» ONLINE ELECTIVE SIGN-UPS ARE NOW CLOSED. DON'T WORRY THOUGH!
» THERE WILL BE LATE ELECTIVE SIGN-UPS IN PERSON ON Thursday, JUly 27TH AT RYM.
» IF, AT ANY POINT, YOU FORGET WHAT ELECTIVES YOU SIGNED UP FOR, YOU CAN LOOK BACK AT YOUR EMAILED RECEIPT & CONFIRMATION OR CHECK THE 2017 HSMA ELECTIVE CLASS REPORT ON THE HSMA INFO HUB.
1. The Bible: Old & Irrelevant, Right?
Associate pastor to students
Christ PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
JonPaul serves at Christ Presbyterian Church in Winterville, NC, as the Associate Pastor to Students. He’s married to Carrie Ann, and they have four children, Lucy, Judah, Luke, and Jane. While he tries not to be too hipster, he does have a sweet beard, knows a lot about bands from Seattle, and really likes to drink locally roasted coffee. He has fostered in his students a love of documentaries and wants to be a sports analyst when he grows up.
Do you feel like the Bible is boring? Like you’ve read every story before or heard it all Sunday School since day one? Do you feel like the Bible is hard to understand? Like you have to be a pastor to try to figure out what it all means? When you try to read it, do you ask yourself, “How does this apply to my life, to what I’m going through right now?” With so many things promising us quick entertainment and immediate pleasure, sometimes reading and studying the Bible can seem like just one more tedious chore to check off the list. Sometimes reading and understanding God’s word can be difficult, and that makes us feel like it’s just a bunch of old dull stories that don’t apply to our lives. In this elective we will talk about why the Bible might seem boring and hard to understand, how to study it, and what it means for our lives.
2. Finding Your Way in the Wilderness
RYM Training & Church Intern Coordinator
Michael is a Shreveport, LA, native, graduate of Ole Miss and Covenant Seminary, who has a distinct fondness for all things pork. He has served as a Pastor for Students in three churches (SC, MO, & VA) over the past 20+ years and currently serves as the Training and Church Internship Coordinator for RYM. He loves Jesus, His Church, and laboring that middle and high school students would as well! Michael lives in Charlottesville, VA with his wife Kirby. They have three children: McKenzie (15), Carter (14) & John Thomas (12).
While there is certainly a lot to learn in the great outdoors, this class isn't primarily concerned with finding your way home if you get lost in the woods! While some of us have known the wilderness as a real place with various challenges and difficulties, we all experience “the wilderness” in the challenging and difficult seasons of our lives. When we are “in the wilderness” we find ourselves feeling out of control (I can’t seem to do anything to change things! I can’t fix this!), without clarity (Why is this even happening? How did I get here?), and also feeling a lack of consequence (Where is this going? What’s going to happen next?). Come to this class and hear how God meets His people “in the wilderness” and fills them with Himself...offering peace under His control, comfort amidst tons of questions, and courage to press on knowing He is with you. Life is hard y’all...God wants you to know that He get’s it and to experience Him right in the middle of all of it.
3. Insecurity: Fighting Our Lesser Fears with a Greater One
RYM RESOURCE COORDINATOR
John Perritt grew up in Laurel, MS, and moved up north to Ridgeland, MS, after marrying his wife, Ashleigh in 2003. While he initially worked at Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance, the Lord would call him back into youth ministry on a full-time basis, shortly after their move.
God had used Reformed University Fellowship and a summer at Alpine Camp for Boys to plant the seed of youth ministry in John’s heart. After working at SFBLI for a year, he was hired as a Youth Intern at Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland. While working at POPC, John graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary with his Masters of Divinity in 2009 and his Doctorate of Ministry in Family Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2016.
Growing up, John never read a book – he despised reading (unless the book had pictures…lots of pictures). As the Lord has matured his faith, he not only enjoys reading, but has a growing desire to write. John had zero aspirations to write for the majority of his life, but has sensed this desire growing with each passing year. In fact, he published a book entitled, Your Days Are Numbered, in the Spring of 2016 and has a forthcoming book entitled, What Would Judas Do?, set for release in 2017.
In the midst of wrestling with a desire to write, Joey Stewart approached him about becoming the Resource Coordinator for RYM. That conversation at Starbucks solidified many of the callings John had been praying about, so he came on staff with RYM in 2017. Although John will be stepping away from his role as Youth Director, he carries with him the same zeal to minister to teenagers, parents and youth workers, simply in a different context.
John and his wife, Ashleigh, have five children: Sarah, Samuel, Jillian, Will, & Amber.
It’s there when you look in the mirror. You’ll find it roaming the halls of your school. It’s on the athletic field and the stage in your school auditorium. It’s there when you take the ACT or SAT. You’ll see it sitting in the classroom when you give that oral report. It tucks you in at night and greets you as you roll out of bed. You’ll read it in text messages & tweets. See it on Snapchat and Instagram. It’s in our conversations and is always rattling around in our minds.
What is it? Insecurity.
Insecurity is something all humans struggle with. Young and old, male and female, across the globe – insecurity has no boundaries. While it is a commonality among humanity, it doesn’t mean it’s something you have to live with. Insecurity is painful for many, but there is a greater fear to drown out this lesser one. Scripture tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is in this greater fear, that we learn how to grow, live, and, possibly defeat, our insecurity.
4. The Invitations of Jesus
Lakemont Presbyterian Church
Bryan is an Assistant Pastor at Lakemont Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga. He has years of experience doing college ministry and youth ministry. He grew up in Waco, Texas and no, he doesn’t know Chip and Joanna Gains, though he has “met” Matthew McConaughey! Bryan has been married to Erica for 11 years and they have 3 children, Molly (8), Clare (6), and Cal (3). Bryan enjoys hiking, stoking fires, and dreaming about one day being the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
Have you ever opened up a text message or a social media request to attend an event, go to someone’s house, or accept someone as a friend? What do you think about before you accept that request or politely say no to the invitation? How do you decide whether it will be fun, cool, lame, boring, or worth the time?
Jesus has invited us to follow him, to bear our cross, and to love others, so how have you responded to these invitations? Are you following Jesus or the enticements of the world? Are you bearing your cross or looking for something easier? Are you loving others or really only yourself? Come to the Invitations of Jesus and let’s discuss what exactly Jesus is inviting us to and why it’s better than anything the world offers us.