Middle School

Our goal is to provide an open atmosphere where students can know that they matter. Where students can be honest, open, heard, and accepted. We not only want to teach the way of Jesus to our young people, we want to show them what it looks like in their world with support, care and encouragement. 

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Youth News

Jeff  Message from Jeff

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Have 4 Minutes to Read?  -  We’re Building a Christmas Tree Friday… Sort of.

Thanks to the careful guidance of WPC’s Administrative Commission (the group tasked with re-opening) we’ll be able to offer our youth one of the few opportunities to gather in-person for any reason during this pandemic stricken holiday break.  Many of your kids have already experienced one of these laid back 3n1 events we’ve been doing.  Students move between a bonfire, movie, and service project somewhat at their leisure and somewhat at the guidance of our leaders. 

 Tomorrow we’ll be building an interactive art piece with wooden wine crates, spray paint, power tools, lights, and more.  It should look like a glowing Christmas Tree that invites passers by to write down what they hope for this Christmas in 2020.  Some of you may remember other interactive art pieces our middle school and high school youth have built over the past few years.  We’re hoping this one can be a bit of inspiration for the 1000s of cars passing by on Tiburon Blvd each day.  It’s our gift to the community.  (And yes, this does count as community service.)

 We’ll also have the fire going with single serve s’mores packs.  We’ll be playing the movie Elf in the courtyard.  And Jeff will also give a brief Christmas message.

 Maybe more than anything, we’re just happy to have a chance to be together, albeit in a safe manner.


Have 4 Minutes to Read? – What Will Your Kids Remember about this Christmas?

We will all remember the year that is almost over, 2020.  Our youth will remember the year they were stuck at home on Zoom all day, wearing masks at sports and dance practice, not getting to be with all their friends.  They will also have special memories that you have created as a family whether you intended to or not.  Maybe you’re eating in more often and they’ll remember how awful the meatloaf was during 2020.  Then again, maybe they’ll remember this was the year you discovered how to make the sourdough they love so much!

These days the pressure on parents to meet the nutritional, medical, emotional, and educational needs of our children commands most of our attention.  What if during this winter holiday break we focused a bit more on creating memories?  What if this Christmas we took a step back to consider, “What do I want my children to remember about the COVID-Christmas?”

I know that each of you represents a different experience during this crazy year.  Some of you have had a very hard year with job cutbacks, losses, health issues, depression, etc.  Others of you have actually found ways to thrive with more time together, refinancing homes, learning to cook, and more.  Most of you are probably somewhere in the middle.  You’ve had ups and downs but this year they simply tended to be big ups and big downs.

Even during the most difficult of circumstances, parents can give their child the most important gifts—

--the assurance they are loved

--a recognition of God’s guiding Spirit

--the wisdom to appreciate what is most valuable

--Christ-like model for coping with adversity with dignity

--understanding that suffering can be meaningful when endured as part of our love for all of God’s creation 

What kind of memories will you make this Advent season to help inform those sorts of qualities?  Maybe this is the year that you sacrifice something special to commemorate Advent or Jesus’ birth.  Perhaps it even becomes a tradition inspired by this unfortunate year.  Sometimes the activity is quite distinctive such as building a tree house together; however, it could be as mundane as playing catch, getting ice cream, or going to lunch after a music lesson or sports practice. 


 Have 8 Minutes to Read? – Why Our Family Will Always Put Money in the Salvation Army Bucket (a personal story)

This just got me to thinking about my own personal experience with Christmas during difficult times.  My father was a successful business owner and if any of you have owned a small business you know that even with success doesn’t mean great wealth instantaneously.  It takes time to pay off the early investments and to start meeting your own personal financial goals.

I was too young to remember this but because my family told me (and others) the story so often it has become ingrained in my psyche.  During the early 80s my family was having a difficult time financially.  The unexpected birth of a third child (me) put greater stress than our family’s finances were prepared for.  For a couple years things were so hard that my parents were not able to provide any Christmas gifts for their me, my brother, or sister.  I’m not sure how this all happened but the Salvation Army provided Christmas for us on those difficult years.  Even though we couldn’t “afford” Christmas there were these dear Christian sisters and brothers who saw to it that we still got to wake up on Christmas morning with presents around the tree.

Before my mother passed away, she described often about how much grief they had about that whole experience.  But she was always able to transition to the immense gratitude she felt to when, “the Salvation Army gave us Christmas.”  She would also make sure that every time we passed by one of those buckets, we put something in there.  I still make sure our little family does the same.  That experience, or rather those stories and memories, have taught me a great deal about gratitude, empathy for the poor, and giving over the years. 

So what will your children remember about COVID-Christmas?

PS - Looking for ideas or need some help with this?  Call/text/email/Facebook/Instagram/Tweet/Snap/zoom me or one of our leaders anytime!

Chin up,

Jeff Shankle
Westminster Presbyterian Church
240 Tiburon Blvd
Tiburon, CA  94920
office (415) 383-5272 x218

cell (415) 744-4683

www.WPCTiburon.org


 Opportunity to Serve Others Now (Wednesday Bag Lunch - details)

This is what we need:

  • 1.  Brown Bag Lunch (in your bag please include)

    • * Peanut Butter and Jelly

    • * Thinly sliced deli meats and cheese

    • * Bananas, Oranges, Cuties

    • * Yogurts

    • * Hummus, Guacamole, etc.

    • Soft foods such as:

    • *  Juice or Water

    • * Chips/Crackers are okay and appreciated

    • * Soft Cookies or other soft treats

Special thanks to one of our high school adult leaders, Jeff Heely, who has volunteered to be at WPC  Wednesdays between 10:00am – 11:00am to collect and deliver all the bagged lunches.   If for some reason you need to reach Jeff Heely here you go: 


 

                                                             

Parents Corner - Middle School

Middle school can be the most stressful and yet thrilling stage of a young person's journey to adulthood. Middle schoolers are growing in so many ways and are being given new opportunities for both success and trouble. There are 2 things we value that help inform all of what we do as church with middle schoolers:

 

Relationships - We know that much of what is taught in church can be ambiguous. That's why it is so important for us to have well-equipped and screened volunteer adult leaders who spend time with middle schoolers in their world.  So while we offer strong programs on Sunday mornings and at other times, what drives our focus is the time we get to spend with middle schoolers over a burger and fries, at a movie, or simply cheering them on at the events that they're involved in. We not only want to teach the way of Jesus to our young people, we want to show them what it looks like in their world with support, care, and encouragement.

 

Service - We think middle schoolers have gifts and passions that should be used in the church and the community. Our middle schoolers do everything from write material for our worship services that create whole interactive festivals to commemorate certain parts of the year. With so much creativity and energy our middle schoolers are very much an integral part of the entire worshipping community of Westminster.  They are also involved in the community through various service projects that take place throughout the year and an annual Spring Break mission trip. 
Serving Others - Middle School
Service projects for middle schoolers take place throughout the year. All are invited to participate. 

 

Please check with Jeff for Serving Others activities.