• Let nothing upset you,
    Let nothing startle you.
    All things pass;
    God does not change.
    Patience wins all it seeks.
    Whoever has God lacks nothing:
    God alone is enough.

    --St. Teresa of Avila

  • Upcoming Events!

    Wednesdays
    Midweek
    7:00 - 9:00 pm

    Friday, January 25
    Board Game Night
    7:00 - 9:00 pm

    Friday, February 1
    Youth Family Potluck Dinner
    6:30 - 8:00 pm

    Sunday, February 3
    Youth Led Worship Rehearsal
    12:30 - 2:30 pm

    Saturday, February 9
    Youth Led Worship Dress Rehearsal
    11:00 - 1:00 pm

    Sunday,February 10
    Youth Led Worship
    8:30, 9:30, 11:00 am

Midweek starts Jan 9

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Midweek starts up again for the New Year on January 9. Come eat some snacks and join in for what’s sure to be an interesting discussion. All High School students are invited.

For the month of January we’ll be meeting at Katie and Sam Pastor’s house (1508 Hardouin Ave, 78703).

 

Bowling this SUNDAY Jan 6

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This Sunday afternoon from 4:00 – 6:00 we will be meeting at Dart Bowl (5700 Grover Avenue, 78756) to ring in the new year with some bowling! Cost is $15. Make sure to wear socks! Drop off and Pick up will be at Dart Bowl.

We are looking for a few parents to join us for the afternoon! Call David at (713) 492-4715 or emaildavid@tarrytownumc.org

Christmas EXTRAVAGANZA this FRIDAY

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Click Here to Register for this event!

Mark your calendars for December 21st!

This Friday, we are going to celebrate the end of the school year by trying to cram as much fun into a single evening as humanly possible! Meet us at Blazer Tag at 7:00 pm for a few games of laser tag and some pizza. Afterwards, we’ll head over to Jump Street in Cedar Park for a couple hours of trampoline dodgeball–and more!

Please register for this event! We need to have an accurate headcount to assure we reserve enough spots for Lasertag as well as make sure we have enough seats to move from Blazertag to Jumpstreet. If you do not register for the event, there is a chance you won’t be able to participate.

Please bring a friend! If you plan on bringing someone, make sure that you register for them too!

Cost for event: $55.00 to play and eat. Please pay with cash or check, before or at the start of the event. Pickup will be at the church (Fellowship Hall side) at Midnight.

MEET US HERE! Blazer Tag: 1701 West Ben White Boulevard Austin, TX 78704

PICK UP HERE! Tarrytown UMC: 2601 Exposition Boulevard Austin, TX 78703

Any Questions? Call David at (713) 492-4715 or email david@tarrytownumc.org

The Joyful Anticipation Deepens

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I want you to visualize something. Let’s say you’re going someplace and you know you’re going to end up waiting in line for an hour. Do you bring:

a) music and headphones
b) something to read
c) a crossword or Sudoku puzzle
d) all of the above on your smart phone
e) none of the above because you want to focus on waiting in line

I bet you didn’t choose the last one. Most people don’t like to wait. Instead, we try to find productive things to fill that time with. Our culture tells us that waiting is bad and a waste of time. While waiting, you could catch up on your email, finish that homework assignment, or read that important article. Have you ever checked your email while waiting for a traffic light to turn green?

We live in a culture of immediate gratification, and it’s easy for us to get impatient when things don’t happen the immediate second that we want them to. Have you ever complained to someone because a website took thirty seconds longer than normal to load?

Unfortunately for most of us, Advent is all about waiting. It’s the time of the year when the church tells us to “slow down and expectantly wait” while the rest of the world wants us to speed up and get busy with finals, shopping, parties, travel, etc. And it’s not the kind of waiting where you can distract yourself by playing on your phone. No way. This is the kind of waiting where you don’t distract yourself with anything and instead focus on the fact that you’re waiting. Its answer “E” on our little quiz from earlier.

Advent is the time of the year where Christians practice the discipline of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the coming of the Messiah. This works on two separate levels. It gives us an opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, while simultaneously reminding us to be alert for Jesus’ Second Coming.

Paul talks about “expectant waiting” in Romans 8: 15-28(MSG):

“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”

“[…] the created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Counter to what our culture tells us, waiting doesn’t have to be a waste of time. Whether we’re waiting for the Second Coming, or for a movie to start, Advent serves as a reminder to us not to be impatient when we wait, but to be adventurously expectant, full of joyful anticipation for whatever God has in store for us next!

Patience is the act of practicing awareness while you wait. It’s being content with the fact that God is in control, and he has his own timetable. Next time you find yourself waiting (perhaps in a line or in traffic), rather than looking for something to distract yourself with, put your phone back in your pocket and look for God.  Allow yourself to become aware of his presence. Take some deep, slow breaths. Relax your shoulders. Pray to him. Maybe God has something to tell you, or maybe he just wants you to sit still with him for a few moments.

As Paul said, “waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.” And the moment we get tired of waiting, God is right there with us, helping provide patience through his spirit. This Advent, don’t join in with the rest of the world as it speeds up and gets stressed out. Instead, slow down and take some deep breaths. Give up control. Allow yourself to become adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”

Peace,

Nathan Strange
Director of Middle School Youth
Lead Creative for Student Ministries

Sunday Afternoon at the Movies!

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Let’s go see a movie!

This Sunday afternoon, in lieu of Sports & Games, we’re going to all go check out the new film, “Life of Pi” at 4:20 at the Anderson Lane Alamo Drafthouse. Tickets are $11 and can be purchased online.

We ask that all youth be dropped off at the movie theater at 4:00 so we can all sit together. The film is 120 minutes long, so we will be finished at 6:30. Bring money for dinner, and we’ll eat during the movie! (You HAVE to try one of their $5 milkshakes!!)

We are looking for Adults to come as well. Please emailDavid for more info.

Giving the Perfect Gift

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Do you know why we give gifts on Christmas?

Most people would say it’s because of the wise men who gave Jesus some gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We give gifts to honor those gifts given to Jesus as well as the gift he gave the world.

While that’s a great answer, it’s not entirely accurate. The tradition of gift giving actually dates back to several ancient, pagan festivals celebrating the winter solstice. The most prominent of these (and probably the one that most affected our celebration of Christmas) is the Roman festival “Saturnalia,” which honored the god Saturn, and included feasting, candle-lighting, caroling, and gift giving.

In fact it was this influence by a pagan festival that caused Catholic church to outlaw the practice of gift giving during the middle ages and led some puritans to ban Christmas all together.

And it gets worse. Before the 20th century, gift giving was much simpler, less materialist, and not nearly as integral a part of the Christmas season. In early Victorian times, you’d traditionally only receive a few gifts; culturally, the main point of the holiday was to spend time with your loved ones. It wasn’t until the 20th century that consumer culture got it’s hands on Christmas and turned Santa into a billion dollar industry.

Because of all of these things, many Christians discourage the act of giving gifts on Christmas. Many more still give presents but feel guilty about all the money they’ve spent. Is there a healthy middle ground?

Have you ever given someone the perfect gift? You know the kind; that one gift that they didn’t ask for, but because you know them so well, you know they’re going to absolutely love it? And then, when they get the gift, not only are they excited about it, but they’re in deep awe that you knew them well enough to know exactly what they wanted before they did?

What did it feel like to give that gift? Now take that feeling and magnify it by infinity, and I think that’s what it must feel like to be God.

Psalm 139:2-4, 15-16 (MSG) says:

“I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.

[…] You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.”

God knows exactly what you need in life, even better than you. This includes the ultimate gift of God’s grace, but also common little things: a beautiful day, friends and family, a special talent, that song on the radio that played at the exact moment that you needed to hear it. Even trials and tribulations, which at first can seem like the exact opposite of a gift, can over time transform into a mighty blessing.

As the Advent season gets underway, and people start making Christmas lists and buying each other gifts, don’t let yourself get caught up in the consumerism; instead use God’s example when buying gifts. You’ll be able to spend less, and hopefully give gifts that have much more meaning and let the recipient know that they are loved. And isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

Peace,

Nathan Strange
Director of Middle School Youth
Lead Creative for Student Ministries

Are you part of the Advent Conspiracy?

[AC] 2012 Promo – Basic from Advent Conspiracy on Vimeo.