Ceremonies, Camping and Campus Ministry

 Ordination Ceremony
Last summer I was licenced as a minister. This summer we held our first ceremony to recognize those who have committed to ministry in our community. We publicly ordained our 16 senior staff members and our 6 apprentices for the coming year. During the ceremony agreements and commitments were recited that we publicly agreed to uphold as staff with the help of God. We also recited were commitments and agreements for the student body to uphold their role as the students working alongside us. This is something we now plan to do each summer. All of our ministers have been licensed in the past, but implementing this ceremony publicly acknowledges that and adds a level of accountability and commitment between pastors and students. 

All of our senior staff at the Ordination Ceremony
Colorado Vacation

On a personal note, this past month I got to visit Colorado with my parents and Grandparents. This trip was really meaningful for several reasons. My family has visited this same campsite in Colorado since I was around 4 years old. It has become a family tradition. I love being up in the mountains and hearing the stream nearby. I have a lot of fond memories attached to our Colorado trips so it's incredibly meaningful every year. Unfortunately this year I got sick on the first night. I had some sort of virus and had to rest for most of the week. I did manage to take some pictures on one of the days I was feeling better and did some fishing. I'm so thankful that my parents and grandparents value this trip and that we get to spend that week together.

This is my brother and I on what we called "Castle Rock" in Colorado. My Granddad carved our initials into this rock near our campsite the first year we went in 1994. This year we stayed at the campsite near this rock, but unfortunately since I was sick I didn't get a chance to hike up to it and take a picture. 

Mom, Dad and I at our campsite! We stay in a pop-up camper near the top of the mountain. It's crazy beautiful up there. 
This is my Granny and Papa. They love to fish, and I was sad I didn't feel up to joining them as much this year. 
Granny, she caught the largest fish! ( I know it's not huge, but in comparison to what we often catch in the past, it's a big deal!)
My Mom and Dad at the river near our campsite. It's so peaceful to hear at night.
Traditionally, once we've caught enough trout we have a big fish fry to celebrate! We had a fish fry about mid week this year, so that means we had good luck catching fish this year!

Clark Wedding
Another exciting ceremony was the wedding of my good friends and co-workers Matt and Danielle. Matt Clark is my supervisor and has been a good friend and roommate for several years. Danielle has worked for FOCUS for a few years now and will be working at the UNT and TWU campuses with us this coming Fall! 

Student Testimony 
"I recently went through a period of situational depression. There wasn’t an entire day that went by where I was happy with my place in life. Some days, I seemed jovial and was up for a good laugh. Other days, however, were full of sadness and discontent. I remember I broke down and cried three times back in 2014. I even almost committed suicide. I had been born and raised in a Christian family, but my faith often felt lacking quite a bit. Something I’ve often heard from my mother was that you’ve got to do your part in order for God to do His. I think God was telling me to do my part by joining FOCUS. FOCUS has given me a sense of community that I don’t think I could find anywhere else. I think it has helped me enhance my faith in God and see that with Him, all things are possible. It’s helped me to expand my circle of friends and, more importantly, renewed and restored my faith. I think there’s still some work for me to do to get closer to God, but being a part of FOCUS has helped me to gain some traction on that front. As I move forward with life, I pray that my faith becomes more solid than it was in the past."

- Miles Morris, Richland College, Mass Communications

Ways To Be Praying

  • This next week our staff will go on a retreat for four days. Be praying for safe travels and that the Spirit would lead us in unity with one another and give us vision for the next year. 

  • I'm continuing to fundraise for this coming school year. Be praying for God to provide the financial means needed.

  • In about three weeks we will be gearing up our new leader teams to go out and meet students! We kick off the year by helping move in new students at all of our campuses. This is a HUGE way that we meet and reach out to students early in the year. Many of these students are freshmen, looking for friends, and their parents are just as nervous for them. We get to be some of the first people they meet! Be praying for boldness in the Spirit, energy, joy, and many new relationships to be formed during the move-in week. 

Thank You
To all of my supporters, thank you for your prayers and generosity. Thank you for partnering with me in reaching out to students here at UNT and NCTC. Thank you for being so interested and involved in what God in doing in the lives of young adults. You're support is so greatly appreciated!


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