Sunday, May 07, 2006
Woohoo! We had our first Merge meeting tonight with the sophomore gang that is going to Chicago this year. It was an awesome training night at the Parker pad! Tammy-wa, you are the hostess with the mostess bar none! Thanks for opening up your home during a busy season.
Merge, formerly known as SEMP, is a week long experience geared for high school students to "merge" with God's mission of love and restoration. What in the world does that mean you ask?? Basically, it's a week for kids to be inspired and trained to live and love like Jesus did in their OWN communities...it encourages them to be able to go home and serve where they live and be confident to share their faith. We had three leaders speak on outreach and give some general info on how the week will be laid out when we get there. There are 16 sophomore students going and 6 leaders. Dan, Steve and Sean will be leading the guys and driving us around Chicago. Sarah and Brianna will be leading their girls and I will be overseeing the logistics part of it all.
The team will be flying out July 15th and will be spending a week on Wheaton's campus. We'll be there with several other youth groups from all over the country. Last year there were about 1,000 youth participating...not including all the leaders! Most days we do service projects and outreach with other youth groups. It's a great opportunity for our students to connect with other teens. Merge ends on Friday, but we will be staying an extra day and half to hang out, bond as a group and check out some of the Chicago sites...Six Flags is our big Saturday shabang before we head home on Sunday.
I am very excited about going again this year. I feel somewhat bonded with this group already b/c I was able to go with them on their 8th grade campout a couple years ago. They are an AWESOME group of teens! The leaders going are incredible too! Stay tuned for more later on Merge!