Ministry Blog for September



Hey Everyone!

It’s been such a busy but amazing month of ministry at SMU. We’ve really gotten into the swing of things here and have been enjoying a really sweet time of forming deeper friendships in the community and growing our leaders. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for your support of our mission of making and maturing disciples here!!



Explore Dallas Day

We started off this month with a super fun outreach event called Explore Dallas Day! On Labor Day, we invited students to join us to go and explore downtown Dallas to get to know the city and connect with each other. It was such a fun time!! A group of about 20 students carpooled from SMU campus and went to Klyde Warren Park to eat at the food trucks and toss a frisbee around. We also walked to see different sculptures in the middle of Dallas, which was a bonding experience as we explored the areas along the way. I got to connect with two girls, Anna and Reese, who had started coming to my core the week before; it was so sweet getting to know them better and building memories as we shared this experience! After the event, we saw so many of the people who joined us come back for our small groups and large group fellowship, which was really encouraging. 

Our Explore Dallas Day group (with some wacky lighting)    

Some of my sweet friends that came!


One-on-One Ministry

Another cool thing that we started in September was our one-on-one bible studies, which we call FOJ (Focus on Jesus). It is a curriculum that we take new people in our community through that leads both people through the biblical story and helps us see our place in it. We read chunks of scripture together and are challenged to think through how it affects our lives, which is so important for our spiritual growth. I’ve been able to start studying with Anna and Reese, the two girls that came to Explore Dallas Day, and then with Helena and Melanie, who have been so consistent in our community already. 

The beginning pages of our FOJ study 


It has been so sweet to get to know them all individually and learn more about their spiritual walk so far in their lives. We have challenged and encouraged each other through what each of us has on our plates. I especially have loved getting to challenge Helena and Melanie in their growth as leaders in the community since they both came from leadership positions in their youth groups. I’m so excited to see what God has in store for these girls!



Girl’s Night

One other weekly activity that we have is what we call girl’s night. Every Friday evening, we invite all the girls in our community to come together and eat dinner and then have a fun bonding activity, such as playing board games or watching a movie as a group.


One of our girl's nights where we played Jackbox games and had an ice cream bar

This consistent time accomplishes two goals: one, it gives the girls who are involved in FOCUS the opportunity to meet others who aren’t in the same small groups and to create a deeper connection to each other. Two, It grants us the opportunity to invite girls who wouldn’t normally come to a small group to be a part of the community and start building friendships with the girls already involved. Our hope is that these girls get to grow relationships that affect them and point them towards Christ. For one of our most recent girl’s nights, I got to invite a freshman I met at the beginning of the year who wasn’t interested in joining FOCUS and she ended up coming! She even came early to help me bake a cake and set everything up and then stayed the whole evening. I’m praying that she continues to come and build cool friendships with these girls and gets to see the love of Jesus through them! 



Classes 

I’ve loved all of my Apprentice classes this past month. So far, I have been taking Old Testament Foundations, Spiritual Leadership, Spiritual Formation, and Financial Stewardship. Through all of these classes, I see myself being shaped little by little to think and look more like Jesus, which is such an encouraging process. One of my favorite exercises we did for my Spiritual Formation class was a Lectio Divina, which is a traditional practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word. We were pushed to do it every day and then share about it with the other Apprentices. I got to see God use scripture to speak to specific situations in my life through Mark 10:46-52 and even wrote a song about that passage! I felt much more connected to God and His Spirit through this practice. Thank you again for investing in this process of building a strong foundation for my spiritual growth and leadership; I am so blessed to be able to grow and be pushed in these ways by my teachers and staff members.



Prayer Requests

-I would love prayer for the girls that I’m studying the Bible with! I want them to meet Jesus in a new way and grow to look even more like Him. 

-We have our fall retreat coming up soon! I would love prayers for our students to be motivated to go to get to build deeper friendships and connect with God out in nature.

Thank you again for your love and support,

Siena




Comments

  1. Thanks for the update. I'm happy to hear about the work you've been doing and about your walk with the Lord.

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