Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Top Ten Epworth Memories

This coming Sunday, June 21st, is going to be my last Sunday at Epworth. My time at Epworth has been just shy of four years, and in my opinion it has been an extremely good run. A top ten list seems like a good way to encapsulate the best parts of these four years. I plan on posting this on facebook as well, so those reading on the blog will not know the names, but the people tagged in the facebook note will. Since this is a top ten list, it will be in dramatic descending order.

10. Halo Bible Study
This was an experiment that I did last year. I know there is a debate if something that is inherently violent like the video game Halo 3 can be redemptive and this experience showed me that it can. I think there is a decent chance that the teenagers who participated in it still know what the Infection game type has to do with sin.

9. First Rafting Trip

I took part in two of the annual rafting trips, both trips were excellent, but of the two I liked this one more for a couple of reasons. It was the first time that I ever went White Water Rafting, the first time that I took part in worship on a mountain side, and this is when I learned just how long Mark's "short walks" can actually be.

8. 2007 Jr. High Mission Trip
In 2007 we took the Jr. High to Southern Indiana to help a church move a playground to a new location. It was a good trip, but what made the trip so memorable was playing Capture the Flag in Unity Chapel (the church we stayed at) during the night.

7, First Planned Famine Lock-in
I have done several lock-ins at Epworth. I am not sure how many, though I know Ashley could tell me because she oddly remembers the details of all of the lock-ins. I do know that this one might be my favorites. This is the lock-in where Andy and Mark found an incredible hiding spot in sardines (though Ben Handy out did that spot at the last one). This lock-in is where Danny invented his game, I think he called it Speedball, and it ended with Trevor, Kevin, and I playing Rock Band.

6, 2009 Kentucky Mission Trip

We just got back from this trip a few weeks ago. Originally, we were going to go Mexico, but Swine Flu made that impossible. Fortunately, it was possible to organize a replacement trip to Kentucky. One of things that was so cool about this trip is that I know several of the youth did not want to go to Kentucky, but by the end of the week ALL of the participants were really glad they went. On top of that, I really enjoyed the white water rafting even if I did fall out.

5, 2006 Cayman Islands Mission Trip

This was the biggest trip we took while I was at Epworth, and it was crazy. We took 32 people, and there some logistical issues that arose onsight. Despite everything that was against it, the trip was a success. I learned a lot about God's faithfulness and provision on this trip. This trip also created some great memories like snorkeling and holding a baby turtle.

4, "Lifehouse Everything Skit

I was very fortunate in that I got to preach several times at Epworth. However, the best "sermon" I ever took part in at Epworth was this skit. This video is the skit that we did our own version of, and I think we nailed it.

3, 2006 Fall Retreat

This was my favorite of the retreats we did. The topic was Spiritual Warfare, and I think it went well. On top of that, this was the time that we had hornet fights, which several people still talk about. This retreat also hosted the epic finger fencing battle between Cole and myself, and we had a really fun time playing paintball.

2, Confirmation Class

Of all the things that I did as part of my time at Epworth my favorite thing was Confirmation. I really enjoyed teachings the fundamentals of the faith. Watching youth questions and "get" these core beliefs is a reminder why I do what I do.

1,2007 Mission Trip to Biloxi
This trip is my single best memory of my time at Epworth. The service with the families was really good, but why I remember this is because of the conversations that took place. While spending a week painting a house I had several really good, really deep conversations with several of the participants. On the most frustrating days of Seminary, or the days when I felt most down about youth ministry, the memories of these conversations were a perfect reminder of why I want to d youth ministry and helped reaffirm the call I feel to serve in ministry.


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