Theme for the Month: Build a Dream Team for God
Meditation: 2 Corinthians 3.17-3.18
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And all of us, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
The late Nelson Mandela said that "to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
It sounds good, but how do we do it?
Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamt big-- he put the hopes and dreams of millions of Black Americans into words and called on them to march for their civil rights. Malala picked up a pen and wrote. The Soweto Gospel Choir lifted their voices in song. You can see more about each of these in the videos below.
It was the Spirit of the Lord that transformed them, the Spirit of the Lord that made them dreamers and speakers of truth. It is the same Spirit of the Lord that is with us too. So, with the Spirit of the Lord so very present in our lives, what might we dream or say or do to enhance the lives of others?
Dates & Times
Jan. 11, 2014 4:00-6:00 PM BUILD THE TEAM!
Snow Date: Jan.12 Time TBA (watch the announcement area on the home page)
To make a difference in the world, to speak for what you believe, you need to be able to work together. Tonight will feature games to have fun *and* get some thinking going about team work. Plus, dinner!
At 6:00 PM, the Confirmation Class will be hosting a movie night in order to raise money & supplies for Midnight Run. All youth are welcome to stay.
Jan. 24, 2014 5:00 - 7:00 PM TEAM IN ACTION: PREPARE FOR MIDNIGHT RUN
Confirmation Class will be making tonight's Run into NYC to provide food, warm beverages, clothing, blankets, etc. to some of the homeless people there.
Youth Group will meet to prepare the Confirmation Class for the Run. Among other things, we will prepare soup and bag lunches. Then, we will sit down together for our own dinner!
Things to Think About
Take a look at the 3 videos below for examples of how some people respect and enhance the freedom of others.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, humanitarian, and leader in theAfrican-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.
Born Michael King, his father changed his name in honor of German reformer Martin Luther. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. In 1965, he and the SCLC helped to organize the Selma to Montgomery marches and the following year, he took the movement north to Chicago. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam". In 1968 King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4, in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Girl the Taliban Targeted
Malala Yousafzai (Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ [mə ˈlaː lə . ju səf ˈzəj]; Urdu: ملالہ یوسف زئی Malālah Yūsafzay, born 12 July 1997) is aPakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where theTaliban had at times banned girls from attending school.
In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat.
On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwā against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Yousafzai and her father.
The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Yousafzai. United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown launched a UN petition in Yousafzai's name, using the slogan "I am Malala" and demanding that all children worldwide be in school by the end of 2015 – a petition which helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan's first Right to Education Bill.
In the 29 April 2013 issue of Time magazine, Yousafzai was featured on the magazine's front cover and as one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World". She was the winner of Pakistan's first National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the 2013Nobel Peace Prize. Although Yousafzai was widely tipped to win the prize, it was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; however, she was the youngest person (at age 16) and the first girl nominated for it.  
About Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (/mænˈdɛlə/; Xhosa pronunciation: [xoˈliːɬaɬa manˈdeːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first black chief executive, and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid through tackling institutionalised racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation.
Mandela served over 27 years in prison, initially on Robben Island, and later in Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison. An international campaign lobbied for his release. He was released in 1990, during a time of escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with President F. W. de Klerk to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994, in which he led the ANC to victory and became South Africa's first black president.
About the Soweto Gospel Choir's Tribute
The week that Nelson Mandela died, the Soweto Gospel Choir’s tribute to him went viral in a fitting remembrance of the former South African President and anti-apartheid icon.
The choir was supposed to perform a flash mob at the Woolworths store in Pretoria on December 7, 2013, and sing a rendition of James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” But then Mandela passed away, stunning the nation and the world. So, after Madiba’s passing, the choir decided to sing Johnny Clegg’s “Asimbonanga” instead.
“Asimbonanga” is an anti-apartheid song that Clegg wrote during the time Mandela spent in prison as a call for his freedom. The translated lyrics are below:
Asimbonanga [we have not seen him]
Asimbonang’ uMandela thina [we have not seen Mandela]
Laph’ekhona [in the place where he is]
Laph’ehleli khona [in the place where he is kept]
Asimbonang ‘umfowethu thina [we have not seen our brother]
Laph’ekhona [in the place where he is]
Laph’wafela khona [in the place where he died]
Sithi: Hey, wena [We say: hey, you]
Hey, wena nawe [Hey, you and you]
Siyofika nini la’ siyakhona [when will we arrive at our destination]
The Soweto Gospel Choir posed as shoppers and Woolworths employees, before one man began to sing the song. Shoppers stopped everything they were doing to stand and listen to the beautiful song, taking photos and videos of the incident.