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XL Kicks off a new year with a new series

This year at XL we'll being working through a variety of series, starting with WIRED. We live in a connected world, but three connections are more fundamentally important than Instagram or Snapchat. We'll spend the next three weeks looking at our connections to God, our neighbors, and ourselves. Check out a preview here:

[vimeo 182718518 w=640 h=360]

I'm excited about diving into these relationships in small groups with our students! This is a great time to invite your friends!

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A Potpourri of Questions

XL for the past few months has been focused on "tough questions" and we've had some really wonderful conversations. We've talked through questions like, Does God discriminate against women? Is Jesus the only way to God? Can I be a Christian and believe in evolution? and more. It's been great, but it's time to open up the floodgates.

I want to know what kinds of questions you have! We'll spend time at our next XL, May 15 (no XL on May 8... spend time with your mothers!), going through the questions that you have, and talking through them from a Biblical point of view. 

Have questions about a particular story or theme in the Bible? Wonder what the Bible says about something? Did your crazy uncle say something that's making you think? Let's talk about it at XL!

You can email or text me your questions, or fill out the form bellow anonymously. Remember, XL is a safe, judgement-free zone where we can enter into conversation together. I'm excited have more great conversations!

What's your question? *

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End of Year programming notes

As the school year draws to a close (or almost starts to begin to kind of draw to a close), we wind down our programming at church, too. We have just two more High School XL nights left, and one more Friday Night Live, and all are going to be extra awesome.

XL

June 7 - It'll be XL as usual this Sunday, and I've invited the current 8th graders to join us. They'll be in high school next year, but XL is way too awesome to not share. Be ready to welcome them!

June 14 - This is our last XL of the school year, and we're having an ice cream party! Please bring your favorite topping to share, and we'll provide the ice cream (because my favorite ice cream topping is more ice cream). It'll be at the same time as usual, 6:30 to 8:30pm.

FNL

There's only one Friday Night Live left! Head to church on June 12, 7 to 9pm, for our end of year party and Ice Cream extravaganza! Bring a topping to share and come ready to run around and play lots of games. Lots.


Just because XL and FNL are almost over doesn't mean the fun has to stop! We'll be hanging out over the summer, so make sure you stay connected. If you're not signed up to get text messages, here are instructions.

Peace!

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XL, community, and cell phones

Making connections is super important for our high school youth group. In fact, building a community is a fundamental reason for having a youth group at all, and it is really important to build a culture of intentionality on Sunday nights. That's why we're not going to use our cell phones during XL.

Last fall, we spent time in the scriptures looking at the early Christian Church, and we saw there what we want our community to look like. In particular, we want XL to be an intentionally inclusive space; a place where everyone can come and feel welcomed and included in the fun, and a place where we can sit and really be with each other. Toward that end, we thought it would be a good idea to put away our phones.

Our students are actually really good about not being glued to their phones when we gather together, so this isn't a reaction or a punishment, but an intentional step toward deeper community. Physically putting all of our phones in a safe place is a powerful symbol of our commitment to being together at XL. It says to each other that connecting on Sunday night is important enough for us to disconnect from text messages, phone calls, and social media. 

And so we've all agreed, leaders and students, to put our cell phones in a basket when we get to XL on Sundays. During the evening, the basket will go into a safe place so they are not disturbed. As we talked about with the students on Sunday, it is not okay to take or mess with anyone else's phones when we go to collect them after XL. Hopefully, this will help students to not be anxious about leaving their phones for a few hours. We gave it a trial run this past Sunday, and, from my perspective, it was a great success. As the weeks go on, I'm sure this will become a natural part of the flow of our nights.

That does mean, however, that communicating with your student during youth group will be more difficult. So, if you have an emergency or need to convey ride information to your student, feel free to call or send a text message to me (send me a message if you need my phone number). My phone will be on me the whole night. Alternatively, you can call the church office's phone, at (508) 226-6221.

Please contact me with any questions or comments you may have. I'm committed to crafting a wonderful, fun, and inclusive experience for our high schoolers, and you all are important in that effort. Awesome things are happening, and I'm excited about the future!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Chris

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