A Family of Faith,
Rooted in Faith,
Serving in Faith
W ondering what to do over the summer? Here are a few family, youth and children activities to consider trying during our summer together.

ACTIVITIES AT HOME
BIBLE HEROES

Children can participate in Bible Heroes , a very child-friendly Zoom gathering that happens on Thursday evenings. Preschool through 2nd grade starts at 6:30 pm while 3rd through 5th grade starts at 7:00 pm.  The invitation to join will be sent out prior to each gathering.
YOUTH ZOOM
MEETINGS

Youth Ministry will have a Youth Gathering once a week during the summer through Zoom. Youth will gather on Wednesday evenings at 6:00. The invitation to join will be sent out prior to each gathering.
 
FLAT JESUS

Flat Jesus:  It’s summertime and Flat Jesus is back. Flat Jesus goes everywhere you go and don’t forget to take pictures of Flat Jesus doing what you do and where you may end up. Send your photos to the church office or to Mike and we will post them on the Facebook page. Go have some fun with Flat Jesus. We will send you a Flat Jesus in the mail. Once you receive your Flat Jesus, cut him out, glue him to the popsicle stick and you are ready to go.  He will be coming to your house very soon.  
A NEW GARDEN

A New Garden:  Youth Ministry has not been able to gather to prepare the ground and plant the Youth Giveaway Garden this year due to COVID-19 but it doesn't mean that we cannot have a Giveaway Garden. If each person in the church planted 3 tomato plants and 2 squash or cucumber or pepper or other vegetables, for a total of 5 plants, we collectively could make a big difference to others. The fruits from those plants, being designated to go to CCM, would have a huge impact for those in need of fresh vegetables.  If just the youth families participated, that would have an impact, but if the whole church family participated, there would be an explosion of generosity to others. Go plant a 'mater plant! Take pictures of you or your family planting your garden and send them to the church office for posting. Check with Sandy Gehl, she may have some free plants available to be planted.
PLANT A TREE OR SHRUB! 
                                                   
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,    and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.  Pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,    and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19  

As a family, pick out a special location in your yard, a place that you can see you and your family gathering in the future. Now, visit a nursery, pick out a tree and plant it that special place. Take care of the tree, water it, fertilize it and then later, gather around it and enjoy it's shade and the conversation shared. 

Don't have the room to plant a tree, plant a shrub, like a butterfly bush, that may provide life for God's creatures. No room for a shrub, plant flowers, or even create a potted plant that can be enjoyed year-round. The important thing is that you will be creating a memory as a family, based upon scripture. And, it can be looked upon as a reminder of this season of 2020 while providing hope and point us to new growth. (Take pictures of you planting your tree, shrub or plant and send them to the church office for posting.)
VIEW THE STARS

God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened.    God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning—that was the fourth day .   Genesis 1:14-19

There is an app that can be downloaded on your smart phone called SkyView Lite from the Apple or Android store. This is an amazing app that shows all of the stars and planets that can bee seen at night. You can also take pictures and video with this app. This is a very user-friendly app. See a star, raise your phone up and line up the center of the app with the star. It will give you the name of the star, show the constellations and the planets as well. Take a few minutes at night and enjoy Gods' creation.
ISS TRACKER

Along the same lines, there is also a tracker for the International Space Station and a couple other satellites. It's called Sputnik on Apple or ISS Detector on Android. You can download it, look up to the sky and enjoy God’s wonderful creation.
BIRD WATCHING

This is a wonderful hobby that can be enjoyed by the whole family and it’s right outside of your window. Purchase a bird feeder, a little bit of bird food; give the birds a a little bit of time to find your new feeder and you are off and running. Continue feeding your new feathered friends, and you will discover that your feeder has become a gathering place for a variety of birds. Keep a record of the birds that visit your feeder to discover a pattern, but do it as a family. 

Where can you go to get started? Wild Birds Unlimited Bird and Nature Store is located in a shopping strip at Concord Mills. When you go inside, meet Sarah Beth or the owner Tim, they will greet you with a smile and assist you with all your newfound hobby needs. 
GEOCACHING

It’s OLD SCHOOL but it’s still alive. Go on a treasure hunt. Download the Geocaching App on your phone and start hunting. There are plenty of these little treasure hunts all over Concord. Really, all over wherever you may be visiting on vacation. Get the family together and go on a scavenger hunt. 
STORYTELLING

It’s not about what we can’t do during this season, it’s about what we can do. TELLING THE STORY: One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that kids love to hear stories, especially those stories from you the parent, those stories from your childhood. Take a look back and remember those family stories from the past.

Stories about the whole family gathering on Christmas Eve at Grandma’s house, eating a big dinner with all kinds of desserts and then sitting around the coal burning stove while opening up the gifts that were given. Hearing the laughter and Grandma sitting in her rocking chair watching every move with a smile on her face.

The summer days spent riding your bicycle all over the neighborhood and one by one, a friend would join the ride as well. Riding down dirt roads, kicking up dust and riding as fast as you could trough mud puddles to see who could make the biggest splash. Getting hot and riding back home or to the closest friend’s house to take a drink of water out of the garden hose. Playing cops and robbers and handing out tickets to the others for driving too fast or running a pretend stop sign.

Those are just a few of the stories from the past but the most important story to tell was about the church, being at the center of all the childhood memories. Sunday school classes taught by the most loving ladies around. Sitting in the sanctuary, wooden pews without cushions, during “Preaching.” Without air conditioning, the windows were wide open and you could count the bees and flies buzzing around trying to find the source of the sweet smell of perfume. Admiring from a distance this one elegant lady that always wore a fur cape, the mouth of one animal would clip the tail of another, I think she had two. Mom said never to touch it and don’t stare; but one day I was sitting directly behind her and I just couldn’t resist. I gently reached up and touched the fur during a prayer when I thought no one else was looking. Wrong, Mom climbed all over me on the way home.

The old stories from the past are priceless and should be passed on to the next generation, especially those that are Christ centered. While driving on vacation, sitting around the campfire or just sitting around the kitchen table eating supper, tell a story. You will find that your kids will want you to tell them over and over again because they are becoming part of your story. They can see your story happening and you are creating wonderful memories that they will pass on to their children years from now. Enjoy.
RECYCLE-RECLAIM-RENEW
MAKE A RAIN BARREL

There are black heavy-duty plastic pickle barrels available locally and can be purchased for around $20.00 to $25.00 each. Drill large holes in the lid, place a piece of screen over the lid and screw the rim on. Drill a hole towards the bottom of the side of the barrel for the spigot, about $7.00 at Lowes and an adapter for about $7.00 as well and a small container of plumber’s putty. Build your rain barrel, adjust your guttering, add a down spout and for less than $50.00 you have a rain barrel and an endless supply of water for your garden and outdoor plants. 

You are reclaiming, recycling, renewing, and making memories, all with a little bit of time spent with the family making a difference to the environment as well as saving water and money. Enjoy!
CHANGE FOR CHANGE JAR  

This is as easy as can be. Get a pint or quart mason jar and label it Change For Change . Have extra change, place it in the jar. Find some change in the washer or dryer, or on the ground, place it in the jar. As the change grows so does the excitement. Once the change gets to the top, have a counting party to find the total amount. Then take it to CCM or your favorite nonprofit and donate your Change for Change . Enjoy making a difference.
UPDATE LIGHT BULBS

Update, update, update: Update the light bulbs in your home, a few at a time. Change over from incandescence bulbs to LED. They are a little more expensive up front but will use less energy while having a much longer life. In the long run, you will be saving money while saving energy.  if your family is a Duke Energy customer, have your parents contact Duke Energy and you can likely receive free energy-efficient light bulbs.
CREATE A COMPOST PILE  

Take those daily vegetable peelings, eggs shells, fruit peelings and place them in a container. At the end of the day, take them out to your garden spot and shovel them into the soil. Or, you can create a compost bin out of wire fencing. Shape your wire fencing into a circle as large as you would like. Place inside the round fencing, leaves, grass clippings, old potting soil from flowerpots and of course, bury your vegetable and fruit peelings in the all of the clippings and leaves, water it down and wait. Keep feeding it with new material and by next year, you will have the most powerful potting soil around. Your garden will love it. 
GO ON A HIKE 

Morrow Mountain is not too far away from Concord; make it a day trip. Park your car at the Ranger’s Station and start your hike to the top. It can be a little bit of a challenge towards the top, but well worth the climb. The view at the top in amazing. Take plenty of water, maybe a picnic lunch or a snack , there are picnic tables at the top. Talk about God’s creation, listen to the birds, watch for local animals and enjoy your trip.
GO BERRY PICKING  

Find a blueberry or blackberry patch, get permission to pick and go have some fun. Take a couple of buckets and have a race to see who can pick the most in a certain amount of time. Go home and make some jelly or a good old fashion cobbler. Eat as you go and enjoy.  
PAINT SOME HAPPY ROCKS  

Paint small river rocks and turn them into happy rocks. Once they have dried, take them out and place them for someone to find. There is good to be found in each day and it’s worth sharing.  
HIKE THE GREENWAY START TO FINISH 

Don’t hike it one day, but over a length of time. Take some water and a snack, maybe bring your dog along and hike a segment a week or a segment a day. Most importantly, have fun.  
PICK A NEW HOBBY
GO FISHING  

It’s doesn’t take a lot to make this happen; some fishing line, a pole, a hook, some worms and you’re fishing. Head out to the lake, take some sunscreen, water and a snack and enjoy.                                                        
LEARN TO COOK

Check out the food websites on the internet; find something that sounds good and start cooking. Ask Mom or Dad to give you a hand and start cooking dinner. You will take a little pressure off your parents always doing dinner and you can have fun doing it. 
GO FLY A KITE  

Every once in a while we have some windy days right here in Concord. If you go to the beach, pick up a kite and some string and go have some fun. Once yo get your kite in the air, it will fly all day long, as long as there is wind. This is a memory maker for sure.  
Make the summer of 2020 a Family Faith adventure. Enjoy!
Calvary / St. James Youth
Mike Holt, 704-793-6414