September was a pretty straight-forward month around here. We've been finding our stride in the new school year and it is starting to fly by fast. The students are already talking about mid-terms, which is surprising all of us.
The Christian Student Center is looking good. We cut down some dead trees, replaced the sign and brought in a new water heater. I've included a couple of “Before And After Pictures” of our sign for you, but they don't really capture the change that well. The old sign was completely faded on one side and half faded on the other while the new sign is black and sharp and professional looking. We have loved our old sign and it has served us well, but we are excited about the new one. It pops!
We had our second Student Organization Fair and it went fairly well. It was outside and super windy, so there weren't as many people braving the wind to come see us, but we still had a handful of folks stop by to check us out. We had 11 students sign up for more information, including a young lady who recognized me from the events I've helped with in Faith, SD. It was really encouraging!
In fact, that serves as a great segue into another new thing we are trying this year. Every Fall the church in Faith sends a handful of graduating high school Seniors to Black Hills State University for their Freshmen year of college. They have a rocking youth program up there. They are in a town of 500 people, but their after-school Bible program has upwards of 30 teens in it.
So we are making a more intentional effort to build a stronger relationship between the young folks in Faith and our ministry. Now, once a month, I drive up to Faith and help out with their youth program. My first trip was in September and it was a great time. The teens are fun and it threw me back to my youth ministry days. I think it is going to be a really good thing for our ministry in the long run and it is good just to spend some time with the church folks over there. Nothing but a bunch of sweeties around those parts.
We took a couple months off from our Area Church Leader Eating Meetings this summer due to everyone being busy and gone. We started it up again in September and it was nice to be back in the swing of things. We had a couple guys drive in from a hundred miles east, a couple guys drive in from a hundred miles west, and a half a dozen guys or so from the middle. This little meeting is half Bible study, half therapy, and entirely fantastic for the unity of the area congregations.
In fact, our preacher man Thomas Pruett, used our meetings as a launching pad for an area-wide Preacher Swap a couple weeks ago. The preachers from six or seven area churches visited other congregations, some for the first time ever. It was a coup for strengthening the ties between our congregations, I couldn't be happier with it, and they have already scheduled the next one.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” - John 13:34-35
Another cool thing that happened in September was Bailey teaching a teen girl's class at church. Bailey Hoeft was Northern Hill's intern this past summer and, now this Fall, is sort of still our intern. Apparently, Bailey loved her internship so much she didn't want it to end and the elders felt the same way, so they all just kept the intern times rolling.
Her latest responsibility is teaching this young ladies class. One of our teen girls brings two of her friends most every Wednesday night, so we started this class just for them. Bailey was nervous at first, having never taught a Bible class before, but she did a great job. We talked about it the next day and, I'm telling you, she knocked it out of the park. Bailey is considering a career in ministry or mission work in some way, so I'm extremely excited to see her stepping up to the plate like this and getting this kind of experience.
In other news, one of our new students is a young lady named Vanessa. She loves cooking and went to national cooking competitions in high school, so she is pretty good at it. She mentioned that desserts are her favorite thing to cook, so I asked her if she would make desserts for us (if I reimbursed her). Vanessa took me up on it and, so far, she has made us a lemon cheesecake and a birthday cake for our other new student Brittany. So that's been a great way to get them both involved and has launched our dessert selection to a whole new level.
We also had a great elder's meeting where we just prayed for folks the whole time, I started one-on-one Bible studies again, and we had a Hobo Stew out in the woods at my in-laws house. However, I'm about out of room for this one, so I'm going to wrap it up.
You have a great day!