Friday, June 8, 2018

Club Idea: iTunes Club

Mixer
Musical chairs: always a win!

Game
Finish that line: Bring a few kids up who know music really well. They will take turns (you can eliminate if you wish) finishing well known song lyrics. Play a few seconds of the chorus of a song and the player has to finish it.  

Dance moves: Have a list of words such as, run, drive, coffee written on pieces of paper or a slide show. The person playing has to create a dance move to express that word! Super funny game!

Shake it off: The key to this song is playing Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off”. This is the classic minute to win it game where you empty out a tissue box, place a few Ping-Pong balls in it and then tie it around your friend’s backside. When the music starts they shake the balls out without using hands.

Song:
Party in the USA
Never Be the Same



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Club Idea: Luau Club

Mixer
Beach Chair volleyball: (heads up this game involves a lot of supplies...asking your leaders to each bring two beach chairs would work best) This is played the same as volley ball…only everyone is sitting in beach chairs and cant get up! Super funny!

Freeze Dance: Because who doesn’t love a little freeze dance to some beach music?!

Around the Island Basket Toss: (this could also be a game not a mixer) Cut out a few pieces of paper like islands and number them. Students have to “Island Hop” by hitting each target in order, so once they hit island number one they can move onto number two

Games
Flip flop through hoop: Player sits in a chair and has three attempts to kick their flip flop from off of their foot trough a hula-hoop being held by a leader (get ready to duck!)

Song
“How Far I’ll Go”
Let there be light



Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Collaborative Partners Blog Series: CLC Network

In April and May we are going to introduce several of our very experienced collaborative partners in our community who have come alongside us, our friends, their families and churches to train toward excellent inclusion of our friends and their families. You as Young Life staff and volunteers being aware of these key co-laborers is quite critical for excellence in transition. Historically, as you will read in these blogs, our community "partners” have been the link not just for our Capernaum friends but also for their family members.

We often lead with I Corinthians 12:4-11 as a call toward inclusion of our friends into the body of Christ. What if we read I Corinthians 12:4-11 through the lens of being inclusive of excellent community co-laborers to move us all toward the fullness of the body of Christ? What kind of vision could this give your area? Imagine organizations working together and our friends thriving.

We invite you to introduce yourself to the staff of these ministries if they have a location in your area, and begin to set up potential ways to collaborate as you continue to develop your transition plan with your friends. Have questions? Contact your Capernaum Divisional Coordinator for additional information.



CLC Network wonders…How Can We Support You?
Contributor: Barbara J. Newman, Director of Church Services

I know who you are. God has equipped you with an important pair of lenses. You are on a mission with your pair of God eyeglasses! You see, often when others do not, the gifting in worship that a young adult with Down syndrome has. You see the teen with autism spectrum disorder who has an incredible ability to memorize Scripture. You see the youth group member who is isolated or even teased at times because social skills are not the number 1 (or even the number 15) gifting in this person. And you also see that God’s love and desire for relationship exists for ALL persons with varied abilities and disabilities. Those eye glasses allowed you to see an opportunity within the heart of Young Life where you serve, worship, and socialize with one another – one body together in Christ. Thank you.  
God assigned me a similar pair of lenses. I have had the joy of using those as a special education teacher at Zeeland Christian School. We have had, since 1989, children of all abilities learning and living together as 2nd graders or 8th graders or any classroom in the building. Back in the late 1990s, however, I heard about something that broke my heart. You recognize that feeling, don’t you? You have had similar conversations that have broken your heart. It’s something about those lenses that are connected directly to the heart we share with God and others with those same pair of glasses. 
My conversation was happening with families who had a child included 8 hours a day at school but who was getting asked to leave Sunday school, told there was no place for a child with a disability in Youth Group or who had an entire family escorted to the door of the church and asked not to return. My eyes teared up with both sadness and anger. How can this happen? How can others not see the benefit of being together, not just for that child with a disability but also for ALL the others in the congregation? God used those stories to spur me into handing out a new pair of eyeglasses to church communities, and that became an official arm of CLC Network. We now partner with schools, churches, and families to create communities of belonging for persons of all abilities.  
As fellow eyeglass wearers, how can we support you? I would invite you to check out our website and consider: 
  1. We offer many trainings. We have taken educational best practices and formed them into tools that can be used in church programs and settings. Are you looking for information on autism spectrum disorder or tools and ideas to use with persons who may have no spoken words? There is a long list of trainings, and I know you have been part of groups I have trained in places around the country. You were present in high numbers at McLean Bible Church in Virginia one year and at the Northwest Ministry Conference in Seattle another year. Perhaps we could learn from one another around these trainings?
  2. We offer many books and kits. Again, many of these are taken from educational best practices but put in the context of faith and worship. Would you like new tools to introduce a group member to Jesus? Consider “Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship” as a book you may enjoy. Do you have some struggling readers or writers in your group? What about individuals for whom paying attention might require extra effort. Consider one of our kits – Inclusion Tool Kit or Inclusive Worship Kit. These will give you some practical items to use and instructions on how to use them. 
  3. If training from a “live” member of our church team might not work, consider one of our 4 training DVDs on Behavior Management or Inclusion Tool Box. We chose 4 topics that are some of our most requested in a 60-minute format. It’s perfect for gathering around some Mountain Dew and pretzels as you learn together. (I picked Mountain Dew because that’s what my 20 something sons would have chosen. I’m 55, so I pick coffee or water. Still, we can share those eyeglasses together despite our difference in beverage choices). 
  4. Do you want input for your group? We also consult, so that if your ideas are running low we can give you a few new tools to try in your community. 

Log on to www.clcnetwork.org and let’s sharpen our vision even further by working together. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Collaborative Partners Blog Series: 99 Balloons

In April and May we are going to introduce several of our very experienced collaborative partners in our community who have come alongside us, our friends, their families and churches to train toward excellent inclusion of our friends and their families. You as Young Life staff and volunteers being aware of these key co-laborers is quite critical for excellence in transition. Historically, as you will read in these blogs, our community "partners” have been the link not just for our Capernaum friends but also for their family members.


We often lead with I Corinthians 12:4-11 as a call toward inclusion of our friends into the body of Christ. What if we read I Corinthians 12:4-11 through the lens of being inclusive of excellent community co-laborers to move us all toward the fullness of the body of Christ? What kind of vision could this give your area? Imagine organizations working together and our friends thriving.

We invite you to introduce yourself to the staff of these ministries if they have a location in your area, and begin to set up potential ways to collaborate as you continue to develop your transition plan with your friends. Have questions? Contact your Capernaum Divisional Coordinator for additional information.



99 Balloons
Contributor: Matt Mooney 

First of all, I think I should start by saying I love me some Young Life Capernaum.  In my hometown of Fayetteville, Arkansas, I have gotten to see the beautiful picture of what it can mean to a community.  Thank you for being a part.  It is my hope that it is only the start for you in a life full of relationships with persons with disability.

I was asked to introduce you all to some of the work that we are doing at 99 Balloons.  My wife, Ginny, and I started this organization in order to help the church become a more inclusive community for individuals and families experiencing disability.  We do this primarily through ministry models that we create for the church to implement in their community as well as global opportunities to join with us as we seek to change the story of disability throughout the world.

Ministry Models for Churches::
Our largest initiative for churches to engage is our rEcess respite model.  Through rEcess, we train and equip churches to provide respite to families experiencing disability.  Practically, this looks like a family dropping off their child with disability as well as their siblings for a night off- whereby each child with disability is paired one-to-one with a volunteer leader.  We currently have 42 rEcess sites and are constantly honored to train and equip new sites.

In addition, we are currently developing a teen model for social engagement (rEmix) as well as an adult model of ministry (bEfriend) that entails 1-to-1 pairings in a relationship with an adult with disability.

Global Work::
In addition to local ministry within their community, it is our goal to educate and activate churches to engage the realities of disability globally.  We recruit and take professional teams (therapists, educators, etc.) annually to serve in Uganda, Haiti, Nicaragua & India as well as fund projects for our partners in these locations.  Soon we are set to roll out our newest foray into global work as we launch our child sponsorship program focused on funding education for children with disability.  I invite you to watch Notable, our documentary on disability in Uganda.

The common thread throughout our work is that we believe the only way for the church to present a clear picture of the body of Christ to the world is through inclusion of our friends with disability.

Thank you for serving in Capernaum.

Your biggest fan,

Matt Mooney 

Matt and his wife, Ginny, founded 99 Balloons, an organization working with persons experiencing disability.  This work grew out of their experience with their firstborn son, Eliot, who lived for 99 days.  What began with starting a small respite night called rEcess in their community has grown into a global movement championing relationships and inclusion for persons with disabilities- with now over 40 rEcess sites across 3 countries.

In addition to serving as Executive Director of 99 Balloons, Matt speaks, writes and advocates in areas related to our shared humanity and fragility.  He is the author of A Story Unfinished- a book written by Matt about Eliot’s life and the lessons God taught them through their son.  His work with 99 Balloons has allowed him to be a proponent of inclusive education as well as church inclusion throughout Haiti, Ukraine, Uganda, India and more.  His story and work has been featured on The Today Show, National Geographic and The Oprah Winfrey Show


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Collaborative Partners Blog Series: Friendship Ministries

In April and May we are going to introduce several of our very experienced collaborative partners in our community who have come alongside us, our friends, their families and churches to train toward excellent inclusion of our friends and their families. You as Young Life staff and volunteers being aware of these key co-laborers is quite critical for excellence in transition. Historically, as you will read in these blogs, our community "partners” have been the link not just for our Capernaum friends but also for their family members.


We often lead with I Corinthians 12:4-11 as a call toward inclusion of our friends into the body of Christ. What if we read I Corinthians 12:4-11 through the lens of being inclusive of excellent community co-laborers to move us all toward the fullness of the body of Christ? What kind of vision could this give your area? Imagine organizations working together and our friends thriving.

We invite you to introduce yourself to the staff of these ministries if they have a location in your area, and begin to set up potential ways to collaborate as you continue to develop your transition plan with your friends. Have questions? Contact your Capernaum Divisional Coordinator for additional information.



Friendship Ministries
Contributor: Tom VanWingerden
 
When I joined Friendship Ministries over 3 years ago, I became much more aware of the many wonderful ministries that work toward creating opportunities for inclusion and belonging in our communities.  I learned about Young Life Capernaum as one of those exceptional ministries and how it seeks to not only develop fulfilling friendships and build self-esteem, but how it also looks to assist those in transition from Young Life into lifelong relationships with communities of believers in local churches. I immediately recognized the similar goals of YL Capernaum and Friendship Ministries and thought about Friendship’s wonderful new Bible study curriculum called TOGETHER as a potential and effective resource.
So, when Pam Harmon invited me to share some information about Friendship’s new Bible study curriculum, I jumped at the chance. 
Here it is:
Traditionally, disability ministry has developed programs like Friendship Groups and YL Capernaum Groups that gather individuals with disabilities independently and apart. This is a good, valuable method, one that works well for many people. But in addition to our traditional programming, what if we offered an additional option taking it a step further? What if there was less emphasis on apart and more emphasis on together?
A few years ago, we asked ourselves, what if we could develop a Bible study curriculum that would not only work in the traditional large group setting, but also equip a “typical” adult small group to include someone with intellectual disability, or Alzheimer’s, or who is an English language learner? What if we could present Bible passages and discussion questions in such a way that a person doesn’t have to be able to read to participate, and also where people of typical abilities are challenged to grow?  What if we could find a way to encourage tight-knit groups of friends to expand a bit, to include a new friend and reap the mutual blessings that follow?
That’s what TOGETHER is about. The new curriculum provides an innovative online format incorporating a wide range of teaching techniques, including video clips, discussion questions, visual Bible passage presentations, and challenging and interactive exercises. This new approach provides an excellent set of tools to enable faith communities to offer not only the traditional “disability ministry” model, but also a tool that creates opportunities for the full congregation to experience the beauty of sharing God’s word and their lives with people of different abilities.
But don’t just take my word for it, please discover for yourself the versatility and unique applications that this great Bible study affords.  I really think you’re going to like it! Take a look at:  www.togethersmallgroups.org
In the meantime, let’s continue to explore together all opportunities that ensure everyone has a place to belong, regardless of what stage of life we are in.
Blessings,
Tom has been involved in Friendship Ministries for more than 25 years as a leader and mentor, and for the last 3 years as Executive Director. His background is in business, having owned his own company for 20 years and having worked in administration at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for 14 years.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Capernaum Day in the A

This spring, all of the Capernaum ministries in Atlanta, GA gathered together for a Saturday. They called it “Capernaum Day in the A”. It was beautifully put together and kids had an incredible time throughout the day. Their schedule was packed, but rich. They invited the program team and speaker
who will be at a Capernaum week this summer to be with them, giving them a chance to experience Capernaum more fully. An awesome way to help them prepare and a great way to have amazing program and speakers!


10:00am: Arrive at Venue
10:15-11:45am: Club 1
12-1:00pm: Lunch
1:15-3:45pm: Georgia Aquarium
4:30-6:00pm: Club 2
6-7:00pm: Dinner
7:15pm: Departure

Imagine what you could do in your area or region that would bring together multiple ministries for a day of fun, adventure, friendships and hearing more about Jesus!

If you’re interested in the step by step to-do list for an event like this, email Suzanne. Thanks to Mac Howard, who planned the day, we have every detail!

Way to go Atlanta! Such a fun day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Collaborative Partners Blog Series: Joni and Friends

In April and May we are going to introduce several of our very experienced collaborative partners in our community who have come alongside us, our friends, their families and churches to train toward excellent inclusion of our friends and their families. You as Young Life staff and volunteers being aware of these key co-laborers is quite critical for excellence in transition. Historically, as you will read in these blogs, our community "partners” have been the link not just for our Capernaum friends but also for their family members.


We often lead with I Corinthians 12:4-11 as a call toward inclusion of our friends into the body of Christ. What if we read I Corinthians 12:4-11 through the lens of being inclusive of excellent community co-laborers to move us all toward the fullness of the body of Christ? What kind of vision could this give your area? Imagine organizations working together and our friends thriving.

We invite you to introduce yourself to the staff of these ministries if they have a location in your area, and begin to set up potential ways to collaborate as you continue to develop your transition plan with your friends. Have questions? Contact your Capernaum Divisional Coordinator for additional information.





Joni and Friends
Contributor: Bret Welshymer


Transitions can be stressful. When it comes time for a Young Life Capernaum student to transition out of club, it can be particularly difficult if it seems the young adult is being asked to say goodbye to all of their friends—the only real Christian fellowship they have enjoyed.

So how can you make the transition easier?

Consider Joni and Friends a resource.

Young Life wants to prepare “kids for a life-long relationship with Christ and love for His word, His mission and the local church.” And as YL Capernaum seeks to meet this goal with their students, it intersects with the Mission of Joni and Friends: “to communicate the Gospel and equip Christ-honoring Churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple people affected by disabilities.”

To accomplish that goal, Joni and Friends has set about to equip churches to be Irresistible. By that, we mean that a church is so welcoming to individuals and families affected by disability that they are compelled to come.

And that, of course, would be the best-case scenario: Capernaum students would be welcomed wholeheartedly into a congregation, along with their entire family.

While it may seem these churches are rare, be encouraged: there is a movement nationwide of churches realizing that people with disabilities are dear to God’s heart. More and more churches are working towards becoming irresistible. And as you work to help Capernaum young people transition, you can help churches get another step closer, and another step closer.

The Irresistible Church website and ministry training series, created by Joni and Friends, is a great place to start.  The website provides resources and encouragement for those who want to begin or grow a disability ministry in their church. With a free membership on IrresistibleChurch.org, you have access to downloadable training resources under the tab marked “FREE” or you can order a printed copy of each of the booklets on Amazon.com. The first booklet in the training series, Start with Hello, provides a simple, clear path for churches to begin a disability ministry.

Other resources for assisting churches and individuals engage those with disabilities are available on our website: Church Resources and Beyond Suffering Curriculum.

With the best intentions, some churches believe they can be most welcoming to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities by creating a worship experience for them completely separate from the main body of the congregation. While that can be good to a point, it is even better for a person to be able to enjoy the full life of the church.

Frequently, the best way to accomplish that is through the partnership of a “buddy.”  The term buddy is used frequently in the world of disability, but the idea mimics a much older concept in the body of Christ: a disciple maker.

For Capernaum students, a buddy can not only provide one-on-one assistance if needed, but can also work to disciple the young person, helping to teach everything from where to find the scripture for the sermon to how to interact appropriately with the opposite gender. For ideas, read the Irresistible Church booklet Call Me Friend (available in other formats here).

At Joni and Friends, we like to say that disability ministry isn’t complete until people with disabilities are ministering. The Bible assures us in 1 Corinthians 12 that God gives each of His children a spiritual gift. And the purpose of these spiritual gifts is to build up the Body of Christ.

Do you recognize what spiritual gifts your students have? Can they see ways they can serve the church?


There’s no magic formula that will quickly ease your students through a transition out of Capernaum club, but there is something better: a compassionate, helper God. Continue to remind your students of His character, and their transition will be a blessing… for the entire Body of Christ.

Joni and Friends is about advancing disability ministry around the world. We are answering the charge found in Luke 14 to "invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind and you will be blessed...make them come in so my house will be full." For further information, write to response@joniandfriends.org.