What's happening in FirstYouh March 2019
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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. Middle School will meet in the Game Room and High School will meet in the Worship Room.

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. Middle School will start off in the Game Room. High School will start off in the Worship Room.

Upcoming Events:


Ash Wednesday Service - Wednesday March 6 - No FirstYouth.  We look forward to seeing you in church with your family!

Wednesday, March 16: Sr High FirstYouth - Courtney Eddington's testimony & Jr High FirstYouth - Assemble Blessing Bags

Wednesday, April 27- One Tree Night 5:30-8:00 at Chastain Chapel in Tumbling Shoals. If your teen needs a ride - be at FUMC by 5:00. You can pick your teens up at Chastain Chapel at 8:00 or the FUMC bus will bring them home.


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
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:
Meeting & Fun Day - March 30 - 10:00 am - 4pm
Columbia MS Mission Tirp - June 23-29, 2019 with
One Tree Night on February 27 at Mountain Top Cowboy Church was Amazing!  We were so proud of the FirstYouth Praise Team! They used their God given talents to lead Worship to 130 of their peers.
So next time you see:

Mason Harris
Olivia Candau
Zach Thomas
Hannah Lehfeldt
Jillian Herring
Courtney Eddington

Please tell them that you appreciate their courage and faith!
Book Resource:

The Circle Maker
by Mark Batterson

According to Pastor Mark Batterson in this expanded edition of The Circle Maker, "Drawing prayer circles around our dreams isn't just a mechanism whereby we accomplish great things for God. It's a mechanism whereby God accomplishes great things in us." 

Do you ever sense that there's far more to prayer than what you're experiencing? 
It's time you learned from the legend of Honi the Circle Maker - a man bold enough to draw a circle in the sand and not budge from inside it until God answered his impossible prayer for his people. 

What impossibly big dream is God calling you to draw a prayer circle around? 

Sharing inspiring stories from his own experiences as a circle maker, Mark Batterson will help you uncover your heart's deepest desires and God-given dreams and unleash them through the kind of audacious prayer that God delights to answer. 

Important Dates Coming Up

Fees- Tour fees are $150 for all youth and adults going on choir tour.  The non-refundable $50 deposit was due December 2nd and the next $50 payment is due Feb 3rd.  The remainder of the money will be due April 14th.

Easter Baskets-We will be accepting Easter baskets on March 17th and March 24th. They will be displayed at church for bidding on March 31st, April 7th, and April 14th. Groups of 4-5 youth will put together a themed Easter Basket such as cooking, games, gardening, fishing, baking, Razorback, baby, etc.  They need to be arranged nicely in an Easter Basket with clear wrap around it that will still allow people to see what is inside.  You will also need to have a typed or nicely written list of everything in the basket and an estimated value.  Please be sure each youth’s name is also included. 

Dessert Theater-April 14th at 6:00 PM: All youth who want a solo next year will need to perform.  ALL youth need to provide a home-made dessert and have this to the church by 5:00 PM on April 14th. We start serving at 6:00 and show starts at 6:30.  We ask all parents, family and friends to come out and support our youth and attend.

FUMC performance-May 19 at 8:00 AM:  Godpleasers will perform at the 8:25, 9:35, and 10:55 services on Sunday May 19 at First United Methodist Church.  Godpleasers need to be in the Family Life Center no later than 8:00am.  They will need to wear nice jeans and will change into Godpleasers t-shirt at the church. More details to come.

Chicken Spectacular luncheon-May 19 at 11:00 AM-1:00 PM:  Our Chicken Spectacular fundraiser luncheon will also be on May 19 beginning after the 2nd service through 1:00. Please spread the word to all of your family to come and eat with us on this day.  You will be contacted later about what to bring for this event.
Choir Tour-May 25th-May 30th!!!!!  More details to come!!

Please check Godpleasers Facebook and Remind list for any communications or call/text Netta Thomas at 501-514-5636. 

Practice Schedule (changes will be posted on the Godpleasers Facebook):
Parent Resource:

Circle with Disney
  • MANAGE EVERY CONNECTED DEVICE: Circle recognizes and manages wired and wireless devices on your home network.
  • REQUIREMENTS: Setup and manage Circle using a device with iOS 9+ or Android 4.2+. Home Internet connection and a compatible router also required, check your router’s compatibility on our Support Site
  • SET ONLINE TIME LIMITS: Create daily time limits on apps and popular sites like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
  • FILTER ONLINE CONTENT: Set individual filter levels by age (Pre-K, Kid, Teen, and Adult) for each member of your family. Create custom filters for websites too!
  • PAUSE THE INTERNET: Pause the internet for a single Family member or the whole Family with a single tap.
  • ONLINE USAGE AT A GLANCE: See where your kids spend time online by app and category.
FirstYouth Wednesday Night Series

Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to scream, “You’re not the boss of me!” (You can also raise your hand if you have, in fact, actually screamed it.) Especially when we’re teenagers, we tend to push back on the people, places, and things that control and hold authority over us. But here’s the catch: whether we admit it or not, we’ve all given someone (or something) control of our lives. In this 4-week series, you’ll challenge students to consider who, or what, they’ve allowed to be their boss. Because whether it’s the god of me, the god of stuff, the god of worry, or the god of obsession, we all know what it’s like to have an authority problem.

March 6
Ash Wednesday Service
6:00 in the Sanctuary
No FirstYouth Service
We look forward to seeing you in church with your family!

March 13
Middle School will be assembling Blessing Bags
Courtney Eddington will be giving her testimony to High School

March 20
Spring Break
No FirstYouth

March 27
This week, we’ll look at the story of God giving the Ten Commandments and an encounter between James, John, and Jesus as you challenge students to see the problems with being their own "boss."
• THE BIG IDEA: We defeat the god of me by giving up our seat.
• THE BIBLE: Exodus 20:1-3; Mark 10:35-45; Matthew 16:24-25

April 3
This week, we’ll look at the story of a man who asked Jesus to side with him in a fight with his brother over their dad's stuff as you encourage students to never let their stuff be the "boss" of them.
• THE BIG IDEA: We defeat the god of stuff by letting go of our things.
•  THE BIBLE: Exodus 20:1-3, 32:1-4; Luke 12:13-34; Matthew 16:24-2
April 10
This week, we’ll look at a portion of The Sermon on the Mount as you help students see how they've allowed their worries to be their "boss," rather than putting God first.
• THE BIG IDEA: We defeat the god of worry by seeking God first.
• THE BIBLE: Exodus 20:1-3; Matthew 6:25-34 I Peter 5:7

April 17
This week, we’ll help students see that the greatest friendship we can ever build is our friendship with God, who is with us through every difficulty.
• THE BIG IDEA: We defeat the god of obsession by shifting our attention.
• THE BIBLE: Matthew 6:21-23; Exodus 20:1-3 I Corinthians 10:23; Matthew 22:37

April 24
One Tree Night at Chastain Chapel in Tumbling Shoals

If your teen needs a ride - be at FUMC by 5:00. You can pick your teens up at Chastain Chapel at 8:00 or the FUMC bus will bring them home.

May 1
Last FirstYouth of the Spring Semester


What your students are learning in Sunday School:


March 3: Coming up Empty: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18

To Know:  Fulfillment in life cannot be found in the things of this world.
To Think: Be conscious of the fact that earthly pursuits do not bring meaning and happiness.
To Do:  Pursue meaning through knowing and following God.

March  10: Chasing the Wind: Ecclesiastes 2:1-26
To Know: Self-indulgent living does not provide lasting peace and fulfillment.
To Think: Always be mindful that self-indulgent choices leave us empty and disappointment.
To Do: Seek to please God, enjoying the blessings that come from walking with Him.

March  17: When More Isn't Enough: Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:12
To Know: We find no satisfaction in constantly striving for more money and possessions.
To Think: Keep in mind that apart from God, money and possessions do not satisfy. 
To Do: Make knowing God my highest priority and be content with what I have.

March  24: Wisdom! What's it Good for?: Ecclesiastes 9:7-18
To Know:  Wisdom helps us live for God, enjoying His blessings.
To Think: I will allow God's wisdom to guide my decisions and actions.
To Do: Live wisely, enjoying God's blessings and making the most of our time.

March  31: What's the Point?: Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:14
To Know: We should live each day remembering we are accountable to our creator.
To Think: Let awareness of the coming judgment motivate me to love and obey God.
To Do: Have proper reverence for God and obey His Word each day.

Why Social Media is Not Smart for Middle School Kids

By: Victoria L. Dunckley M.D in Psychology Today
I really love middle school kids. I have two of them! If you have been through middle-school parenting, you may have noticed what I see: Strange things seem to happen to a tween’s brain the first day they walk into middle school.

One might sum up their main goals in life this way:

To be funny at all costs. (Hence, the silly bathroom jokes, talking at inappropriate times in class, and the “anything it takes to be popular” attitude.)

To focus on SELF — their clothes, their nose, their body, and their hair.

To try new things. They are playing “dress up” with their identity, trying on things to see what fits. They are impulsive and scattered, they are up and they are down, and it even seems that they have regressed in their development on their quest for independence.

As the parent, you are changing, too, as you enter the stage of parenting when you quickly depart from the naïve platform of “My child would never…” to the realization that, “I’m sure my child did that. I’m sorry, and please excuse his behavior, he is going through a phase.”

Your list of daily parenting instruction may include statements like:
"If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!"
"How many times do I have to tell you not the use that word?"
"Stop flipping that bottle!"
"Stop burping the ABC’s!"
"You’re acting like a 2-year-old."
"What were you thinking?"

Then it happens: Maybe because we are exhausted from their constant begging for a phone, or because we think that all their friends have one, or because we want to upgrade ours to the latest model…we cave. We act on impulse. Our brain seems to regress like theirs, and we give them our old smartphone.

And with that one little decision comes the world of social media access—something we haven’t thought about and something none of us is prepared for. Because the midbrain is reorganizing itself and risk-taking is high and impulse control is low, I can’t imagine a worse time in a child’s life to have access to social media than middle school. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Social media was not designed for them. A tween's underdeveloped frontal cortex can’t manage the distraction nor the temptations that come with social media use. While you start teaching responsible use of tech now, know that you will not be able to teach the maturity that social media requires. Like trying to make clothes fit that are way too big, they will use social media inappropriately until they are older and it fits them better.

  • Social media is an entertainment technology. It does not make your child smarter or more prepared for real life or a future job; nor is it necessary for healthy social development. It is pure entertainment attached to a marketing platform extracting bits and pieces of personal information and preferences from your child every time they use it, not to mention hours of their time and attention.

  • A tween's “more is better” mentality is a dangerous match for social media. Do they really have 1,456 friends? Do they really need to be on it nine hours a day? Social media allows (and encourages) them to overdo their friend connections like they tend to overdo other things in their lives.

  • Social media is an addictive form of screen entertainment. And, like video game addiction, early use can set up future addiction patterns and habits.

  • Social media replaces learning the hard social "work" of dealing face-to-face with peers, a skill that they will need to practice to be successful in real life.

  • Social media can cause teens to lose connection with family and instead view “friends” as their foundation. Since the cognitive brain is still being formed, the need for your teen to be attached to your family is just as important now as when they were younger. Make sure that attachment is strong. While they need attachments to their friends, they need healthy family attachment more.

  • Social media use represents lost potential for teens. While one can argue that there are certain benefits of social media for teens, the costs are very high during the teen years when their brain development is operating at peak performance for learning new things. It is easy for teens to waste too much of their time and too much of their brain in a digital world. We know from many studies that it is nearly impossible for them to balance it all.


How Can Kids Slow Down?


First, we need to slow down and rethink what we are allowing our kids to do. We need to understand the world of social media and how teens use it differently from adults. Here are a few tips that work well for many parents.

  • Delay access. The longer parents delay access, the more time a child will have to mature so that he or she can use technology more wisely as a young adult. Delaying access also places a greater importance on developing personal authentic relationships first.


  • Follow their accounts. Social media privacy is a lie: Nothing is private in the digital world, and so it should not be private to parents. Make sure privacy settings are in place but know that those settings can give you a false sense of security. Encourage your teen to have private conversations in person or via a verbal phone call instead if they don’t want you to read it on social media.

  • Create family accounts. Create family accounts instead of individual teen accounts. This allows kids to keep up with friends in a safer social media environment.

  • Allow social media only on large screens. Allow your teens to only use their social media accounts on home computers or laptops in plain view, this way they will use it less. When it is used on a small private phone screen they can put in their pocket there are more potential problems with reckless use. The more secret the access, the more potential for bad choices.

  • Keep a sharp eye on the clock; they will not. Do you know how much time your child spends on social media a day? Be aware of this, and reduce the amount of time your child is on social media across all platforms. The average teen spends nine hours a day connected to social media. Instead, set one time each day for three days a week for your child to check their social media. Do they benefit from more time than that?


  • Plan face-to-face time with their friends. Remember that they don’t need 842 friends; four-to-six close friends are enough for healthy social development. Help them learn how to plan real, in-person, social get-togethers such as a leave-phones-at-the-door party, a home movie night, bowling, board games, cooking pizza, or hosting a bonfire. They crave these social gatherings so encourage them to invite friends over and help them (as needed) to organize the event.

  • Spend more real non-tech time together. Teens who are strongly attached to their parents and family show more overall happiness and success in life. They still need us now more than ever. It is easy to detach from them: Teens can be annoying! But attaching to family allows them to detach from the social media drama. Your child needs to feel like they can come home and leave the drama of their social world behind for a few hours. They want you to help them say no to social media and yes to more time with the family. They are craving those moments to disconnect, so make plans and encourage this at home.

Don’t give that smartphone all the power in your home; help tweens choose healthier forms of entertainment. They have the rest of their life to be entertained by social media, but only a limited time with you.


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 :)

Donna Redding
Assistant Youth Director
Cell: (501) 951-3605

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