Church Family Newsletter | June 17, 2022
Last week, Gwyn, Evan, and I had a quick getaway to the Oregon coast. You may be surprised, but I enjoyed the cooler weather. The average was about 62 every day with it being overcast. There were spurts of light drizzle to heavy downpour. Gwyn said it was like a summer's day in England. Ha ha ha ha. (Having lived in England for three years, I can understand what he is saying!) But that didn't stop us from walking in the ocean water, throwing a frisbee on the beach, walking along the shore, and eating snacks on a picnic blanket on the sand.
With my sun sensitivities, onlookers would think that I was crazy dressed in a wide-brimmed hat and carrying my sun umbrella in those conditions. However, I've discovered that it doesn't matter if the sun is not visible, the UV rays definitely come through the clouds. Anytime I test the conditions and brave it without sunproof clothing or a hat, I regret it when the burn starts to show itself on my face, arms, and legs.
God is like that. He is always present! Even when we may feel like we don't "see" Him, the evidence of His love, provision, care, and presence is always there. You may have difficulty acknowledging Him, but the proof will make Him known - an unexpected miracle, a phone call from a friend, a card in the mail, an unexpected financial blessing, protection on your daily commute, a roof over your head, food to eat, and more.
Take the time to "see" God in the little things as well as the big things. He loves you. He cares for you. He knows you.
Major AnnMarguerite Jones
Mental Health Series: Practical Ways to Care for Teenagers Who Are Struggling With Depression
Alongside of anxiety, depression is also one of the most diagnosed disorders in the United States. Depression involves severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities like eating, sleeping, and/or working or school. In 2020, it was estimated that 4.1 million adolescents between 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode (NIMH, Major Depression, 2022). So I think it’s fair to say that there are students in our ministries who are experiencing symptoms of depression.
How can we show up for them? Here are a few ways …
6 Practical Ways to Care for Students Who are Struggling With Depression
1. Encourage Professional Help
- You don’t have to have all the answers, but having a trusted list of professionals to refer students and parents to is key!
- Counseling, Medical Professionals, and/or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are all things a student could benefit from.
2. Be Supportive
- Validate their emotions, not unhealthy behavior.
3. Be Compassionately Curious
- Ask questions gently and patiently.
- Don’t try to solve the problem, simply be present.
4. Notice the Positive Things
- Make sure to notice the small things and encourage them in that.
5. Partner with Parents
- If the student hasn’t talked to their family, this is a MUST. You cannot keep depression a secret.
- Offer to talk to parents WITH the student, agree to a date that they will talk to their parents by, if they don’t by that date let them know you will share with their parents for them.
- If the parent is already aware, check in with them about their student, but also check in on the parent.
6. Check in with the student
- If they haven’t been showing up for a while, text them, call them, DM them on social media.
- Don’t make them feel bad for missing youth group, just acknowledge you are thinking about them.
- Offer to take them out somewhere, 1-on-1*
- Ask for parent permission.
- Don’t be offended if they say no, the ask goes a long way.
*This is not advisable according to our Salvation Army Child Safety (PTM) Policies and Procedures.
It’s a sad but true observation of the way things are in our world that people want to fill up their time with frantic energy.
Most people have no idea where they are headed, but they are trying to get there at faster and faster rates!
Before I retired from selling my time to buy fuel and groceries, I learned to apply thought and testing to ensure that the activities of my business team were all coordinated and headed toward some meaningful goal that supported the mission of our business. While it may have looked like we were just focused on doing things faster, better, and cheaper in order to make more profit, in reality, what we were trying to do was to maximize value for our shareholders. Sometimes that meant doing things faster, better, and cheaper, but not always. Very often it required us to go slower, maximize relationships, and expend energy with no obvious benefit to our team by supporting customers. As one of my mentors - Peter Drucker - said, “It’s more important to be doing the right thing than just doing things right!” Frantic activity which is undirected toward a goal only serves to contribute to increasing the entropy of the universe without producing anything meaningful.
Another trait in our society is the belief that everyone has their own “truth”. And as long as that belief is perceived to be sincerely held it is deemed to be just as valid as anyone else’s “truth”. If those “truths” are challenged in any way then the response is to “cancel” the questioner. Truth is now to be subjective rather than judged against a standard. Objective standards no longer seem to apply to behavior. We give everyone permission to do anything they want by saying “you be you”. We have removed the concept of respect (or at least changed its meaning to be “you must think as I do”) and then are surprised that there is a lack of honor and dignity. Ethics and civil discourse are only a fond memory as our political parties demonize each other and hate thrives because no one knows how to agree to disagree anymore.
Despite living in the most affluent age in history people are increasingly more profoundly dissatisfied with their existence. Loneliness and frustration are everywhere as people try to fill up their leisure with things, activities, and substances seeking an escape from the increasing futility of their existence. Rates of suicide, crime, mental illness, lawlessness, and vandalism are often no more than wrenching and wretched cries for help.
Well, enough of the gloom and doom; enter the triple treat!
Listen to these words of Jesus and rejoice:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
While I am sure this is not the first time you have heard or read these affirmations of Christ, I’d like to take a moment for a little reflection on the profundity of this prescription.
Jesus is saying that we cannot come to the Father except through Him.
Why do we want to come to the Father in the first place? Instead of asking ourselves or others, “Why am I here?”, does it not make much more sense to ask the One who is responsible for putting us here in the first place? If our lives are to have significant meaning, we need to understand our primary purpose. That purpose is not (just) to do things faster, better, and cheaper! The first item in the catechism of the Roman Catholic Church speaks well to the goal of our existence when it asks, “What is man’s chief aim?” And the response: “Man’s chief aim is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever!” Jesus says, “I am the way!” Once we accept the exclusivity of finding our purpose through Jesus, all the frantic searching for meaning in our lives is replaced with a destination, a path, certainty, and quiet assurance.
If we are confused about what our “truth” should be, Jesus relieves us of that futile responsibility by telling us “I am the truth!” Here is an objective standard we can strive to live up to. In a world that is confused about how to measure what is honest and true and lovely,
Jesus allows us to have an unassailable answer for what our ethics should be.
Sigmund Freud is quoted as saying, “most people live lives of quiet desperation”. Jesus says, “I am the life!” If we want lives that are meaningful, purposeful, and rewarding, Jesus allows us to live in Him by allowing Him to live in us! No “quiet desperation” here, but rather:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” 1 Peter 1:8 NIV
A positive and glorious destination, the sure and divinely approved way to get there,
unassailable incontrovertible truth, intensive and purposeful living rather than existence — this is the triple treat wrapped in the packaging of Jesus Christ.
We would be exceedingly foolish to reject such a great bundle of gifts! The fact that so many of our fellow humans have not accepted must be because no one has told them or demonstrated the results!
Spread the word!
Blessings on you and yours,
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Praise Team Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Time - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Chili Cook-Off and Root Beer Floats - Fireside Room
- NOTE: The Chili Cook-Off entries can be by anyone - men, women, or youth. Just make sure that it is brought in a crock pot. All who stay for food and fellowship will have a chance to vote on the best entry. Prize for the first place winner!
MONDAY - Office Closed - Juneteenth
- 9:30 AM - Campers leave for Sports Camp
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- Women's Bible Study, Band Rehearsal, and Songsters Rehearsal are on summer hiatus.
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Summer Wreath Craft - Fireside Room
- 12:00 PM - Campers arrive from Sports Camp
TONIGHT AT 6:00 PM
Backpacks and supplies will be given out on Saturday, July 23rd. See the flyer below. Free haircuts will be provided by the Paul Mitchell Design Team. Students wanting a haircut will need to make an appointment. There are limited spaces. Use the link below.
All California Men's Retreat
LOCATION: Hume Lake Christian Conference Center https://hume.org/
REGISTRATION: Those interested in going must let us know as we need to send in our preliminary numbers to DHQ by June 23.