Tag Archives: forest home

speaking to middle schoolers with “the wayne” in the audience

a few weeks ago, i spoke at forest home‘s middle school winter camps. the middle school director at forest home is my friend, nate rice, a fantastic middle school youth worker and a deeply good guy. but in a great quirk of life, nate is in a role that was once — decades ago — occupied by his dad. and his dad is none other than wayne rice, the co-founder of youth specialties.

when i was just getting going in middle school ministry, i heard wayne speak. he was the man, the guy who fairly single-handedly legitimized ministry with young teens as a calling (not merely a stepping stone to high school ministry). wayne saw himself as a life-long junior high guy; and brushing against that was a significant part of my own life-long calling to middle schoolers being formed.

it’s been wonderful and at times surreal, over the years, to get to know wayne due to my time at youth specialties (though he and i never worked there at the same time).

but it was off-the-charts surreal, and somewhat intimidating, to find out that wayne was going to be sitting in the audience at my second weekend of winter camp. he was attending as a cabin counselor, with the kids from his church. yup, wayne was and is still living out that life-long calling. but it was trippy to have him sitting out there, amongst a room full of 600 middle schoolers, as i was speaking. he was nothing but gracious, and said some lovely and encouraging things to me in private and on his blog. but, really… he’s “the wayne”! and i wouldn’t be where i am were it not for him!

that’s why scott rubin and i dedicated our book, middle school ministry, to wayne. he took many of the early hits, carving a path for many of us to follow.

here’s a pic from that weekend, with me, nate and wayne.

haiti bound

my life has been a bit of a blur in the last couple weeks, with two junior high winter retreats at forest home, a youth ministry event for the salvation army, and a couple days of consulting with the 30-hour famine team at world vision. yesterday, i spent the day in orange county at my coaching dealio with john townsend. and last night i packed for back-to-back trips to destin, FL, for a ciy youth ministry gathering, then on to haiti. now, i’m sitting in the houston airport, and can hardly believe this trip is upon me.

today and tomorrow i’ll be with youth workers in florida; then tomorrow night i fly from there to miami, where i’ll overnight with a few of the team before meeting up with the rest of the team on thursday to fly to the dominican republic. and on friday, we drive into haiti.

i hope to be able to get online tonite or tomorrow to post more about our actual plans (though i know our plans will likely shift when we get there!). but for now, two things:

1. please join our facebook group, and follow the posts from our team. consider signing up for prayer updates via email also. we’ll all be posting daily from haiti.

2. check out this video, put together by the organization we’re going with: adventures in missions.

monday morning update, march 9, 2009

the weekend that was: rather a nice weekend, again, at home. i’m getting spoiled with these!

clarity_cdfriday night was a memorable treat. i’ve gotten to know zach lind a bit over the years (mostly through emerging church world and blog and twitter world), and he plays in this little band called jimmy eat world. they were playing the house of blues in san diego friday night, and liesl and i went down and met zach for a drink prior to the show, then went to the show. liesl was a little star-struck (which was cute, and i think scored me some ‘my dad isn’t as much of a dork as i thought’ points). zach is really a genuinely good guy, and likely one of the deeper thinking rock drummers out there.

we also had a funny moment when, during the middle of the opening act, someone came up to me and said, “aren’t you with youth specialties?” we chatted a little (nice guy), and it was no big deal; but, once again, a middle aged dad needs all the help he can get when it comes to his 15 year-old daughter not thinking he’s a tool.

i stayed up so stinkin’ late friday (watched tv after the concert), that i slept in until 11:15am on saturday. i NEVER do that, and it was a great treat. saturday was a slow-ish day, with some errands (mostly shuttling liesl and her friends around), some work (had to finish my expense report), and some hangin’ with max and jeannie. we rented a movie and got pizza in the evening, while liesl and 3 friends (one of whom is moving to australia this week) watched movies in the back house.

sunday: church, a couple errands, then i drove up to “the inland empire” (that’s what they call the area east of LA). our annual junior high pastors summit started last night with dinner at the yard house (we needed a gathering point, since people were driving, or flying into one of three different airports). after dinner, we drove the short distance up to forest home camp, where we’re being hosted this week.

where i am at the moment: at the junior high pastors summit, at forest home camp, NE of LA. this is a cool little gathering (about 22 of us) of long-term, veteran middle school youth workers. we’ve been meeting for about 8 years in a row, and have developed a great love for each other, in addition to having great discussion.

on my to-do list this week: the junior high pastors summit through wednesday; then, i’m staying at forest home in a cabin by myself for the rest of the week for a silent retreat. i’m WAY overdue for one of these, and GREATLY looking forward to it. i drive back to san diego early saturday morning, in time to participate in a parent training day at my church. i’ll be offline and out of touch all week, which is always a bit hard for me, but really healthy for me. there’s no internet OR cell phone coverage up there.

procrastinating about: i suppose i need to start writing “taxes” here every week until i get them done.

book i’m in the midst of: still trying to finish the know it all (this week!), and are you there, vodka? it’s me, chelsea. i’ll get them both done this week. but i also started reading the manuscript for a book coming out later this year by an old friend named jim belcher. the book is a “third way” book, trying to find a place between the reformed tradition and the emerging church (jim has one foot in each). i’m taking a few more books with me this week, for my silent retreat. really looking forward to some reading time.

mollyjensonmusic that seemed to catch my attention this past week: WOW, what a GREAT music week! very rarely have i had such a great music week. the highlights:

– i got sent a copy of molly jenson‘s new cd (which release the same day as U2’s cd). i’ll need to blog about this seperately, but it’s really, really good.
– i downloaded U2‘s new album from amazon during their first-day $3.99 deal. i’ve seen that some people aren’t digging it; but i’m loving it. the lyrics are particularly stunning, and show so much depth.
– then, i was listening to jimmy eat world in prep for the show friday night, and found out — last minute — that the show was something of a 10 year anniversary tour for their “clarity” album, which i hadn’t realized i didn’t have; so i downloaded that beauty also.
– OH, and lucas leys (ys’s spanish director) found out recently that i dig this band called “gotan project“, so he sent me another cool cd of tango/lounge fusion stuff, called bajofondo tango club. oh, man, it’s so sweet.

mmm. tasty and varied week of musical licks.

next trip: well, i guess i should call it my silent retreat, since it’s later this week!

how i’m feeling about this week: really, really stoked about both halves of this week, but not stoked about being gone all week.