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Youth Ministries

Floor Pillows!
(December 2018)
During the next couple of Sundays in youth ministry, we will be having fun. We are currently making floor pillows, and we need your help!
THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP! 
*Every Year we ask families of our youth members to Donate $25 to go towards Kids activities*
You Can Also help us by donating the following Items:
**A bag of fiber filling or cut up foam**
We also like to recycle; therefore, we are also accepting the highlighted materials below:
Floor Pillows:
 We will be making our own Floor Pillows to keep.  Although we have pillow stuffing, I have a feeling will be needing more due to their extremely big imaginations of our kids lol.  I am asking for clean cotton or satin (anything soft) clothes/materials which might no longer fit.  If it has buttons, its no big deals we will remove them.  No jeans or tough like materials please....  we will be using these used clothes as part of stuffing.  You can drop them in Youth Room or my office
For the Love of our neighbors:
If you have any gently used clothes or shoes your kids have outgrown or yourself (women) please let us know!
We will be donating gently used clothes & shoes for women and children to "Emma's Place"  these women and children are survivors of domestic abuse.  
 We will be having a donation box or you can leave in my office (Vee).
Youth Ministry Pictures: 
This December I will be taking pictures of Youth Ministry kids! Dec 2nd & Dec 9th.  The youth will be in control of their poses so expect the unexpected :)  We are finally going to have updated pictures around the church of our Youth!


In the Know!
(November 2018)
Welcome to this new column where I will periodically keep the entire congregation “In the Know” about what we are doing in Youth Ministry and maybe even invite you-all to participate in some of our events :-)
So here is what’s coming soon: Sunday Lessons Via YouTube
After carefully studying our youths’ learning styles, I believe it is in their best interest for me to customize my learning lessons to their needs rather than following the traditional Sunday school teaching agendas.
So what does that mean and how did I come up with that conclusion?
  1. I believe it is not my job to teach the youth what I believe just because they are “my beliefs”. However, I can provide our youth with scripture and the history. In other words I can provide them the content and context which was relevant when it was written.
  2. I can teach and show them how to properly interpret, translate and apply the scripture to today’s world.
  3. I can provide them with everything they need for them to formulate their own ideas and beliefs.
My hope is that ** if they have a solid understanding of what it is they are choosing to believe, then they can proudly defend it and embody it.**

Due to the lack of understanding of the order of things, I have begun from the beginning; that means we are currently discussing the book of Genesis.  We may not necessarily cover every single topic as we go through these books.  My main purpose is to create a foundation of understanding to build on.  During their Affirmation/Confirmation period they will be able to dig further into the scripture.

As of right now, our youth have been very engaged in the conversations, and I will only go as fast or slow as they are.  I am here to walk alongside them not rush them nor let them stand still (w/o a reason).  This is why I have decided to start doing my lessons via YouTube.  I will send the YouTube to them ahead of time so they will be able to listen to the lesson and come up with their questions and concerns, and we will spend more time on Sundays addressing them.

With that being said... There is a plan to all my madness and sometimes, actually very often IF you are not in my head, you will not necessarily understand right away what I am doing.  I will let you in on a secret, there are a couple of times that I will not know neither! Those are the times when the Spirit has taken full control and is leading.  Other times, there spirit has shared its vision with me, and I have planned it out.  It will not always make sense (to you), but I ask that you be patient and pray about your worries.  The youth and I have built a relationship, and we are taking this journey, it may not be orthodox, it may not be your way, we may not do one thing like you use to do, but it’s OKAY.  This is OUR journey, and we are inviting you into it… come humbly.

I also want to welcome conversations and comments on the YouTube Sunday Lesson Videos.  The best part is that this can be a great way for families to have these Godly conversations at home and for those kids that cannot make it to Sunday school to still be In the Know!


There is Hope in Our Future

(October 2018)

My son-in-law was coming home from work the other day when he was stopped by the police at the intersection of Minnehaha and Lexington.  He was originally stopped because he did not have his front license plate; he only had the license plate on the back of his car.  His car is registered in Georgia, and he and his wife recently just settled here.  My daughter and I were there within minutes with the license plate. When we arrived at the scene what we experienced was the police officers taking him out of the car and searching his entire car for drugs and guns without any reason besides the fact the police officer said he saw empty bags which appeared to be “drug paraphernalia” ( blunt wrappings & empty bags)  What he was referring to was sandwich size zip lock bags which my daughter uses to put snacks for my granddaughter and mini cigars (blacks) that are sold at stores legally. I am trying to remain calm, keep my daughter calm and be the voice of reason while I record the entire event (FB Live) as proof in case my son-in-law ends up being another dead black man in the hands of the police.  As I tried to keep my daughter calmed, and brief my son-in-law to remain absolutely quiet and not move, these two young white women approached me about 10 minutes apart each.  The first women came and told me she sees this happening in her neighborhood too often, and she is not going to allow it anymore.  She stood by me as we watched, questioned and recorded the police illegal search my son-in-law’s car.  The other young lady, also white, about the same age, late teens to early 20’s, also came to be by myside.  She said she saw two white police officers, one black man sitting on the floor and you standing there with your camera, I couldn’t just drive by.  I am tired of the injustice and this is what I choose to use my white privilege for.  These two young women did not leave my side the entire time.  Eventually the police officers let my son-in-law go home with a warning, and the first police officer, which appeared angry at the fact I was recording and attracting a crowd, sped off and left the scene.  The other police officer asked us if everything was okay, and we said yes and then the police officer left.  We were the last ones at the scene; we talked about what happened and high-fived each other for being able to, at the very least, send a black man home alive; send my son-in-law back home to his wife and kids. 
I think about how courageous these two young women were to take a stand beside me even though they did not know me.  I do not want to take away from all the multigenerational of black and brown who take a stand for our justice but highlighting the fact they could have turned a blind eye as so many in their cars did.  But they choose to take a stand against what some might view as ‘their own’.
I thought about this new generation of young adults who look beyond race, sex, gender and/or religion and see humanity, see right from wrong, see justice and it affirms that THERE IS HOPE IN OUR FUTURE!
And despite this horrible experience, I have never been so proud of my youth!! And I will continue to pray for them to excel.  Take a look at your children at Peace!!  You are part of raising that future! That HOPE! Those EXCELLENT HUMAN BEINGS who may not be perfect but are so much BETTER & IMPROVED!

 


September 2018
As we start preparing for a new fiscal year, I want to share two very important lessons which I am in the midst of processing: 

STRIVE TO LIVE MORE FULLY IN THE PRESENT, refusing to worry about tomorrow.  Now I know many will say easier said than done.  I too felt, or still feel, the same way; hence, I stated I was in the midst of processing and learning how to live into these very needed demands of self-care.  However, putting forth energy and devoting our time into that which makes us happy or fulfills a need is very much needed.  So often we focus so much on the needs of others that we so easily and effortlessly neglect the need to care for self.
 
What I have found to be of great assistance is to strive and pursue God or Trinity-like behaviors. Those days when I seriously want to explode, I ask myself how would Jesus handle this situation? How many times have I relied on the spirit for strength, comfort and patience? Now it is my turn to return the grace, calm down, stay focus and remain humble. So easy to type, so very hard at times to live.It is with the very same grace I remind you all we are only human. We are not perfect and accepting our imperfections is okay as long as we are willing to try again.
 
It is essential to resist the temptation to worry, remember we live in a fallen world. This world is full of sin and struggles—one thing you will never have to worry about are the things which will provoke anxiety in your life. With that being said, God will always calibrate how much you can handle; therefore, put your faith on the one constant, the one undefeated and the one who will walk alongside you to comfort, give you strength, and and encourage you through it all. 
Matthew 6:34; Isaiah 41:10
 
JOY IS A CHOICE.  You may not have any control over your circumstances, but it is your choice whether or not you want to be joyful.  Out of every situation, even the ugly ones, sometimes great joy can come out of them. Many times we need to change the perspective in which we look at them.
 
Know that your thoughts are extremely valuable because they intertwine with your emotions and behavior. They are a part of you and, when you cannot seem to find anything at all to be joyful about, remember you were created out of love from a creator who watches over you continuously in amazement of your awesomeness! God waits on you to take refuge in God’s unfailing love. 
Psalm 18:36; Psalm 18:30; Numbers 6:24


(August 2018)
Ministering thru ARTs Program 

Take this walk with me:
Today's youth are not the same as 20 – 30 years ago.  Our youth today face issues such as bullying, drugs, suicide, gender identity, anxiety & stress, racism, prejudicism, classism and the list goes on.
 
All of our youth are victims of all of these issues whether they are going through this or whether they experience the side effects of knowing someone who is going through it; no one escapes it, eventually it catches up with all of us.
 
I believe in doing what must be done for the sake of social justice and reconciliation.  It was these issues which brought me together with an elite group a few years ago.  We gathered around the table trying to figure out how we could uplift our people, to assist in the healing process, to uplift their being, to make them feel loved, welcomed and never alone.  To restore humanity in a very inhumane world.
 
We were able to accomplish this through the form of ART (slam poetry, singing, dancing, comedy, rapping, praying, learning the art of speaking up, the art of listening, the art of nurturing, the art of caring for others, the art of simply showing up and being present).  We began by creating a space and then guiding everyone into healing.  Three years later it is a community which comes together once a month to rejoice with another and to heal one another.
 
Take a risk with me:
The beautiful thing about our youth at Peace is they are all different and all welcoming, and we need to nurture that and see it through so it can blossom because that’s what we need more of in our society.* This is why I want to create a youth program where we can Minister through Art open to all youth in the surrounding communities.  A place where they come and bring their genuine self, where they can bring their Art or explore it.  A place where they can learn from one another and uplift one another because we may not be able to protect them from life but we can help build a really great armor!
 
Now to be able to run a pilot for one year and see how it can impact and change our youth, based on the very tight budget, we need about $5,000.
 
I don’t want to scare anyone away - $5,000 to run a program for the youth for one year to see how it can change their life is worth every penny! I am not expecting it to be raised in one day, but I do know, and am very confident, I know the God we serve and our intentions in what we are trying to do are good and all we can do is our best and leave the rest to God!
I don’t want any of you getting stressed out. I want you to think about all the information I have given you and discuss it with your family & friends, pray about it and if the spirit moves you and you want to donate or please reach out to me that would be wonderful!  Thank you for giving me this time out of your day! 

*Please know I previously sent out a video explaining the implementation of a fundraising Carnival which has been DELAYED TO NEXT FALL 2019!  But we are still collecting funds for the Youth Program.
 




Living Perfectly Imperfect 
(July 2018)
So many people around the United States come to PRIDE in MN just to be their true self!  It is both beautiful and heart breaking.  It is heartbreaking to imagine having to leave what you know and where you are from just to be who you are.  Imagine if you could be who you truly are without having to leave the place where you are comfortable and having to start over and make new friends; but simply come to Pride to make more friends! Something so simple, humane, and effortless yet it is the equality so many are fighting too achieve.  
 
It is embarrassing, not just for me but I would like to say for the human race in general, we can behave in such barbaric manners that even animals probably look at us as if we are the ones who really need to be domesticated.
 
During my time at PRIDE, walking around Loring Park, I encountered many interesting people.
I had conversations with the Minnesota Atheist Association. We bantered back and forth about a couple of topics, but one topic I noticed we could not argue is ALL should be welcome...everywhere...period.  That was the foundation of our friendship, and he placed our Peace flyer on his table as I promised to put his flyer up in our church. I spoke with a young lady working a sex worker booth who educated me on why they created their own little legal system to help one another out because society, social workers, and the law were always shaming them and after a while they too just wanted to be seen as human beings. I made myself available and gave them a "no questions asked policy".  I spoke to veterans dressed as babies.  The attire was a form of therapy used to help cope with their severe Post Traumatic Symptom Disorder (PTSD).  Rather than embracing this nonviolent method, society has made a mockery of them.  They were then accused of being child molesters, pedophiles, freaks and any other degrading terms you could think to call them.  There was never any proof of the accusations or rumors which were spread about these men and women  dressed as babies, and it was even affirmed by their Psychologist to be a method used to help control their PTSD. According to these men and women they would rather go home and put on their onesies then get behind a car drunk, or turn to drugs and hurt themselves, even worse, someone else.  These are just a few examples of the genuine kind-hearted people I had conversations with at Pride.

What all these people have in common is they are not accepted in our so called “normal society” but in PRIDE……  ALL ARE WELCOME!  WHERE THERE IS LOVE~THERE IS GOD

Living Perfectly Imperfect:
(June 2018)
First, I would like to say thank you to Peace for being so welcoming and opened to the different gifts which I am able to bring to this already wonderful congregation.  It was really heart warming to hear all of your encouraging words.  Although I would love to sincerely take credit for it, it really is and always is the Holy Spirit, Glory be to God.
I am also thankful for all of the families who participated in the Mother's Day dinner.  Your presence made my Mother's Day and for that I thank you.
Since I received several emails requesting a copy of the prayer I read towards the end, I thought it would be wise to put it in the newsletter for all those who emailed me and those that did not but still might find pastoral care in the words of one of my most favorite prayers to recite.
Crown & Cross 
Now let us pray: 
And I said to God - Take away my Cross and I will be happy 
and God said to me — your crown is wrapped up in your cross and when you bare your cross, you unwrap your crown. 
I said to God take away my struggles and I will be happy 
and God said to me — if I take away your struggles- I must take away your strength 
and if I take away your strength I must take away your courage.   
And If I take away your courage, I must take away your hope.
And I said to God - Do not take away my struggles 
but give me the wisdom to make the right decisions,
the strength to struggle and fill me with hope for a better tomorrow.
And God said ~ Amen. 

Peace Family, Go and teach the world how to Love! 
A Dr. Moss Jr. Prayer 
Rephrased by Vee Blomgren.

       
                

April 8:  What we talked about today

C.I.F (Christians in Formation) & C.I.A (Christians in Action) We spoke about the book of John.

We discussed:

  • Jesus being 100% human 100% God
  • How the people reacted to the news of the Messiah being crucified.
  • The resurrection 
  • Mary Magdalena
  • The Disciples - special emphasis on Thomas
  • Jesus giving the Holy Spirit as a gift to his disciples
  • Faith





APRIL 8 – 

The youth will begin bringing home their weekly questions to accrue points for God's Shop!!

Changes! 

God’s Shop is available for 2nd-8th Grade, however all ages are welcomed for games.

 

The way the shop will work will be thru a point system.  Effective April, the youth will begin going home with an assignment.  The assignment will consist of 4 questions. The lesson will be aligned with the service.


The youth are to go home and answer the question on their own, based on their own interpretation.  The following week, either 30 minutes before service or after service they can come and see me (Mrs. Vee) and I will make sure they understand the question and how they answered.  They will then get points accrued under their names. Each question is worth a certain amount of points.


The youth will accumulate points and can redeem them for prices on the shelves.  The shelves will have board games, toys, gift cards, candy, etc… Parents are responsible for their kids!  If you have any restrictions to what they can get please be with them when they redeem their points otherwise if they have the points they will get whatever they want on the shelves. 






  


 


MAY 13 –MOTHER’S DAY DINNER w’ THE STARS 

*The youth would like to have a grill out for all the women, by the fire pit.  We are working on the menu, but grilled chicken is on it J.  We are thinking 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Sides are welcomed from everyone except mom’s (Their only contribution is to show up!)  Those that are interested in bringing sides please email me, once again no mom’s allowed to contribute. 

  

  

JUNE 22-24th CEDAR CREEK RETREAT: 

  

Friday June 22nd through Sunday, June 24th at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science 

Reserve, www.cedarcreek.umn.edu, 

at 2660 Fawn Lake Drive NE East Bethel, Minnesota. Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a large ecological research site in central Minnesota with natural habitats that represent the entire state. There is no place of comparable biological diversity so close to the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Look for more information in the near future. Housing is available on site in the East, West or South Dorms. Each Unit features 5 Bedrooms, 10 Beds (single), 2 Bathrooms, and shared Living, Kitchen and Dining rooms. 

  


  

JULY/AUG—FUN IN THE SUN 

(date coming soon) 

COMO Park Pool – is a great place to go and cool off.  In July or Aug Como Pool has a couple of weekend dates that is free for everyone.  When the schedule comes up I will update everyone but I’m Planning on using one of these dates for us to go and have some fun in the sun. 

In the meantime, check them out! 



Our youth will also be partnering with Vadnais Heights "Exploring Water Stewardship Faith-based Communities of the VLAWMO to help keep our waters clean,  we plan on adopting a drain.



Parents night off - Where we will be babysitting and giving parents one night off ;)


There is so much more in the making, just wait and see!











Please email me with any questions or concerns.  Vee@PeaceUmc.com



Living Perfectly Imperfect:

Addressing the Elephant in the Room  

The last few weeks have been tough.  They have been filled with a series of unplanned, sad events. We have losses, we have tears, and we have anger.  All those feelings are acceptable and justified.  I have been praying for us all and in the midst of reading the book of John, I have found trial and tribulation, but I also found hope in revelation.  Trial & Tribulation because as I read out loud Jesus telling the people that this world is ruled by satan, it landed heavier than usual.  I thought about all that represented: confusion, regrets, sadness, tears, anger, deceit, fear, all gifts that are not given to us by God.  I walked away angry because in my humanness, I am emotional, and when I am emotional I react with my feelings.  In my humanness I do not understand and have endless WHYs.  The spirit calms me. So I came back and continued reading, and then I find hope and revelation.  Jesus defeated satan out of love for all of us.  I do not need to fight him; I do not need to acknowledge him.  He might be able to mess with my emotions and bring forth the tears, and the sadness, and confusion and madness, but I am okay with that because I understand now that in my humanness I do not know the entire plan; however, I do know that Jesus tells us He will never leave us (John 14:18) and though we are emotional creatures, do not allow sorrow to overtake us (John 14:1-2) because our sorrows will be turn into Joy (John 16:1).  I know what I have lost. I know what brings me sorrow just like I know what would bring me joy, and the Son of God said he will bring me just that and all I need to do is have faith and search for the light during my darkest days and I will find Him. In Him I will find Joy and in that Joy there will be no room for sorrow. ~ Lovingly Vee


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Mrs. Vee Unapologetically Speaking,
Apr 8, 2018, 1:29 PM
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Mrs. Vee Unapologetically Speaking,
Apr 8, 2018, 1:30 PM
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Mrs. Vee Unapologetically Speaking,
Apr 8, 2018, 1:30 PM
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