Learning to Fish

My First Semester at Asbury Seminary

This summer I had the opportunity to go fly-fishing for bonefish in the Bahamas.  Bonefish are among the hardest fish to catch, but I figured I had enough skill to catch some.  As it turned out, I could not cast far enough to catch most of them.  It was so embarrassing!  I did get lucky enough to catch one little bonefish (it was literally an accident–I made a bad cast to a bigger fish and was reeling in when this one hit).

I learned something that day: when you fish for something difficult to catch, you better be prepared!  You don’t just casually catch a bonefish—you have to know what you are doing.  Jesus called his disciples to become “fishers of people” in Matthew 4:19, and catching people for the kingdom is certainly more difficult than catching bonefish.  Since I felt called to a lifetime of ministry, I knew Asbury Seminary would prepare me to do this kind of fishing the best I can.  So far, it has.  I have learned more about God in this first semester than most of my life combined!  The reading, the teaching, and the conversations have served to develop the way I love the Lord with all my mind and have truly challenged me.

This semester I took Vocation of Ministry, Intro to Old Testament, and Inductive Bible Study of Matthew.  These three classes weaved together in some wonderful ways!  For example, one of the takeaway points for Vocation of Ministry was the idea of calling.  Os Guinness said in his book The Call,

“We are not called to do something, but to Someone.”

Each of us are called to follow Jesus.  Period.  Likewise, our final assignment in IBS (great class, unfortunate acronym) was to interpret Matthew 28:18-20, better known as the Great Commission.  It was an 11-page paper that didn’t even scratch the surface of the meaning.  Dr. Bauer showed us that it really boils down to this: making disciples essentially means bringing others under the authority of Jesus.  As disciples, his authority must dictate all we do.

While seminary training is important to me, there are some things even more valuable.  We’re thankful for the friends we have made at Asbury from around the world.  We’re thankful for the ministry we did before seminary, especially at Saint James.  We’re thankful for your ministry to us through encouragement and guidance.  We’re thankful for your friendships.  We’re thankful for the financial support we received as an outpouring of love toward us.  Many people gave anonymously and I just want to say a big “thank you!” to each of you.  I am so thankful to our AWF conference for supporting us, too.  Most importantly, you taught us to rely on the Holy Spirit for ministry and for all of life.  No matter how many great books I read or inspiring lectures I hear, may I never forget that none of it means anything without his Spirit!

Olivia and I are so thankful for our Saint James family.  We still pray for you daily and miss you!  We love you and hope you have a blessed and abundant catch in 2017!

~ Wilson Newell ~
Former Associate Director of Student Ministries at Saint James UMC (2014-2016)

Keeping A Positive Attitude

In his Today email, Jere Beasley shared this article on Keeping A Positive Attitude, by our Lead Pastor Lester Spencer. This email goes out to lawyers and businesses all over the country:

My friend Lester Spencer furnished a message today that comes at a very good time for me and I suspect for some of you. Our outlook on life can reflect the things – good and bad – that are affecting us. That is especially true when the things that are important to us are in a state of uncertainty. It’s critical that we have a positive attitude at all times and it will dictate how we approach the issues that confront us. Let’s see what all Lester had to say on this subject.

Keeping A Positive Attitude 

Most of us have heard or read many a message about the importance of having a positive attitude. However, if you are like me, I need to be reminded regularly in my life journey about the powerful impact my attitude has on me and on others around me! To a great degree, your attitude will determine your impact, your peace and your legacy.

My absolute favorite quote about the importance of a positive attitude is from Chuck Swindoll:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church or a home. The remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the past. Nor can we change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We also cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is a our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you— we are in charge of our attitudes.”

Over the years, I have remembered and often quoted this to myself and to others. Much of life truly is determined by how we respond to people and to situations. Our success in life and in business, regardless of the business we are in, is greatly determined by our attitude. We have all known people who had all the gifts, skills and head knowledge to be very successful yet for some reason they never seem to fully reach their potential. There are many others who may be somewhat lacking in formal education and/or great skills, yet they have been able to reach a high level of success in business and significance in life.  I believe that one of the key determining factors to their success has to do with their positive attitude. A positive attitude is a game changer and is often the key determining factor.

In a study done several years ago, The Carnegie Institute concluded that 15 percent of success is due to skill development, education and technical training. The other 85 percent is due to personality, and the key personality trait the research identified was attitude!

So, how does one keep a positive attitude? It’s easy when everything is going your way and life is good. And, while some people seem to possess a naturally positive attitude, I believe most of us have to work at it. But how do you develop and maintain a positive attitude through the many ups and downs of your life as well as your business? Or, if you’re struggling to be positive, how do you change your attitude?

As a Christian, I find my hope in Christ, and I look to the teachings of Jesus, the Bible and to certain Christian authors or teachers for inspiration, guidance and direction.

Here are SIX IMPORTANT KEYS I’ve discovered over the years that help me keep and maintain a positive attitude and/or change my attitude:

1) Take Heart in Christ

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – Jesus, John 16:33

“Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.” – Proverbs 4:23

By God’s grace, I strive to be defined by how Jesus views me and my heart not by how others may view me. This is the condition of my heart – “Through Christ I am saved by God’s grace not by anything that I have done or need to do.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

Therefore, I take heart in the fact that I am a new creature in Christ designed to live an abundant life and to fulfill His purpose for my life. He came to set all of us free to live life as an adventure. We can experience His peace in our hearts in the midst of the many trials and sorrows. Take heart, we are overcomers through Christ! Remember, the Word of God is your sword (Ephesians 6:17), and your greatest defensive and offensive weapon when it comes to protecting your heart and your attitudes.

2) Seek to have the attitude of Christ

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” – Paul, Philippians 2:5

Jesus was humble. Jesus looked for the best in others. Jesus didn’t ever seek revenge. Jesus forgave. Jesus fully trusted in the Father as his source. Jesus sought to serve rather than to be served. I seek to remind myself each day to have the attitude of Jesus in my feelings towards others and my dealings with all people and circumstances.

3) Think on positive things

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think on these things.” – Paul, Philippians 4:8

Thoughts precede actions. Therefore, your thoughts will determine your ultimate direction. What you think about impacts what you talk about which impacts the actions you take and the decisions you make. That’s one reason the Bible tells us to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) If we will “think on these things”, as described in Philippians, we will see a shift in our attitude!

4) Choose to be with positive people

“So encourage each other and build each other up…” – Paul, 1 Thessalonians 5:11

“A friend loves at all times.” – Proverbs 17:17

“He who walks with wise people will be wise. But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20

“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33

It is vital, I have learned, to choose my close friends very carefully. My closest friends are very strong Christ followers who have very positive attitudes. They build me up and encourage me, but they are also people who are not afraid to speak truth into my life.

I’m very blessed to have my wife as my best friend. I also have several very close friends that I see and talk to regularly. It’s hard for me to imagine having a positive attitude in my life without my wife, my kids, my close friends and my church family.

5) Speak positively

The Bible teaches that your words have the power to impact you and others!

“The words of the godly are a life giving fountain.” – Proverbs 10:11

“How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.” – Psalms 119:103

“Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” – Paul, Ephesians 4:29

My friend, Pastor Jay Wolf, recently wrote an excellent “Today” article about the power of words. He is exactly right when he states we have to learn to manage our mouths for the sake of others and for our own sakes too. Because it impacts our attitude and the attitudes of others around us.

6) Pray Positive Prayers

I pray everyday. I try to pray specifically about particular situations, and, often, I pray out loud when I’m by myself. I’m honest with the Lord in my prayers and sometimes I will vent to the Lord if I’m discouraged or upset. But I also claim His promises and pray positively and boldly claiming His grace and power over my life, my marriage, my family, my church and my friends!

I close with this. One of my favorite prayers that helps me stay positive and at peace in trying times is the Serenity Prayer. The first part of that prayer is set out below.

The Serenity Prayer

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference….”

I appreciate very much Lester furnishing this timely and important message. Because of its length, I was tempted to shorten it. However, after reading it again, I couldn’t in good conscience take any of it out. Lester blessed me and I believe his message will bless you.

My prayer today is for each of us to develop good attitudes and to keep them positive on a daily basis. Consider the verses given to us by Lester.

~ Jere Beasley ~

For more messages from Pastor Spencer visit sjlife.com

Disciple Now!

We had a whopping 115 students this weekend at Disciple Now! During this sleepover, we asked God to immerse us with more of Him, as we made Him the center of all talk and activities. We studied My Heart Christ’s Home, by Bob Munger with times of study, prayer, and worship. Each student was asked where they stand with Christ (#1-3). The following are some testimonies from the weekend:

#1 Non-Follower of Jesus
They don’t know Him yet and haven’t invited Him into the home of their heart.

#2 Lukewarm
They have invited Jesus into their heart, but He has just been a guest, and not the owner of the title of their heart.

#3 Passionate
They are transferring the title to the home of the heart over to Jesus. He is no longer a guest, He is the master of the house.


I realized I was #2 Lukewarm, so I asked Brooke to pray for me and I’m getting close to #3 Passionate as I gave ownership of my house to Him last night. ~ Emma

This is my first time actually doing something like this with a church. My entire life I can say, I’ve never really gotten close to church festivities, and let me say this is awesome. DNOW is awesome. I love the whole idea of the whole thing. I love it. Saying that, I really haven’t been that close to Jesus my entire life. I don’t really go to church on Sundays and that doesn’t really mean anything but, I can say last night was definitely a life changing moment for me. I got a felling I’ve never felt before and when I got down and someone came to pray over me, tears instantly came to my eyes, and it was just a beautiful feeling just to know that the love of Jesus flooded into my heart. So, if there’s anything I picked up from this entire thing is that there’s constantly opportunities to let Jesus into your heart. Like I said, the opportunity I took was last night and I’m just grateful for DNOW. ~ Montgomery

I realized this weekend that I was more of a lukewarm. I have prayed the prayer to bring the Lord into my heart before, but it was in 3rd or 4th grade and it was something meant to change my life instead of something I really meant from my heart. I talked to Brooke, and she prayed over me, and I made that title transfer, from him being a guest in my home/heart, to him really owning it. ~ Tabby

I’ve prayed the prayer before but Jesus was just a guest in my heart, so I prayed the prayer that He would own my heart. ~ Caleb

I haven’t been the closest to God in the past few years. I’ve made a few stupid mistakes, plenty of them. I’ve been in that #2 stage lukewarm, but last night I really felt something and I just gave my life to God. ~ Lucas

Last night, I am really thankful that God gave me the words to pray over a couple of my friends. They told me afterwards, Hannah that was such a good prayer. I’m thankful that the Lord has given me the gifts of prayer and friendship; I have such great friends. I’m so happy my friend came. ~ Hannah

Last night and over this weekend the girls have been journaling a lot to worship music from Olivia’s phone. Over this period, we talked about every day things that girls go through. It’s something I’ve been going through really hard this year because all my friends have left our school, so I’ve been trying to fit in with other groups and haven’t felt like I fit in with any of them. Camille & Maddy kept me from feeling alone this weekend, and they go to my school. Last night as we were singing worship Hayley came over and prayed for me for stuff like that and it hit home really hard. ~ Mary Lawson

Last night was really meaningful when I went up to Browning and told him I’m in that 2nd lukewarm stage, and I was following the Lord but still trying to control my heart. I wanted to give it to Him, so I transferred the deed to my heart to God. ~ Tyson

Before I came to DNOW I was kind of more in a lukewarm area. I didn’t really do any quiet time or pray that often and after last night I really want to do it more often. I want to start quiet times and take notes on the Bible and study it more. I hope I can make my way to #3. ~ Will

Before last night I was in that lukewarm area. He was in my heart, but not the owner. Last night and this morning as Grace prayed over me, she said some things that meant a lot to me and I just gave my heart to the Lord. ~ Emily Rose

Last night while we were worshipping, Will came up to me and started praying over me and everyone. He was speaking some really powerful stuff and the Spirit was really on him last night, he was basically free styling. It was amazing. ~ Graves

Free style prayer–we encourage that! You guys know as a youth ministry we really believe in the demonstration and the power of the Holy Spirit in every shape, form, and fashion. So when some of you start talking about praying over people, giving a word of knowledge, and word of wisdom over people, I totally dig that! I love that. ~ Browning

I had the 7th grade girls this weekend. A lot of them I didn’t know very well. I didn’t even know my co-leader. We came in and found out we both go to Auburn together, and I just had this amazing transforming experience. A lot of these girls already knew each other, but they’re so open, so good to pay attention, and I’ve been so impressed by these sweet girls. Seeing the love of Christ exude from their lives has been amazing. ~ Grace

Last night before Browning had that message, I didn’t really know where I was. I didn’t know if I was anywhere, and I felt like I just went up and down the scale, a lot, depending on what day of the week it was really. But I knew that I really needed God more. I knelt down to pray, and just didn’t know what to say, but someone came to put their hand on me and it all hit me at once. He came down and I heard Him say some things in quiet prayer, that gave me a lot of strength in that time, and it really helped. ~ Will

Last night when Browning was talking about how–not that we’re not worthy, but how–we take advantage of God giving us forgiveness. I realized I do that a lot, so I decided to stop doing that. ~ Ansley

I just wanted to say that worship was really good last night. Victoria did an awesome job. I haven’t worshipped like that in a little while, and it felt good to kind of renew that, and it was really powerful. ~ Cole

We encourage y’all. Use your gifts. Use your gifts for the kingdom. We love that. Obviously y’all know Victoria is gifted in singing, so she uses that toward her calling. We want all of you to do that. Most of you probably studied spiritual gifts at some point this weekend, and talked about what your spiritual gift is. And when Deep Impact begins in January, you guys will be able to take your spiritual gift test, go through, and use your spiritual gifts right here in the church and in the youth ministry, so I would encourage you to be a part of that. ~ Browning

I just wanted to thank you guys for letting me come back and serve this weekend. I’ve missed you guys a lot. I was with the 6th grade girls this weekend, and I spent a lot of time with them this summer. And let me tell you, they are on fire for the Lord and just in the 3 months I’ve been gone, they’ve grown so much. And it’s just a testament to how hard you guys work and how much you love the Lord. So I just want to tell you that I’m proud of you, and I love you, and I’m just thankful to be here. ~ Hayley

For a few weeks, or months, I’ve been going through change that’s been really hard for my life. I talked to Brooke about it, and it really changed my life. She reminded me that God is with me no matter what I’m going through or what change I’m having. He knows what’s going on and He has a plan for my life. ~ Olivia

I’ve been going here for about a year now. I’ve never really known how to worship God with everything I had. I recently joined the youth band; i don’t know if y’all were there last Wednesday? It’s really been a good opportunity to open up and I’m really thankful for last night. I went up and Browning prayed for me, and it was overwhelming with fatherly love. You know he has those big hugs. On top of that, it was all of like God’s presence and I felt like I needed to start doing more stuff with the church because I’ve been doing stuff every Wednesday, but I’m starting to come to small groups now, and practice, so I’m just thankful for everything. ~ Ryan

Yesterday I realized I was lukewarm, and when Hayley prayed for me I realized I really wanted to do everything for God. ~ Lily

Last night when all the leaders were lined up by the stage, I went up to Browning and I wanted to take that #3 stage of letting God into my heart. As I was walking back I had never really felt or known how many people really loved me. I was walking back and I teared up, and everybody came to pray over me, and it was an amazing feeling. And I just wanted to thank all my friends and family for that. ~ Kyle

The past couple months I kind of struggled with trying to express my faith to my friends. Because Middle School Fall Retreat hit me way harder than I thought it would. I saw God in ways I’ve never seen Him before, and it really opened up my eyes. I felt lukewarm as I came back, but I brought a friend with me this weekend and Ryan started coming a year ago, and they’re my really good friends. And now that they’re both here, I’m in a really good place to not feel judged while I share my faith. ~ Maddie

I’ve never thought I was lukewarm until now. I always thought I was passionate about God, but last night I noticed I wasn’t that passionate about God. I noticed that there are more things I can do and more things I can sacrifice to him, so now I’m going to do that. ~ Charlie

DNOW is the first thing I’ve done with Saint James, and I want to thank Will, Cole, and Lucas for introducing me to it. All my life I felt like I loved God, but I didn’t feel as close to him as I did this weekend and I’m just so thankful for all the friends I’ve met. I’m thankful to God because I feel like last night really changed my life and I feel a lot closer to God now. I thank Him. ~ Miller

When I came here this weekend I was kind of like the lukewarm. I loved Him and everything, and I believed Him and worshipped Him, but I hadn’t let him fully take over my heart. I met Ansley and she kind of introduced the Lord to me in different ways, and I just want to give over my whole heart to Him. ~ George Ann

Last night really opened my eyes to Jesus because I knew that everyone was going to be there from and help me through problems. Sessions that Robbie taught us from the book we read really helped me out in welcoming God into my heart. ~ Zack

I’ve been struggling with my faith a lot and trying to accept God and DNOW really helped me through that and really helped me accept God. And I’m really thankful I got to be here. ~ Barrett

I’m in the 10th grade and over this past semester I really seen myself grow further apart, getting my mind set on other things instead of getting on the road to God, I’ve seen myself stray away. Last night really just helped me get back on track, and he reminded me of everything. ~ Connor

I was with the 8th grade guys. When I first got here we probably had 5-6 8th grade guys back then, but there are 22 in the house this week, and there are even more that weren’t here. But you guys have grown in number and in Spirit, and I just wanted to say that I can see that and y’all have matured so much. I love that the whole Saint James family has continued to grow. There are so many here that have come to be a part of what the Lord is doing, and I hope you guys keep that up. Keep growing in your faith and in your number and this Saint James family. God’s going to do some amazing things in you guys and through you guys. Love y’all and miss y’all  and I hope to come see y’all again soon. ~ Wilson

Before DNOW I really wasn’t close to God and Browning opened my heart to God and I think I was probably lukewarm before. ~ Will

I’m in 10th grade and this weekend was so good to hang out with all my friends and stuff. I’ve definitely seen God through Bailey as our small group leader and as she’s prayed for me and my friends. She had a big impact and it’s been a good weekend. ~ Anna Lawrence

Words can not express how joyful we are for the special weekend our daughter experienced. She told us she gave her heart to Jesus! You were a vital part of her decision. She shared that, during worship Saturday night, you talked about one’s heart is a home for Jesus. She felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit and asked Jesus to live in her heart. We baptized her as an infant, and she went through confirmation last year. But I explained to her she made a heart commitment this weekend, and it is the most important decision she will ever make. Thank you for all you do. She sure does love you. ~ Cindy


245 Student Ministries, Saint James UMC, kids, students


Follow 245 Student Ministries on Facebook and Instagram. Stay up to date on upcoming events by joining our student newsletter, or visit our website.


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Sporting Something New

Upward Soccer at Saint James United Methodist Church is a refreshing sports outlet for young children in Montgomery!

American culture places such an emphasis on sports and on the value of athletic success that many of us have lost sight of the truly important things our children need and should experience while they are so young and innocent. Over the last few years our three boys, all of whom are under 9 years of age, played other sports. We experienced life with three 90 minute practices a week for one child, and two 90 minute practices a week for the other two. We found ourselves exhausted and relatively unfulfilled as we chased after this idea of what we thought our children should be doing.

A couple of years ago our oldest two boys played their first season of Upward Soccer at Saint James UMC. We were thrilled to find that we had a single, one hour practice each week and a one hour game each Saturday. We found that our boys were able to play a sport, to learn new skills, and to get great exercise without forfeiting so much of the rest of our lives. But the most important thing we found was a Christ centered activity that nourished both the soul and body of our children. The devotions during practice and at halftime during the games provide relaxed opportunities for the Christian fellowship that our world today so desperately needs. I am now in my second season coaching Upward Soccer and we find ourselves, both parents and children, reaping the benefits of this wonderful program.

~ Steve & Bridget ~

upward soccer

Join us for an Upward Soccer Celebration this Sunday, October 30th from 4:30-5:00! Don’t forget about Fall Festival activities from 5:00-6:30! Find out more at sjlife.com

fall festival

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Knowing God

I wish I could have recorded the comments from our small group last week. We had some time so we had the girls share their experiences from the Middle School Fall Retreat. The comments were so much more than ‘it was a great time’. These 6th graders were sharing how the youth group is changing their lives! I am regularly blown away by their honesty and ability to articulate their beliefs.

I shared that I was never a part of a youth group and how fortunate they are to be able to experience the Lord as they do in youth group and small groups. Brooke also shared a similar upbringing and Katie Jo talked about how her youth group friends don’t go to school with her everyday, but they are her best friends and the ones who really ‘have her back.’ This is just a small paraphrasing of what followed from the girls:

  1. Before the youth group I wasn’t even really sure I believed in God. I mean I did because I was told to, but since joining the youth group I know God and know He is changing my life.
  1. Because of the youth group and small group I understand that I have been chosen to be on display for Jesus and I don’t have to change myself for people. God has already chosen me and I only have to change for God.
  1. I never really liked church because it was always just ‘adult church’ and I couldn’t even understand it. Now I sit with my friends and we are learning together.
  1. I know because of the youth group that I am going to act like a Christian even when no one is looking. (This child was not at church to hear Lester’s sermon about integrity!)

The youth group is truly making an impact in these children’s lives!

~ Rachel ~


245 Student Ministries, Saint James UMC, kids, studentsFollow 245 Student Ministries on Facebook and Instagram. Stay up to date on upcoming events by joining our student newsletter, or visit our website.

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Time to Ignite!

I always get excited when Ignite rolls around!  I think it’s two-fold.  The process of crafting the song list gets me energized.  Then I sit back and envision our church body coming together for the sole purpose of lifting God high through song and I can’t help but think how right this is.

Have you ever heard the traditional Methodist liturgy for the Celebration of Communion?  There’s a section called the Great Thanksgiving and it reads like this:

The Lord be with you. (Leader)
And also with you. (People)

Lift up your hearts. (Leader)
We lift them up to the Lord. (People)

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. (Leader)
     It is right to give our thanks and praise. (People)

It is right to give our thanks and praise! Let those words hover over your heart for just a moment. It is right to give our thanks and praise. For all He has done in saving us from our sin. For all He has done in freeing us from the bondage life dishes us. For all He has done to display His love for us. For these reasons and many others, He is good and worthy of our worship.

If you’ve never attended Ignite, I encourage you to join us this time. If you’re just now exploring what it means to open yourself in worship to the Lord, come let Him show you how powerful and peaceful it can be when we humbly position ourselves before Him. Don’t let anything keep you from this time with God.  We even have free childcare!  So, let’s lift up the name of the Lord, church.  Because it surely is right to give our thanks and praise.

~ Melissa ~

Ignite Worship

Join us Sunday, September 11th @ 6PM in the Saint James UMC Worship Center and experience His presence! Childcare needs: jen@sjlife.com

Not Just the Youth

245 Student Ministries,

I just wanted to thank you for several things…

  1. Having so many activities for the kids this summer. You kept them busy, surrounded by good role models, and in the Word. I can tell such a difference in the prayer life of my kids because of the time they have spent with prayer warriors this summer.
  2. Being patient with me as I learn to release the care of my little’s to others that love them and want to help guide them.
  3. Being patient with all three of my kids as they learn how to be with the group, and as they learn how to be siblings in the group. Thank you for telling them they belong and they are welcomed and loved. 
  4. For not only being a great leaders, but having the insight to have a great staff and spirit-filled interns.
  5. Thank you for being approachable, fun, loving, but firm.

The youth group hasn’t just changed our kids… several years ago we were just attending on Sunday mornings. We had fallen out of serving and were considering moving to a church closer to our home; but Hannah started the youth group, and after two Sunday’s she told us she had found where she belonged. She said it felt like home, and she felt so close to the Lord when she was with the youth. That was all we needed, and at that point we prayed about our place to serve and how we were going to dig deeper. We decided it was time to lead another small group, after having taken a year’s break, and we have seen tremendous growth in the members of our small group. I say this so the student ministry knows what they do not only reaches kids, but has an impact on parents, and in turn has an impact on the church as a whole. I could go on and on…

Please know that 245 Student Ministries has our support. When and where we can help you, we will. Your ministry is important to us. I know the lessons learned will have an internal impact on our family. 

With gratitude and thanks, and big hugs, for just being so fantastic!

~ Ashley ~

245 Student Ministries, Saint James UMC, kids, studentsFollow 245 Student Ministries on Facebook and Instagram.
Stay up to date by joining our student newsletter, or visit our website for more information on upcoming events.



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Help with Raisers

Robbie Amunds is starting his senior year, at Huntingdon College, and looking forward to a future in Youth Ministry! While interning, this summer, with 245Student Ministries, he met Jordie Deal–long time member and youth intern–who just happened to be looking for fundraising ideas. Jordie will be joining the WorldRace this October, and found Robbie’s beard and popularity a perfect opportunity to fundraise. The youth group was then commissioned:

monkey tail beardquestion mark beardRaise $100 – to have Robbie’s beard trimmed
Raise $200 – to have Robbie’s beard monkey tailed
Raise $300 – to have Robbie’s beard question marked
Raise $400 – to have Robbie’s beard half removed
Raise $500 – to ensure Robbie keeps the style 1 week

The fundraiser lasted one month and the youth raised $1,372! That means Robbie had his beard half removed! The youth group, then, so kindly waited to shave Robbie at the Back To School Bash, last Sunday, so he would have to sport his stylish look during his first week back at Huntingdon! We pray for Robbie’s future in Youth Ministry! May he not be deterred! We also praise with Jordie on another great fundraiser! If you’d like to find our more about, or help raise money for Jordie’s upcoming WorldRace, you can visit her blog here.

As for Robbie, we feel like this photo might be circulating for years tRobbie half beardo come…


Locks of Love

I knew it was time to cut my two daughters’ hair. Livia, 6, hadn’t had her’s cut in over a year, and Molly, 3, had never had her’s cut before. Both girls have thick hair, and Molly has the sweetest little baby curls on the ends. When we started talking about haircuts, I brought up the idea of donating their ponytails to people who need wigsblog1; there wasn’t a second of hesitation, both girls loved the idea!

Livia and Molly both had been learning about kindness in ‘The Zone’ at Saint James. The workers work shone through as the girls made this decision to donate their hair. Molly says daily that the teachers at Saint James are her best friends; and my husband and I have witnessed Livia’s faith grow in the past year, thanks to the time she has spent with the children’s ministry! She has become a prayer warrior, and we hear each teachers influence every time she prays aloud.

This morning, at the post office, the girls and I prayed over the envelope of hair that was about to be shipped off to Michigan. We prayed that whoever received a wig, made out of their hair, would feel loved and beautiful. Livia and Molly truly love the Lord, and love every minute they get to spend with the children’s ministry team at Saint James. We are so grateful for all the lessons our girls are learning!

~ Maggie ~

Date Night, Parent's Night Out, Saint James UMC, children, Montgomery,

Find out more about Saint James children ministry at sjlife.com

Take advantage of Parent’s Night Out this Saturday: Drop off the youngsters, on August 27th from 5-8pm, and get your date on! $10. Register: jen@sjlife.com or in the Children’s Wing.


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