April 21

STORM

This weekend, I am off, which means MONYAE IS IN CHARGE! Please give him all the support and encouragement you can offer him (…Troy!)

We should be finalizing our teams for OTE and Cuirim (are you in?) and we end the month with the next Pause Retreat! 

Click the images below to register for these special events!

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ELEVATE

A Conversation About Violence and Peace

BOTTOM LINE
Being a peacemaker starts with peace in your heart.

SCRIPTURE
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9 NIV).

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23 NIV).

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise . . . Then the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9b NLT).

GOAL OF SMALL GROUP
To encourage students to see the way violence may be impacting their everyday lives and to encourage them to view what they consume and how they respond through the light of peace.

THINK ABOUT THIS
As you navigate a conversation on peace, be aware that you may have students in your group who have not only witnessed or heard about violence but who have experienced it firsthand. You know your students and their context best. So, keep in mind the students you may have in your circle who have lived through
violence up close in their homes, relationships, schools, and communities. Be sensitive to the fact that they may be walking out the repercussions of those experiences in their moods, responses, and choices, and be available to connect them to support or professional help should the need arise. Remember that the goal of this conversation isn’t to get students to make any extreme decisions, like never watching TV again,
or deleting all their social media accounts, or turning away from any violence they may hear about in the news. Rather, it’s to give them a healthy filter through which to view those things and the tools they need to make a decision about what is and isn’t best for their own personal sense of peace. We want them to see God’s peace—the kind that surpasses understanding—as the best lens through which they can see anything in life.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. How would you define “violence”? If you can, explain your answer a little bit.
2. On a scale of “None” to “A lot,” how much consideration do you give to the media you consume? (The shows you watch, the video games you play, the news you read, the accounts you follow, etc.?)
3. Have you ever noticed a change in your mood, responses, or thoughts after you’ve spent a lot of time-consuming certain types of media? If so, tell us about it.
4. In what ways do you think seeing or experiencing violence on a regular basis might impact a high school student?
5. How would you define “peace”? If you can, explain your answer a little bit.
6. What might make choosing peace difficult, especially in the world we live in today?
7. How might peace be a light for the way you see or experience things in our world?
8. Read Philippians 4:8-9b. How can this be a filter for what you consume?
TRY THIS
Memorize Philippians 4:8-9b with your Small Group this week. Work together and hold each other accountable to committing this truth to memory. As you check in with your students on it, talk to them about how you see the passage speaking to you and how you’re using Paul’s words as a filter for peace in your own heart.

UPCOMING EVENTS