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Dear Parents of Alive Middle Schoolers

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Hello Parents,

What a Summer! As a ministry, we did everything from paintballing to bowling. We had two separate camps (even though they were called One) and multiple weekly events. At the same time, God was moving the hearts of teens. This can be seen most clearly in how we ended this summer, with a baptism! It was an exhausting Summer, but it was also a fruitful Summer.

Thank you! Thank you for making all the sacrifices it took to get your teens involved. I’m so grateful that I can feel the trust of the parents. Please know that I don’t take it for granted.

Now that school has started back up I acknowledge the reality that calendars and availability look different. Because of this we will be making a slight adjustment to the schedule. We will obviously also have less Alive events outside of Wednesday nights.I’ll address the small change in a minute but first I want to make a quick distinction.

Even though we will have less events and family life will be busier, I still have faith for fruit of transformed lives and testimonies of salvation amongst our youth. As a matter of fact, my faith for it is increasing. God is able! I’m excited to see the love of Christenlarged in the teens lives and we are working hard towards that end.

However, although busyness of life does not eliminate the work of the Holy Spirit it can become a hindrance. So, I’m humbly asking parents to make Wednesday night meetings a priority. I will do everything I can to make these nights valuable. We pray and work hard to create an environment that draws the teens into fellowship with others and the word of God. And we trust God will be God! Please consider guarding this time.

The adjustment in the schedule moving forward will be regarding the Middle School teens. We will continue to have them included in the Wednesday night meetings. I understand some were hoping we would switch back to the every Sunday morning meeting schedule. This decision was ultimately made for several reasons including feedback from Middle Schoolers, stewardship of resources, value of what God is doing through Wednesday night meetings and trying to realistically scale back my “go for it” attitude. I hope anyone disappointed by this decision will know it wasn’t made flippantly.

As always, we will use wisdom regarding the topics of Wednesday night meetings. If there is any content that might be more suitable for High School ears but not for Middle School we will break the groups up and have separate talks. We also regularly break up our discussion groups based on age. There is a large difference between these age groups and I assure you that we are being very intentional on navigating these differences with wisdom.

Although we will not be meeting every Sunday morning, we have decided to not abandon these meetings altogether. Last year we learned that these Sunday morning meetings were a great context to reach a larger group of Middle Schoolers in our church who are unable to attend on Wednesday nights. We also saw the teens inviting their friends to church so they could participate. Because of this we will have a once a month Alive Middle School Sunday morning meeting. This will be on the first Sunday of every month starting on September 3rd and will go throughout the rest of 2017. These meetings will take place after the break and continue to the end of service (like before). We will re-evaluate the meeting as the year comes to a close.

I hope this adjustment and communication serves you and your teens. I’m eager to pray and labor with you. Thank you again for the trust I feel from you all and the feedback I have already received. I’m always happy to hear your thoughts, concerns, encouragements and questions. You can reach me at skohout@metrolife.org.

Your brother,

Shane

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