What's happening in FirstYouth August 2018
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Weekly opportunities to be involved:

Sunday School: 10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. gather in The Loft (youth rooms) at the top of the elevator. 

Impact Groups: Varies by age and gender. Follows school calendar.

Godpleasers Youth Choir: Sunday evenings from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Starts in October and ends in June.

Wednesday Afternoon: Hang out time in The Loft after school until First Youth Wednesday starts. Follows school calendar.

First Youth Wednesday: Wednesday evenings from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in The Loft

Upcoming Events:


Backpack Blessing - August 12 at 9:35 Service

Middle School (6th-8th) Parents Meeting - August 12 at Noon

School Prayer Walk - August 12 at 6:00pm meet at the High School

One Tree Ministries Back to School Kick-off - August 15 at 5:30-8:00 at FUMC in the FLC

Impact Group Kick-off - Sunday August 19 at 5:00 at  Sandy Beach

Camp 434 (Purity Retreat) - November 16-18, 2018

Branson Xtreme - December 27-29, 2018

Young Ladies "Teen If Gathering" in planning stages for late summer 2018! More information will be provided as it becomes available.

There will be an informational parent meeting for students going into 6th, 7th, and 8th grade on Sunday August 12 at noon in the Youth Worship Room. Lunch will be provided. Come eat, fellowship with other parents, and hear the exciting changes taking place for FirstYouth Middle School. This meeting will only last 1 hour. Hope to see you there!


We all need someone to talk to!

Raising teenagers can be difficult to say the least! Maybe you are dealing with behavioral issues, lack of discipline in schoolwork, disrespectful attitudes, risky behaviors, or just having a hard time connecting with your teen.  I'm here to help! Please contact me at 501-250-3895 to schedule 3-5 complimentary and confidential counseling sessions. I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor trained in Marriage & Family Therapy from Harding University. You don't have to deal with these issues alone.
In Christ,
Alesha Presley, LPC
Here is the current list of 2019 Seniors: Please let me know if I need to add anyone to the list or if I have misspelled anyone's name.

Brandon Blankenship
Cassidy LaRue
Courtney Eddington
Grace Bray
Hannah Lehfeldt
Jacob Warden
Jaden Evans
Julian Cameron
Mary Katherine McKenzie
McKensey Lathrop
Olivia Candau

FirstYouth Ambassadors is the youth leadership team of FUMC. It's open to all youth members who are willing to: 1) Maintain a daily prayer life, 2) Be committed to having a Daily Devotional or Bible Study, 3) Have an accountability partner, and 4) Maintain involvement in FUMC by regularly attending: Sunday morning Worship Service, Sunday School, FirstYouth Wednesday Night, Godpleasers Youth Choir, be involved in an Impact Group, and find at least one place outside the youth ministry to serve. They also have to maintain a lifestyle befitting one who is a role model and an ambassador of Christ and are willing to commit to "Being a Light" in school, at FUMC, their neighborhood, and their home. 
See Mrs. Alesha for an application! 

Upcoming Dates:
Birmingham, AL Mission Tirp - June 23-29, 2019 with
Sr High Teen Girl Resource: Boundaries in Dating

Rules for Romance That Can Help You Find the Love of Your Life Between singleness and marriage lies the journey of dating. Want to make your road as smooth as possible? Set and maintain healthy boundaries--boundaries that will help you grow in freedom, honesty, and self-control. If many of your dating experiences have been difficult, Boundaries in Dating could revolutionize the way you handle relationships. Even if you’re doing well, the insights you’ll gain from this much-needed book can help you fine-tune or even completely readjust important areas of your dating life. Written by the authors of the bestselling book Boundaries, Boundaries in Dating is your road map to the kind of enjoyable, rewarding dating that can take you from weekends alone to a lifetime with the soul mate you’ve longed for.

*Copies are available in Mrs Alesha's office.
Resource Spotlight for Parents
The Culture Translator
Gain weekly insight into how pop culture, technology, and media are influencing your students.It's a free resource that hits your e-mail inbox every Friday with quick up-to-date info into the culture your teens are experiencing. It will help you start conversations with your teen that can spark great discussions about how the culture tries to influence our lives and we can speak Godly truths into their lives. 

Here is a link where you can get signed up:
*Shout out to Ashley Herring for finding this treasure trove of information for us!! Make sure and pass your thanks on to her when you see her!
Impact Groups are forming now!

There will be a Kick-off event on August 19 at 5:00pm at Sandy Beach. We will have food, fellowship, games, and lots of fun!

Here are the available groups:
6th & 7th grade girls - Lacey Bray & Alesha Presley

8th & 9th grade girls - Natalie Norton & Jammie Jarvis

10th & 11th grade girls - Ashley Herring & Brandy Farmer & Carmen George

12th grade girls - Tonya Eddington & Johanna Lehfeldt

6th & 7th grade boys - John Herring, Jayson Jones, & Stephen Choate

8th & 9th grade boys - Pete Harris, Boyd Anderson, & Kevin Thomas

10th - 12th grade boys - Mark Evans
When you think of today's teens you might assume that they all belong to the Millennial generation. But while Millennials will continue to influence culture for decades to come, if you are now raising teens, it's likely that they belong to Generation Z, a new and emerging generation of teenagers.
Even though research into Gen Z is in its infancy, two things are consistently agreed upon by students of culture: 1) Gen Z teens are now on the scene, and 2) they, like all previous generations, will carve out their own unique characteristics and have their own distinctive values, attitudes and behaviors.
Researchers have started turning the lens of examination on Gen Z. One recent study by Northeastern University compiled information obtained from surveys of over 1,000 teens 16-19, and this study may be one of the first to attempt to build our understanding of this new generation.
Here are some characteristics of today's teens that were obtained through the study:

- Today's teens are concerned about the costs of going to college and the debt that is often part of the college experience.

- Two in three fear they might not be able to find a job after college.

- Four in ten expect to be self-employed during their adult career.

- More than half believe that anyone should have a right to become a U.S. citizen no matter how they enter the country.

- Half receive their news online. Only two in ten get news from watching television.

- While technology is simply a part of everyday life for teens, two in three (69%) prefer to interact with friends in-person over interacting online, with only 15% preferring online.

- 70% would not use electronic methods (online, phones, texting, etc.) to ask someone out on a date.
Questions for Parents:

1. If your teen is planning on attending college, how can you help prepare her/him to deal with the financial aspects?

2. If your teen expresses concern about accumulating significant debt to attend college, how can you help her/him think through alternatives to amassing debt?

3. How does your teen view today's significant social issues like immigration?

4. What points of tension might you experience with your teen based on their views of these social issues?

5. Does your teen prefer to connect with friends online or in-person? Why?

6. How can you encourage your teen toward more in-person interaction with their friends?

7. How can you influence your teen toward better integration between life issues and their faith?

What your students are learning in Sunday School:


August 5: Truth You can Count On:  Psalm 119:89; 142; 160

To Know:  Absolute truth exists because God exists.
To Think: I can live confidently, basing my life of the absolute truth of God's Word.
To Do:  Read and study Scripture daily to learn what is true.

August 12: Truth Given by God: Romans 1:20; Hebrews 1:1-2
To Know:  The Scriptures are God's special revelation to humanity, His divine truth.
To Think: I can base my life on the Bible, knowing that everything it asserts as truth is true.
To Do: Apply the Scriptures to my life, knowing they tell me the best way to live.

August 19: Truth Kept Pure: 1 Peter 1:22-25

To Know:  God orchestrated the preservation of His Word throughout history. 
To Think: I can be confident that God has preserved His Word so that I have His absolute truth to live by.
To Do: Read and study God's Word with complete confidence. 

August 26: Truth Upheld: Philippians 1:27-30
To Know:  We can stand firm in God's Word, defending its truth with reason.
To Think: Live with the assurance that God's Word can handle any challenge or attempt to disqualify its credibility.
To Do: Use credible evidence to defend the truth of God's Word.

More Risks for Young Drivers  

Driving Remains a Dangerous Activity for Today’s Youth
By: David R. Smith 

I want a motorcycle. Badly. My wife knows this. It’s an ongoing argument – I mean discussion – in my house. But every time there’s a car accident in our city, my wife says, “See, that’s why you can’t buy a motorcycle.”

If new data about young drivers is true, I’m never gonna get my bike.

New research for the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs has found that one-third of young adults admit to riding with a driver who was under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or both). Data from 2,000 college-aged kids collected over two years (2013 and 2014) revealed that 25% of girls and 22% of guys got into a car with someone they knew to be under the influence of some kind of controlled substance in 2013. In 2014, that number jumped to 33% for both. Unsurprisingly, the impaired driver was more often a peer than an older adult. Equally unsurprising was that marijuana was among the most frequently used culprits causing the impaired driving.

Controlled substances, teenagers, and steering wheels have never mixed well. The outcome of that combination spills into newspaper headlines around the country on a weekly basis. But drunk driving isn’t the only kind of dangerous driving. There’s also drowsy driving, and it’s wreaking havoc on young motorists, as well.

According to AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, roughly 10% of all car crashes involve some sort of fatigue on the driver’s part, and motorists between the ages of 16 and 24 account for more than half of these accidents. Given that a vast number of today’s teenagers get far less sleep than the recommended nine-to-ten hours each night, this might continue to be a growing problem in the future. (Less than 10% of kids get enough shuteye; the average is closer to 7.5 hours per night for most kids.) Studies have shown that going 17 to 19 hours without sleep renders impairment similar to a blood alcohol content of 0.05, just 0.03 from the national legal limit.

Drowsy driving is a big problem, and has been for a long time. “Jared,” one of the students in my graduating class, kept an insane schedule when we were kids. He played on our championship football team, wrestled later in the school year, competed in extracurricular academic competitions, and was in the running for valedictorian. Yeah, he was a busy guy. Within one year of our high school graduation, Jared was in three different car accidents, all of them his fault, all of them due to drowsy driving on his part.

With the continual increase in homework assignments, the constant distraction of smartphones past bedtime, and the non-stop activities filling a kid’s free time, drowsy driving is probably only going to get worse unless something changes.

Making a U-Turn
On the whole, we’re not headed in the right direction when it comes to driving safety. And we haven’t even talked about texting and driving in this article, a dangerous habit that 42% of teen drivers admit to having done behind the wheel of a car at one time or another. Drugs, alcohol, fatigue, cell phones, loud music, friends, and other unnecessary distractions can result in a split-second accident that forever changes the life of a family. The CDC reported that 2,333 students between the ages of 16 and 19 died in a car accident in 2015, the latest year for available stats. That translates into the death of six kids every single day of the year. Another 235,000 young people were hospitalized that same year for injuries related to car accidents. The solution to these problems isn’t complicated; however, it might very well require a serious change in our habits. Here are a few ideas to help adults steer their kids as they steer their cars.

Talk about the dangers of driving. You don’t have to lecture your kids on this subject, nor do you need to do a Google search for the most harrowing and graphic images of car accidents on the Internet. Just remind them of the potential dangers involved with driving. You can use teachable moments that happen when you’re in the car together. For example, if you see someone texting while driving, gently point it out for your kids to see. Is the village idiot swerving from one lane to another at a high speed? Make sure to point it out when he or she gets stopped by the same traffic light (or cop). As often as possible, use the mistakes and poor choices of others to teach your kids expensive lessons without the cost.
Model what you expect. In case it doesn’t go without saying, if you don’t want your kid drinking and driving, then don’t do it yourself. What about texting and driving? If you don’t want them doing it, never – ever – do it yourself! In fact, make it a point to put your phone in the console or glove box so your kids see how important safety is to you. Don’t speed. Don’t drive recklessly. Don’t yell at other drivers. Don’t let loud music be a distraction. Kids aren’t just listening to what we say. They’re also watching what we do…and don’t do.
Be willing to limit who your kid rides with. If your kid has a friend who’s prone to accidents, carelessness, or risky behavior, you need to be willing to step in and play the veto card. Make sure your child knows that it’s never going to be OK with you for them to ride with that individual. Empower them to make safe decisions in the moment by pointing out all the options they have at their disposal: they can call you as parents, another family member, a trusted friend, an Uber driver, or a cab. Tell them you’ll always be willing to pay the fare to keep them safe…and then back up that promise if the situation ever calls for it.

Do whatever you need to do to help keep your young drivers safe. Teach them the vital skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives. Doing so will ensure their lives are long ones.




Please be in prayer for the ministries of FirstYouth. If there is any way I can pray specifically for your family, please let me know!

Alesha Presley, LPC
Youth Director
Cell: (501) 250-3895 - Texts Welcome :)

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First United Methodist Church
1099 West Pine Street
Heber Springs, AR 72543
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