This Sunday is Confirmation Small Groups! We will continue our discussion on “Faith in an Anxious World,” including "What is my anxiety telling me" followed by a fun art project that explores different types of self care that your youth can engage in. Youth Cafe is not going to be held this Sunday so please make sure your youth has had a snack beforehand if there is concerns that they will be hungry while we are meeting.
Just a reminder of the added steps we are taking to keep our youth and volunteers safe:
1.We will still require masks. If you have access to N95 mask, even better!
2. Youth Cafe will be only held on limited Sundays and will only be serving take home snacks. We will no longer be eating during confirmation.
3. We will social distance as much as possible
Transitions can be difficult but we are committed to make Confirmation safe, fun, and full of fellowship! We hope to see you all this New Year!
Don't forget to fill out your Worship Notes on Sunday! Worship Notes can be found in the narthex on the table where the children's bulletins are. Please turn them back into the binder. If you are are joining service remotely, please use this link to fill out the Notes: https://plymouthlawrence.breezechms.com/form/3ea504As many of you have noticed from the weekly communications, we are using Fuller Youth Institute: "Faith in an Anxious World" curriculum. We believe that having the open dialogue about mental health is so important. Here are some parent resources out of the Fuller Youth Institute: “Faith in an Anxious World.” Also please feel welcomed to reach out to either Caroline or Kara for support or with any questions. This is a trying time for mental health not just for youth but for us all and we want to be able to support you all.
Often our kids are stressed for good reason. Sometimes we all feel pressure as members of families, cultures, and friend groups. This week, your teenager and the rest of our group explored how well-intentioned people including us as parents can add to the pressure they feel. In the midst of anxiety, it’s tempting to push people away and focus on our own fears and mistakes. In Luke 5:1-11, one of the main characters of the gospel, Simon Peter, tries to do just that. But Jesus doesn’t let him. Not only does Jesus reassure Simon that he (Jesus) is with him, he also reconnects Simon with those who were in the boat with him. In both this first-century story and our lives today, Jesus is forming a circle of people to take on a journey of new identity, a new way of interacting, and a new way of being with one another. Relationships can be frustrating (and stress-producing) at times but God designed us to be part of groups and families, and to have a circle of care we can ask to be with us through good times and bad.
HERE IS A CONVERSATION TO HAVE WITH YOUR STUDENT THIS WEEK
Since friendships are so important and sometimes so volatile for teenagers, talk with your student about how their friendships at times create stress, and at other times relieve stress. Consider talking with your child about each of their closest friends individually by name, asking when each of those friends is most likely to increase stress, as well as lower stress.
If the mood feels right, have a similar conversation about your family. Explore with your child when your family interactions are most likely to reduce stress, as well as raise stress. Avoid the temptation to defend yourself or other family members; instead, listen intently and ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand your teenagers’ experiences and feelings.
HERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO TOGETHER AS A FAMILY
Throughout our 4-week journey, students are exploring the Ignatian Prayer of Examen as a tool to help center themselves and seek God when life feels anxious. We’re calling it the “Daily Replay.”
1) Become aware of God’s presence. Where has God been at work in my life today?
2) Review the day with gratitude. Whose friendship or expressions of love am I thankful for?
3) Pay attention to your emotions. What conversations or moments with others have been emotionally charged this week?
4) Forgive, and ask for forgiveness. Where can I make the first move towards creating peace?
5) Look toward tomorrow. What interactions with others can I picture going differently tomorrow?
HERE ARE MORE TOOLS TO HELP YOUR FAMILY DEVELOP FAITH IN AN ANXIOUS WORLD
When it comes to developing faith in an anxious world, the majority of your most important parenting happens behind the scenes as you stay sharp and alert, ready to support your child with what they need:
Check out the “Faith in an Anxious World Parenting Podcast: Episode 2,” available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Seek professional help from a local counselor or therapist (we will cover this in more depth in the coming weeks).
Reach out with your questions to a crisis hotline (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or suicidepreventionlifeline.org).