful adherents study these writings with one another. In the Christian tradition, we believe that the Bible is God's inspired word; that it is useful for teaching, correction of character and helping us understand who God is and how God works. Scripture reveals how we relate to God; reveals God's call to us; and becomes the foundation of all we do and proclaim.

At Valencia United Methodist Church, we believe that studying scripture is best done with other people seeking understanding. We offer a wide range of small groups designed to help a person grow in the knowledge of their Christian faith; grow in their trust that God is at work in the world; and grow in their understanding of how to live their faith and witness beyond Sunday morning. Our website, www.umcv.org, lists some of these study opportunities, as well as how you can connect and grow your faith.
Steve Peralta is pastor at Valencia United Methodist Church. 255-1301
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