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We’re a resort village church, relaxed and warm. Dress up, dress down, come as you are. We are located at 975 C Avenue, Coronado, California. Resident or tourist, you’ll be among friends who desire to know Christ and make Christ known.

 

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   Traditional Style - 9:00am

   Blended Style - 10:30am

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    Youth Ministries Blog

    Pastor John's Blog

    Monday
    Aug032015

    Bittersweet

    This time of year is bittersweet for most.  For students it is getting back into the routine of going to class and doing homework.  The sweet part is seeing all your friends again that you missed all summer long.  It is also bittersweet for the graduated seniors who are packing up and moving away for their first year with a roommate that is not family.  Now, I realize that some graduates are staying local—and going to community college—and there are lots of bittersweet moments for them too.  

     

    The end of one season of life and the start of another seems to always have that kind of internal tension.  It is the joy of moving into the next phase of life and leaving the old part behind.  On the one hand there is excitement and anticipation for what is to come, but on the other hand there is fear of the unknown.  This summer has been filled with wonderful memories; we have lots of pictures and videos to show for it.  Check out the Big-5 Summer Camp Video and Crosswalk Summer Camp Video to prove it.  Plus all the memories created at beach days or the mission trip to San Francisco.  These are all wonderful to look back on, but to live there permanently we miss out on the blessings God has in store for us in the future.  

     

    It is perfectly human to fear the unknown.  It is perfectly human to have some anxiety over new experiences.  It is also perfectly human to try and plan every single moment and experience—because that removes the unknowns.  Unfortunately, planning all the details and accounting for every obstacle that comes our way is really not possible.  As hard as we try, often we learn that God is totally in control and we are not.  Often we concern ourselves with all the little details like—where am I going to sit in math class? Am I going to make friends at school?  Will I be accepted?  Who will I sit and have lunch with?  What does this next year have in store for me?  These are all wonderful questions to ask.  When we focus on the past, we miss out on the sweetness of the future—the future blessing that God has in store for us. 

     

    For the Youth Ministries at Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church, this Back to School season means saying farewell to Molly Lorden as the Youth Ministries Administrative Assistant.  This fall she is heading off to Princeton Seminary to continue her education.   We are very excited about the next season God has in store for her.  However, it is bittersweet for all of us.  The sweetness is brought through all the memories we have created with Molly.  The sweetness is Molly pursing God’s call in her life to seminary and we praise God all the more for her faithfulness.   As we say farewell to Molly, at the same time we welcome Amber Cuadra to the Youth Ministry staff.  There will be many opportunities to get to know Amber—much like we did Molly.  

     

    Before we officially say farewell.  We say, “Thank you, Molly,” for all the hard work that produced blood sweat and tears.  Thank you for all the late nights hanging out with students in the youth room.  Thank you for jumping in and trusting God will lead.  Thank you for sharing these last couple of years with us.  We are truly blessed by you!

     

    I am reminded of Isaiah’s encouragement to Israel that God never suffers setbacks and knows exactly what the future holds.  For the Lord is the Everlasting God and gives strength to the weary when it’s bitter and when it’s sweet!  Be encouraged by what God is doing and cling to Isaiah 40:28-31 as “Back To School” is around the corner!  

     

    “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.   He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  

     

    Blessings,

    John Joseph

    Wednesday
    Jul012015

    A Matter of Discipline

    Most everyone would agree that a person is made up of mind, body and soul.  These three components make up our intellect, personality, natural and spiritual self.  It is interesting to know that we intentionally exercise two of the three components.  We exercise our minds by reading, studying and going to school.  We train our bodies by going to the gym, walking and eating healthy.  What do we do to exercise our souls?  How do we access and train the non-physical part of who we are—our souls?  This summer we are embarking on a journey through seven Spiritual Disciplines.  The goal is to discipline our souls like Jesus did!

     

    Often the word discipline means something negative.  In most cases discipline means we got in trouble for something did wrong.  But in this case, it simply means training or exercising.  The best example is the focus or discipline it takes to train one’s body.  It takes determination, concentration and commitment.  To train our body, we often set goals and discipline ourselves to achieve the goal.  The same is true for soul training.

     

    This summer we are taking a look at how to discipline our whole-self.  There are thousands (probably more like millions) of people walking around lopsided.  Their minds are focused, their bodies are healthy but their souls are depleted.  It is our soul that we access when God calls us to action.  When our souls are in tune with the Creator, we are equipped and ready for action to respond the way Jesus responds.  Before Jesus started his three-year ministry he disciplined himself by fasting.  Jesus knew that people do “not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  Jesus knew what was going to sustain him every single day.  Do we know and trust that God does sustain us?

     

    On this journey this summer we will look at the purpose of a few spiritual disciplines such as: meditation, fasting, solitude, service, confession, guidance and celebration.  The goal is to equip students with the tools necessary to discipline their whole-self and not neglect their souls.  It is simply a matter of discipline, which means focus, determination and commitment.  Our prayer this summer is that students will be better equipped with tools to train their souls and ready for action with God calls on them!

     

    Finally, be sure to take a look at the opportunities in our newsletter.  We are as active over the summer as we are during the school year!  If you have any questions, we are here to answer them.

     

    Blessings,

    John Joseph 

    Monday
    Jun012015

    Transitions

    Back in December, our family transitioned from being a family of four to a family of five.  At first that change does not seem like a big deal—except it was.  We needed to upgrade from a moderate family car that seats five to a minivan—only because we could not fit three car seats side-by-side.  That was one of the significant pieces of our transition from two boys to three boys.  A smaller piece in our transitioning family was setting another seat at the dinner table.  Most tables seat four—now we needed a place for Daniel.  The funny part when shopping, table settings are sold in packs of four.  The list goes on.  Those are only a couple pieces of our transition, but they still contribute to the joy and stress of transition.  Our three boys are a tremendous blessing.  Our family is not the same.  The transition has not always been easy, but we would never go back to being a family of four.
     
    June is always filled with transitions—seniors are graduating high school and moving onto the next chapter of their lives.  Freshman have completed their first year of high school and learned the ins and outs of being on a high school campus.  Eighth grade students make the transition from being a “Big Fish in a little pond” to a “Little Fish in a big pond.”  Even here in the Youth Ministry department, we are experiencing some transition.  We hired a new Summer Intern—Haley Almquist.  Haley was an active member our youth ministry program as a student now she serves as adult volunteer and worship leader.  One of her goals this summer is to “lead people into God’s presence through musical worship.”  She is currently working on a Counseling Psychology degree.  We are glad to have her on our team and look forward to learning alongside of her.
     
    Transitions can be very challenging and we want to reassure you that you are not alone and we would love to continue walking alongside of you this summer and into the fall.  There are lots of great opportunities to stay connected throughout the summer like Forest Home summer camp, beach days, Tuesday nights, and our mission trip.  For our mission trip we are heading to San Francisco to work with Center for Student Missions serving the marginalized and forgotten.  Be sure to take a look at the opportunities in our newsletter.  If you have any questions, we are here to answer them. 
     
    Finally, congratulations to all the seniors we have crossed paths with through the years.  Congratulations to: Matthew Alkonis, Brooke Anns, Braden Armstrong, Alex Aull, Christian Bland, McCall Ceci, Brooke Coffey, Michael Contreras, Jean Cook, Megan Curtin, Allie Esquer, Sebastian Fernandez, Ally Fink, Gabriel Fischer, Sarah Fisher, Paige Forrester, Abby Garcia, Michael Hardy, Owen Hedenreich, Leah Hems, Montana Henry, Chloe Hoffman, Nick Horton, Madeline Hoshko, Tim Hoyle, Carly Keeney, Aaron Loeffler, Natalie Lusitana, Maddie Marston, Lauren McBride, Megan Moser, Abi Mosk, Morgan Redford, Michael Rodriguez, Lindsay Scannell, Kendall Shaub, Kyler Smith, Sarah Smith, Michaela Steiner, John Wise and Kristiana Wood.  May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you as you all walk with Him every day.
     
    Blessings,
    John Joseph
    Friday
    May012015

    Overjoyed

    We have so much to be excited about.  Project25 is finished, summer camp is around the corner and to top it all off, there are about 4 weeks left of school! 

     

    Project25 brought Club Blank and Club Converge together to advance the Kingdom of God—and that they did.  They raised over $6,000 to support Seven Sisters International.  They took $200 and turned it into $6,000—absolutely amazing.   We are full of gratitude for all those who volunteered and lead the charge to make such a significant difference.  All we can do is praise God for the work done through students that impact other students—like the girls at Seven Sisters International.  And it keeps getting better, I just got word that we really need a strong showing at the awards celebration on may 16th.  So be sure to get your release form in and join us!

     

    Summer camp at Forest Home is a week filled with exciting games, messages and Spirit filled conversations.  This year you do not want to miss out on Lakeview’s Throw Back and Creekside’s Eureka!  There are so many great outfits to pack I don’t even know where to start.  Be sure to get your medical release from and deposit turned in.  Spaces are limited. 

     

    Finally, as the school year comes to a close, I encourage all of you to run this last leg of the race with perseverance.  It will be really easy to give up, but this is the part that can make a significant difference.  I can tell you because I just finished my last class this semester, and I am overjoyed by the work it too and the growth that occurred in me.  At the end of the race, give God the glory for all that you have accomplished this year.  

    Friday
    Apr032015

    Project25

    It is nearing the middle of April and students from Club Blank, led by our very own Big-5 students, are gearing up for Project25.  If you have never heard about Project25, you are in for a treat.  Project25 is a perfect opportunity for schools, communities and churches to come together and impact the world with the message of hope in Jesus Christ.  Each club is given a $100 “mini-grant” and challenged to invest it and multiply it.  Last year, the clubs at CHS and CMS joined forces and raised over $2,300.00.  They used that money to improve the landscape of a local outreach ministry affectionately called “PUM”—Presbyterian Urban Ministries. 

     

    This year, both clubs have joined forces again with the goal of supporting a not-so-local ministry, Seven Sisters International.  Our students hope to raise $3,500 to help support Seven Sisters increase their impact in Northeast India.  There are more than three million people in India’s sex trade and more than a million of them are children. Thousands of these children are trafficked out of the seven states of Northeast India (the “Seven Sisters”). They are sold into forced labor as factory workers, beggars, and agricultural workers. Girls are especially targeted as domestic servants and commercial sex workers, sold to supply the brothels of India’s cities.

     

    Our students are partnering with Seven Sisters International to make a difference.  By hosting a fundraising dinner with a live auction, they are investing their min-grant with the hope and expectation of multiplying the gift they received—much like the Parable of the Talents that Jesus tells in Matthew 25.  These creative and caring entrepreneurs have a heart for children—not unlike themselves.  They want to make a difference in Northeast India!  For more information about Project25, Seven Sisters International, our goal, and how you can help, go to www.gmpc.org.

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