Kari's Konversation
By Kari Minnich, Office Assistant for Children & Youth 
See the World through Different Eyes

It's April...my favorite month of the year! April brings spring, flowers, green grass, my birthday and the birthday of my almost 14 year old daughter Emrey.  We also celebrate the season of Easter in April. Easter is a time to rejoice because "Christ is Risen. Alleluia! Christ is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia!" What an awesome month!

What you may not know, is we also celebrate Autism Awareness Month during April. Our family lives with Autism. Had you told me 14 years ago, when one of my best birthday presents was born, that autism would be a big blessing in our lives I probably would not have believed you.

Autism has taught our family that we can be strong. Autism has taught us that not everyone understands (and we have had to accept that it's okay). Autism has taught us that God loves us and we are ALL perfect in his sight. Autism has taught us to look at the world and those in it from a different perspective...one of love, acceptance, honesty, persistence, patience and humility. God's purpose for all of us is unique and we may not see or understand His purpose for our lives at first glance.  He uses the struggles in our lives to show us how to be strong, to overcome and to use our faith for good in any situation.

Emrey sees the world through different eyes with a clarity and honesty that is bold and beautiful. If you get to know her you will find out that she enjoys learning the color of a person's eyes. Emrey loves colors and uses color to relate to others. She takes time to notice the details that most people in today's busy life don't take the time to see. She helps our family to slow down and really appreciate all the little things that life has to offer. For this we are very blessed and thankful!

Maybe you know someone with autism. Take the time to learn one thing that is special to them...it could be something as simple as the color of their eyes! If they can't tell you themselves, they may want to help you increase your autism awareness by reading this post.  It can be found on the Facebook page "Autism Spectrum Disorders, through my eyes":

What is Autism?

Imagine if... You had a bee buzzing around your head and someone asked you to say the alphabet backwards

Imagine if... You were in the middle of a really loud rock concert and someone wanted you to name all your aunts and uncles.

Imagine if... You were wearing three pairs of gloves and someone told you to eat a box of raisins one by one. 

That's what things are like for me, a lot of the time. I'm autistic.

Your brain is like the inside of a computer, full of connections and wires with messages to your body whizzing around telling you what to do.

My brain looks the same as yours, except some connections work really well, and some work really differently. And my brain wires can get crossed really easily.

So, if I'm doing something a bit funny looking... try not to laugh at me. It's just one of my brain connections clearing itself out.

And if I tell you something over and over... just ask me to stop repeating. It's just one of my wires plugged into the wrong socket.

And, if I freak out at some sound that you think is really normal... maybe help me get away from the sound. It's just because my ears have their own unique volume control.

And, if you think I'm ignoring you... I'm not. I'm probably just focused on something else, like a tiny spider on the ceiling on the other side of the room.

Autism is a different way of seeing the world. And seeing things the way I see them is awesome, but it makes me really tired sometimes.

So, I might not always understand what's going on. And, I might need time by myself to think things through.

Or, I might crash or jump or swing for a while to straighten myself out

Don't worry if I don't always do things the way you do.

Try to imagine what it's like inside my head, then you'll see...
> I'm not being rude
> I'm not being naughty
> I'm not sick
> I'm autistic
> And I'm just being me!

As we enter the season of Easter let's open our eyes with a fresh perspective. April is Autism Awareness month..open your eyes to see the world through a different colored lens!


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2 (ESV) 


Upcoming Events 
(be there!) 
April 15th
Safe at School: Prayer and Conversation - Youth & APC members are invited to join us in Fellowship Hall on Sunday April 15th 5:30-7:30pm. We'll have a meal, engage in conversation about school safety and have stations set-up for prayer and reflection. Youth parents are providing a Mexican themed dinner.  Parents are invited to attend as well. 
Sign up to to help with  dinner 
April 22nd
Join us to celebrate Earth Day with Hiking at Indian Seats.  Youth will depart from the church at 1:30pm (after the Wagner Reception).  Meet in the upstairs lobby by the Youth Lounge.  Adult Drivers are needed.  Please RSVP if your child will atten d or you can drive on the Indian Seats Hiking  REALM Event HERE or by emailing kari@alpharettapres.com.
April 29th
Youth Group 5:30-7:30pm

May 6th
Youth Sunday Planning & Preparation at Youth Group

May 13th
No Youth Group- Mother's Day 

May 16th
MS & HS Mission Trips Parent Meetings at 6pm
These will be held on the evening of May 16th. Starting at 6pm for Middle School CROSS Trip and 6:30pm for High School RHINO Trip to New Orleans both in room 205.  

May 20th
Youth Sunday at both services to be followed by Church Picnic (at around noon). 
Summer Trips
2018 Summer Trips - Make FINAL PAYMENTS on REALM or by check!            
RHINO Mission Trip
High School  
RHINO Trip to New Orleans June 11-17 (Trip is Full). Please m ake 
FINAL PAYMENT for trip balance of $250 on Realm HERE or by check. 
Trip Cost: $ 300.  Payment, signed waivers and paperwork due 5/11.

Adult Female Chaperone needed for High School New Orleans Mission Trip-
If you are interested in serving our High School Youth this summer by attending the Mission Trip to New Orleans please contact Lisa Gould - lisa@alpharettapres.com Travel dates are June 11-17, 2018.
Middle School 
CROSS Mission Trip June 17-22.  Please m ake FINAL PAYMENT for trip balance of $150 on Realm  HERE or by check. 
Trip Cost: $ 200.  Payment, signed waivers and paperwork due 5/11.

Montreat weeks in Summer 2018:   
High School Montreat @ Montreat 7/8-7/14
Middle School Montreat @ Maryville College7/18-7/22   
S ign Ups are on the Youth Bulletin Board outside of Lisa's Office.

Youth in Action
Bowling Night!
A fun night of bowling at Brunswick Bowling in Roswell!  Always a great way to unwind and build some team work.      
Choose Kindness
We had a night centered on kindness and games focused on treating each other with kindness and building a unified group. We shared thoughts on how to treat one another with kindness. We also discussed looking for  people at school or home that may need that extra bit of kindness who may not getting from others. The youth were charged with finding someone to reach out to in the coming week.

Choose Kindness Youth Group

Choose Kindness Youth Group
Choose Kindness - Gym

Choose Kindness- gym

Easter Eggstravaganza and Egg Hunt!
Over 330 eggs were hidden and only 300 came back! Who knows what's still out there to be found! One youth found an egg from two years ago!! As an annual tradition, three teams also searched for giant eggs filled with lots of fun items.  

Youth Egg Hunt 2018
Youth Egg Hunt 2018- girls

Youth Egg Hunt 2018- climb tree

Confirmation 2018- Congrats!
Congratulations for our 2018 Confirmation Class who joined the church on Palm Sunday!  

Thank you to all of our 2018 Confirmation Mentors for helping this class of confirmands through their faith journey! 
Presbyterian Church (USA)

Help wanted...  
Graduating Seniors

PLEASE NOTE:  For the Senior the slide show, please also include a future dream for your graduating seniors's life.  Example: Mary hopes to work with children through her interest in music. John would like to further pursue his interest in technology and hopes to develop websites. 
Vacation Bible School 2018 
July 9-13  8:30am-12pm 

Youth Volunteers are needed as Crew Leaders, help with outdoor games, singing/acting for opening & closing, Audio Visual support, preparing decorations and more.  If interested in volunteering email Kristin Hicks-   kristin@alpharettapres.com
Volunteer Registration available ONLINE now HERE

Digging Deeper 
2017-2018 Sunday School

Join us for Sunday School classes at 9:30am!

Middle School Sunday School
meets in the upstairs Youth Lounge (room 204) for activities based on "Collaborate" curriculum. March new testament lessons will cover the Acts, Paul & the early church, Paul's theology & Romans. All students in grades 6-8 are welcome!

Middle School Teachers:
Dennis Barger, Lieben Bogle  Chuck Ghent, Melissa Schmitz & Tim Deitrich

High School Sunday School
High School will explore lessons using the "Faith Lens" Curriculum through the end of the year.  4/15 starts with "No Fear Here!". 
High School Teachers:
John Hicks, Rob Vacko, Katie VanBrackle & Holly Zulauf

Our Fearless Leaders 
2017-2018 Youth Advisors
Charlene Baxley
Lieben Bogle
Tom Gould
Daniel McKemy
Kris Moehring
Shannon Pickerel  
Tom Scarborough
Elizabeth Shevlin
Laura Vacko
Mike Womack

Richard Boston
Mary Margaret  


Lisa Gould, Interim Director of Youth Ministry
Office: 770-751-0033  Cell: 770-354-0464

Abigail Mittler, Youth Intern
Office: 770-751-0033 
Kari Minnich, Administrative Assistant
Office: 770-751-0033

APC Youth Ministry | Alpharetta Presbyterian Church | 770-751-0033 | youth@alpharettapres.com | alpharettapres.com