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Monday, 15 December 2014

This week in St. Leonard's Youth....

Coming up this week... 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! So things are starting to wind down here at St. Leonard's youth, but don't worry, we will be back after the holidays.




Cell...
Last week was our last normal cell group meeting until after Christmas. All cells will be will starting back again on the week beginning 12th January (the first full week back at school). Here is the year 10 cell enjoying their secret santas... 





This Thursday at 7.00pm - 9.30pm in the church is our yearly Cell Christmas Social, so come Thursday afternoon some of your lovely cell leaders will be decking the church out to all its Christmas socially glory.Be Excited! Its going to be great...



If you want to come but still haven't paid Olly or Beth, please can you get it to us today or give us a ring to confirm you are definitely coming! 


Friday Pathfinders...
There will be no Friday Pathfinders this week as we have broken up for Christmas but we are back in the new year! Our first session back will be 16th January:

Younger Pathfinders; will be dark games. 

Older Pathfinders; will be a planning sesh to decide what we want to do next term. 


CYFA
Last week we stayed in church again because our amazing new youth band (name pending) were leading worship and we wanted to stick around to see it. CYFA has now broken up for Christmas but will resume on Sunday 18th January.  


Sunday Pathfinders
Sunday Pathfinders is also broken up for Chrsitmas but will be starting back on Sunday 11th January. 


Deadlines!!
The deadlines for both the Weekend Away and Soul Survivor have both been and gone but there are still a couple of places free. If you want one of the please can you get your forms to us ASAP! 


There will be no more blogs now until the new year, but until then I thought you might enjoy this video: 



Tuesday, 9 December 2014

This week in St. Leonard's Youth..

Coming up this week... 

This is the last week of normal meetings until Christmas, so get set for a jolly old week.





Cell...
This week most cell groups will be having their own Christmas socials or will be continuing to look at the Christmas story. At the end of this week regular cell group meetings will break for the Christmas holidays until we start back on the 12th January. 



This week is also the deadline for buying your cell celebration tickets, so make sure you get your money and your invite in to Olly or Beth asap. 


Friday Pathfinders...

Pathfinders is starting earlier than usual this week at 5.50pm (for both older and younger)! The reason we're meeting earlier is that we are going to watch a brilliant Christmas play by the amazing Riding Lights Theatere Company. Tickets normal cost £4 - £6 but for Friday Pathfinders they are £3, so make sure you come to the church hall on time! 

Last week was our festive Christmas special and we had a great time making our own trees...




CYFA
Last week CYFA had to be cancelled because Beth was ill, sorry guys :-(. To make up for it we will be having CYFA this week instead... outside of the norm I know but hey, we live on the edge...

Sunday Pathfinders
Sunday Pathfinders is happening as normal with Simon leading and Beth helping.


Deadlines!!
The deadline for the both the weekend away and the Soul Survivor forms is this Sunday!! So if you are wanting to come to please can you get the forms to us ASAP




Monday, 1 December 2014

This week in St. Leonard's Youth...

Coming up this week... 

You may have noticed that there weren't very many youth groups happening last week. That was because we were having a cell leaders training session with the lovely CYM so cell leaders had the week off. 
There was no Friday Pathfinders because we didn't quite have enough leaders to run. 

But this week we are back baby...

Cell...
It is only 24 days till Christmas (your welcome)!! So this week at (most) cells we will be looking at the story of Christmas. Also this week invites for the 2014 Cell Christmas Social will be going out so keep your eyes peeled for those! :-)



Friday Pathfinders...
The Friday Pathfinders Christmas special is always full of Christmassy wonderfulness, but this time we are making it even more wonderfuler... we are adding a Christmas jumper dress code. 


This week is the Christmas special so make sure you come wearing a Christmas jumper! We will be making Christmas crafts and playing Christmas themed games and filling our selves full of Christmas cheer, so make sure you are there. 

Next week we will be going as a group to the Riding Lights Christmas play. If you want to look at the trailer you can check it out here...


CYFA
CYFA is on this week so make sure you are at church for it! We will be carrying on with our normal programme, looking at what Jesus did and how we can be like Him.

Sunday Pathfinders
Sunday Pathfinders is also happening as normal with Jennifer and Olly leading.



We will be trying to use this blog more and more to keep you informed about what is going on week to week in the youth work, so if you want know what is happening and when, keep reading the blogs :-)









Thursday, 27 November 2014

Our new website!!

Hello lovely blog readers!! I will be writing a new blog soon as an update of what we have been up to, but this is a little note just to say sorry!!


For those of you who have tried to visit our website recently you would have seen this:


That is because the lovely Paul Cassar has been working very hard to build us a exciting new one. So soon you should be seeing something like this:



This is a much needed refresh and there will hopefully be lots of new useful pages. I will let you know as soon as site goes live so keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

And we are back!!!!

Wow, what a summer!

Soul Survivor was, as it always is, amazing this year. If you were at St. Leonard's on the 7th September you will have heard all about it, but for those of you who weren't:

We took 30 young people and 4 leaders with us this year and were joined by a group from Leicester. So all told we had group of 45. Which looked pretty good when we were all in fancy dress.


But more than that, it was amazing to see how much God moved people along in their faith, simply because they set aside some time to focus on Him. What was also amazing was that a pretty incredible new brother of mine gave his life to God that week; it is has been brilliant to see what God has been doing in him since. Here is a little photo montage to give you a taste of what it was like: 

After that we were straight back into the normal running of things for September. Cell groups have been running the 'It's Time' materials suggested by Open Doors, CYFA are looking at what it means to be like Jesus, Sunday Pathfinders is back to full force and Friday Pathfinders is, well Friday Pathfinders! 

Another piece of good news is that Beth (our intern from last year) will be staying on with us for another year, working 20 hours a week and generally adding to the ministry. 

Things to pray for: 

  • Thank God for all He is doing in and through our young people.
  • Thank God for Beth staying on with us. 
  • Pray for all the cell groups this year; that they continue to grow in faith. 
  • Ask God to bless the vision and growth of our youth ministry and take it in the direction that He wants it to go. 







Tuesday, 8 July 2014

July

Well, June zoomed by! Here we are with less than two weeks left of the school term, which means two weeks left of being a minion :(

The last month has been great, with lots going on in the youth work. Some highlights have been:
  • All of the Soul Survivor fundraising including a day helping out at a tag-rugby tournament, BBQ-ing at the folk festival, and Team Man (HUUUUUH!) at the carnival. A huge massive thank you to all of the young people who came along and helped out! We are close to our fundraising target and it's been fun to spend some time together before we go to Soul Survivor in August. 
  • On Thursday 3rd July, most of the current and new cell group leaders had a training meeting led by the fabulous Nick Page, focusing on leading Bible studies with cell groups. It was really interesting and gave us all lots of ideas.
  • Olly had a fun week in Sweden! Obviously we missed him in the office, but it was a great opportunity and glad he did it. 
  • David Cameron came to visit Eynsham Youth Centre on Friday 20th June, so Friday Pathfinders were invited to go along and meet him. It was slightly chaotic to begin with, but he answered lots of questions, played table tennis and posed for selfies!


 As always, our schedule is packed but it's going to be a really exciting time...
  • On Sunday, we are taking a group of young people to London for a visit to Holy Trinity Brompton church and then spending the afternoon playing The Great Big Game of Monopoly! It should be really fun :)
  • We have two big socials coming up - one is the final Pathfinders of this term, this Friday. We are combining Older and Younger together, meeting at 6.30 at the church hall and then moving down to the playing field for some games and a water fight! The other is next Thursday (17th) when we are combining all the cell groups together to have (guess what?!) another water fight, plus games, BBQ and a reflection time, starting at 7.30pm. Letters should be going out to cell groups this week with more details.
  • Our final Soul Survivor sponsored swim session is on Tuesday 15th July from 7-9pm. We are pretty hopeful that we will smash the target and hopefully have some time for fun in the pool too!
  • We are really excited that two of our young people have made the decision to get baptised! Steven and Lily will be baptised in the river at Cassington Mill on Sunday 20th July. There will be services at both Long Hanborough and St Leonards, and then everyone is invited to bring a picnic and witness them both make this amazing step :) 

This may well be the last blog that I write for St Leonards Youth Work Update :( I can hardly believe how quickly this year has flown by, and as we reach the summer and the youth work winds down a little for 6 weeks, it can seem a bit like there's not as much to do. But of course Olly will be working incredibly hard getting ready for the next school year. So as we reach the summer, some prayer requests would be:
  • For the continuing fundraising and organisation towards Soul Survivor. It's come around really fast and there is still much to do! 
  • For the young people finishing school and for those who have already finished - that they will have a safe and happy summer holiday.
  • For Beth and Sarah as they finish the internship. Also, for Olly as he continues with and takes on even more work, and adjusts back to not having minions to annoy ;)
  • For the London trip on Sunday - safe travelling, energy and fun!
  • For Steven and Lily as they get baptised.
Thank you for all your support! Until next time...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

June

Hello again - I have just said to Olly it feels like only yesterday that I was writing the last blog, yet it was almost a month ago! 

June and July are very busy months for us, which is exciting/tiring/interesting, but ultimately should be a lot of fun and the best way to end (except for Soul Survivor of course) what has been an amazing year for St Leonards youth. I am going to bullet point now, as there is quite a lot to remember:


  • Friday Pathfinders is going to be epic this week! We've hired an inflatable bungee run and some sumo suits, and we're also very excited to be inviting the year sixes along too. Next week is also going to be interesting as we have a special guest coming to visit...
  • On Sunday, Olly jets off to sunny(?) Sweden (I literally have no idea what the weather is like there) to help out on a confirmation camp. It should be a great opportunity to do some youth work in a different culture and setting. Best of luck Sweden ;) never fear, he'll be back on Thursday - the minions will be holding down the fort while he is gone.
  • The next cell celebration evening service is fast approaching. Come and join us at St Leonards church on Sunday 22nd June at 6pm for an evening of worship and fun, all hosted by our lovely cell groups. 
  • We are continuing with our fundraising efforts for Soul Survivor. The next four Saturdays are taken up with different events, and we have one final swimming session booked in to try and reach our target. Any donations/sponsorship and also prayer that we will reach the goal would be most welcome. 
  • We're really excited to be taking a day trip to London on Sunday 13th July. We're going to take a group of young people made up of our Sunday Pathfinders and CYFA groups to Holy Trinity Brompton church, and then Beth has organised for us to play the Great Big Game of Monopoly (basically, where you run around London and try to take photos in all of the places on the Monopoly board)!! 
  • A likely possibility on the horizon is a mission trip to Moldova in October. Olly will be taking a group of young people to go and work out there for a week with a charity called Beginning of Life Moldova, who help girls caught up in trafficking. Although it seems a while away, preparations are already underway. It will be an amazing opportunity that will allow our youth to experience and help a very different part of the world. 
As always, but especially as we carry on with this busy term, we appreciate all of the support that we are given. God is doing some incredible work within the young people, and it would not be possible without the love, prayer, money and support of others. Some particular prayer requests would be:

  • Again, for the young people with their exams and tests, and generally finishing off school for the summer. Also, Beth and Sarah finishing off their college course. 
  • For Soul Survivor (standard prayer request!) - for the fundraising and also for all of the organisation which we have to do before it.
  • For the cell celebration on 22nd June.
  • For the mission trip to Moldova, and safe travels for Olly next week as he goes to Sweden.

If you would like information about any of the groups that we run here at St Leonards, visit our website stleonardsyouth.co.uk or contact us by emailing youth.stleonards@gmail.com or calling 07885914033.

Hope you enjoy the sunny weather :) here is a photo of the three of us beautifully modelling our Soul Survivor sunglasses to help you feel summery! Until next time...


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

May

Hello, we hope this blog finds you well! We've had a great start to the term and lots more coming up...

We have been focussing on fundraising for Soul Survivor quite a bit. On Saturday we painted faces, washed cars, fixed computers and waited tables all in our effort to raise money! (It was the Community Day in Eynsham and some of our young people were hired out as waiters/waitresses at a party.) We have also been swimming as much as we can to try and make the distance from Eynsham to Soul Survivor (approximately 4184 lengths of a 25 metre pool) and been getting in as many sponsors as possible. 
If you would like to sponsor us, we would be really grateful! Please get in touch with one of us or add it to the sponsor form at the back of church. Also, if you bought one of the promises from the promise auction, do make sure you get in touch with the young person and claim your promise. 

A couple of weeks ago, we had Katie and Elise come and join us for a week of work experience. They were very helpful and willing to do everything we threw at them!


It was a lot of fun (particularly trying to squeeze 6 of us into an already crammed office) and we hope they enjoyed their time with us. 

This week CYFA (our Sunday morning group for year 10+) are doing the sermon at the 10.45am service. It's an exciting opportunity for them and will hopefully all go to plan! Please pray that they will all be confident to speak and share, and do come along to the service. 

I can hardly believe that half term is almost upon us. This term is going to be busy and some specific prayer requests would be:
  • For all of our young people who are doing tests and exams. This term can be extremely stressful and tiring so please pray for energy, wisdom and peace. Also, that all of the youth work we do over the next few weeks would be helpful and refreshing to all of them. 
  • For our fundraising efforts and the finances in general. 
  • For Beth and Sarah as they come to the end of their internship, especially the college work! 
If you are interested in finding out more about any of our groups or just want to know more about us, please visit the website http://stleonardsyouth.co.uk or give us a call or an email.  


Finally, Olly is taking on a mega challenge this weekend as Paddy, Harry and himself take on the Monster Race, all to raise money for Yellow Submarine. To donate please visit their Virgin Money Giving page by clicking here and to find out more about Yellow Submarine, visit their website http://www.yellowsubmarine.org.uk 


We hope you enjoy the sunshine (while it lasts!)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Happy Easter to you all :)

Hello again. First of all I need to apologise for not blogging in so long! I had written one for February but for some reason, didn't publish it. You can be transported back in time and read about what we got up to in February in the previous post before this one. 

The beginning of March saw the epic trip to Viney Hill for the Youth Weekend Away. We had 39 young people, 9 leaders, 4 cooking staff, 3 mini-buses and a partridge in a pear tree (I lied about that bit - there were no birds. Or trees.) It was SO MUCH fun! We arrived on the Friday night, set up our stuff, unpacked, had hot chocolate, played games, and eventually went to bed. Saturday saw some team challenges, an afternoon of activities (caving, raft building, or crate stacking and a low ropes course), a night hike and of course a camp fire. Then on Sunday we had a church service (after a delicious cooked breakfast), packing, loading up mini buses, a couple more rounds of tray bash, some creme egg eating and then the journey home. I think everyone agreed that it was fantastic. The young people threw themselves into the activities and it was great to see them working together. There was also an atmosphere of being like a family with everybody looking out for everybody else, times for praying together and loads of encouragement. I think I'm right in saying we spent the next week catching up on sleep!! 

We have had project night this term with the younger Pathfinders for 3 weeks. We gave the young people 4 options to choose from; knitting, magic, filming or woodwork. Everybody seemed to enjoy learning a new skill and what was produced was excellent. 

On 28th March we held an introduction to Christianity evening. This replaced ordinary Pathfinders sessions but we opened it up to everybody who would normally attend. About 20 young people came, which was great! It was an opportunity for us to tell them about the basic message of Christianity, the Pathfinders leaders to share testimonies, answer some of the questions the young people had, and have some discussion. It seemed to go really well and there has been encouraging feedback. 

We are about to finish for the Easter holidays, but it would be great if you could continue praying for the youth work here at St Leonards. Some specific requests would be:
- the finances
- fundraising for Soul Survivor 
- the next term as it can be extremely busy with exams coming up and the end of the school year approaching
- a potential future mission trip to Moldova, which is very exciting! 

Thank you for your continued support. I'm now going to publish this blog while I remember! Have a lovely Easter. 

An extremely late February post...

Hellooooo. I can't believe how much time has passed since the last blog. 

Olly, Jo, Beth and I went on retreat a couple of weekends ago to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest where Soul Survivor were holding their annual SoulNet retreat for youth workers. It was a fantastic weekend with lots of interesting talks and plenty of time to just worship and be with God. We all felt refreshed coming back, although not much sleeping happened with all the "enforced fun" that Olly insisted on!! It was a lot of fun though, especially playing Pigeon Ball in the pool, going round and round the rapids and spending Monday afternoon in the spa relaxing. Again, we felt that God had things to say to us and were all struck again by his power and what he can do if we have faith! 


This term we have lots coming up within the youth work, as always. There is the youth celebration service this Sunday, the 16th February, at 6pm. Following the success of the last one, we're all looking forward to seeing what the young people can put together this time and having some time to worship and respond to God. 

The youth weekend away is also creeping ever closer. In just two weeks we will be at Viney Hill with a group of around 40 young people. We're praying that the weather will pick up before then, but no doubt a bit of rain will not dampen our spirits, we might just have to light the camp fire inside (I'm kidding!) 

The fundraising for Soul Survivor is going really well. So far we have had a promise auction and a couple of cake sales as well as starting our epic sponsored swim! If you are interested in donating or sponsoring us, or if you would like to come to Soul Survivor, do get in touch: youth.stleonards@gmail.com or call Olly on 07885914033. 

If you would like to find out more about the youth work that's happening in Eynsham visit our website: stleonardsyouth.co.uk or pop into the church office/give us a call and we're always happy to have a chat! 

That's all from us for now. Stay safe and dry!

Friday, 3 January 2014

First post of 2014! Happy New Year!


Guess who's back?! Happy new year to you all! Here at St Leonards Youth HQ (not actually called that, but sounds way cooler than “the office”), we are very excited for what 2014 holds.


There are a few dates which you can put in your new diaries:
  • On the 26th January we are holding a promise auction after the 10.45am church service at St Leonard's church. Just to sweeten the deal, we will also be having a cake sale! All proceeds will go towards our trip to Soul Survivor in the summer. We will also be having cake sales on the last Sunday of each month from February – April, with all the money going into the Soul Survivor pot.
  • The next cell celebration service will be on the 9th February. After the success of the previous one, we are looking forward to seeing what the cell groups can come up with this time and worshipping God all together again.
  • The youth weekend away is the 28th February (leaving after school) until 2nd March. This is going to be VERY exciting!!! We will be venturing off to Viney Hill in Gloucestershire for a weekend of adventure, worship and endurance (both during the activities and sleeping in a cold building...)


As well as that, we also have all of our normal goings-on... Cell groups and Pathfinders are back next week. Sunday Pathfinders will be back on during the 10.45am church service from the 12th January, and CYFA returns this Sunday, the 5th. Beth and Sarah are back to college on Monday, which they are both looking forward to. We are all back at HQ (I want that name to stick, so much cooler) and available via email, phone, Facebook or Twitter so feel free to bombard us with your youthy related questions!


That's all for now I think! We're wishing you a happy new year and look forward to seeing you soon. :)