September/some of October Update!

Hello wonderful, wonderful people!
These past few weeks have been really good emotionally, spiritually, and relationship(ally)?September was a blast. Focus at UTA had our Fall Camp out at Mt. Lebanon, and so many students learned new ways to worship, think about community in Christ, and develop friendships within each Core. Here's everyone together!

Only a few of our girls in core came to fall camp, but the ones who did had an incredible experience and have been sticking around more and diving deeper into our vision for community and Jesus-based discipleship. 
have a fun story to share about core that's also Good News! We average about 9 girls a week in our core, and they can be pretty quiet and shy at times. My co-leader, Zoe, and I have been racking our brains about how to help these girls break out of their shells more. So we heard of this activity another core did a few weeks ago: Chubby Bunny Bible Style. Essentially, I asked the girls to pull up their favorite Bible Verse on their phone or Bible, and then stuff their faces with marshmallows. Then they had to say the verse, and the rest of us had to guess what she was trying to say. And it worked! All the girls did it, even the ones who never speak in core, and we were all laughing and having a grand ol'e time. After that, the girls were much more engaged in the lesson Zoe and I prepped for them. It was really freeing seeing these girls let go of the fear of what others might think of them and just have fun and be a kid again. And I call that a win, Below is a photo of my friend and co-worker, Emily Spencer, doing said activity. Then there's a picture of me and my core from Fall Camp!

Something that's also an exciting update is that I get to give a sermon this week at our large group fellowship night. For those of you who are new to my team this year, I was in a pastoral training program last year, and one of my many classes was teaching us how to write a sermon and preach. I then preached three times last year, and it was eye-opening on how much work going into it. I now have a better understanding on how a pastor's sermon can be really rewarding for them as much (maybe even more so) as the people they preach/teach the sermon to. This week, I will be talking about Forgiveness. We are doing a sermon series on "What does it mean to be a Christian?" So my title is, "To be a Christian means to Forgive as you have been forgiven." It's going to step on some toes, but I'm also positive that it is filled with immense hope and restoration. My three points are: Forgiveness isn't a suggestion: it's a command, there is joy on the other side of obedience, and God is a God of restoration. If you could be praying that these students have open hearts to hear what God has been putting on my heart for some time now, I would be the most appreciative. 

Prayer Requests:
  • Praise report: I was having a difficult time emotionally in August, and these past few weeks have been really great! I talked through what I needed to with mentors and took everything to God. Sometimes it's easy to forget that God already knows how I'm doing even better than I do and that I shouldn't be hesitant to go to him with everything. Can you relate to that?
  • Prayers for this sermon I'll be giving. That if I say anything that isn't good, that those words will fall on deaf ears. Prayers that these students really hear how important pure and complete forgiveness is. 
  • Please pray that my core continues to open up with one another so that we can dive into deeper conversations together. 
  • I've mentioned this before, and it may just continue to be a prayer request on here. My back and left knee have been acting up again. I know this is from my scoliosis, so I've been doing as much as I can to subside the pain: working out, stretching, drinking water, more stretching, and going to the chiropractor. That helps for sure, but prayer is always the #1 thing to do, and the more the merrier, right? 
Thank you for taking the time to hear about ministry and my life. Y'all are my partners, and I would love to catch up and hear more about what's going on in YOUR life! 

You're all rockstars!
With love,
Emily Turner 


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