FirstCovGR Student News (10/16)

by Josh Hinken on October 16, 2023

Hello Students and Adults!

Thanks for checking out our student news! This is a one-stop for all things student ministry at FirstCovGR. We appreciate you hangin' out with us and for all the support. Check out the rest of our student news to hear about upcoming events!


Our BLAZE and RADIATE leaders are awesome! For the next few weeks, we would like to highlight our leaders for you. Our leader spotlight this week contains Alex Thelen and Daniel Quakenbush. We are so glad they are on our team and that they love our students! Click on the “Leader Spotlight” PDF below to read their full bio.


What is BLAZE? BLAZE is a community of 6th-8th graders that meet every Wednesday evening at FirstCov. We gather to seek God and to be changed by him. We will focus on the word of God through the reading and teaching of scripture, prayer, worship, service, life groups, and some super fun games!

Wednesday, October 18: BLAZE SERVE. Take a look at the details:

  • WHO? Middle schoolers (6th-8th graders) and their friends are invited!
  • WHAT? Join us for a SERVE night! We will be heading out into the Grand Rapids community to serve with ICCF. Inner City Christian Federation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work towards vibrant communities in West Michigan with connected neighbors, housing justice, and abundant opportunity--all people deserve safe, clean, affordable housing. We will spend the night cleaning up one of their affordable houses here on the West Side. We will be pulling carpet staples as well as helping with some yard work. Make sure to wear close-toed shoes!
  • WHERE? Meet in the GYM at FirstCovGR at 6:20p. We will leave promptly at 6:30p to load the bus and head out! Pick up will be at FirstCovGR at 8:00p.
  • WHEN? THIS Wednesday, October 18 from 6:30-8p!

Take a look at our Sunday learning opportunities:

  • ABIDE 67: 6th & 7th graders are invited to build community, practice spiritual devotion, and learn what it means to abide in the presence of God. This week, join us for our continual conversation on the Lord's Prayer! Meet in room 112.
  • Confirmation: 8th graders are invited to join our confirmation and discipleship class. This week, join Lauren Abrell as she teaches on session 4 (humanity)! Meet in room 109.

SAVE THE DATE: Our Junior High retreat is coming up at Portage Lake Bible Camp from November 10-12!

  • Who? 6th-8th graders & their friends, teammates, classmates, cousins, etc.
  • What? Junior High Fall Retreat - come hang out with us for a weekend of real fun, real faith, and good friends!
  • Where? Portage Lake Bible Camp. We will take the church bus to and from camp!
  • When? Nov. 10-12, 2023
  • Cost? $130 - We accept cash, checks (made out to FECC or PLCBC), or online payment through your registration form. We are asking that all payments be made by Friday, November 10! If there are any financial concerns, we do have scholarships available! Please contact Lauren Abrell to learn more.
  • Registration: Sign up HERE or talk to Lauren! Please register by November 1!


What is RADIATE? RADIATE is a community of 9th-12th graders who gather to seek God and to be changed by him. We will focus on the word of God through the reading and teaching of scripture, prayer, worship, life groups, and some super fun games! We meet every Sunday evening at FirstCovGR.

Sunday, October 22: RADIATE COMMUNITY NIGHT. Take a look at the details:

  • WHO? High schoolers (9th-12th graders) and their friends.
  • WHAT? On this night, we will split our group by gender for some community building and team bonding! Your life group leader will be in touch as far as what your gender will be doing/where you will be going - it is going to be a blast! Be sure to stay curious!!  If you have any questions, talk to Josh or Lauren.
  • WHERE? Meet at FirstCovGR.
  • WHEN? THIS SUNDAY, October 22 from 6-8p.

Our LEVEL UP - SENIORS are meeting at Uccello's (4787 Lake Michigan Dr) THIS Sunday at 4p.

  • LEVEL UP - SENIORS is a place for high school seniors to explore what to future looks like for them after graduation. We will talk about what it looks like to make their faith their own, options for the future (college, career, gap year, etc.), and ways to prepare for the transition ahead. This year, we will be going through the book Before You Go: Following Jesus and Growing in Your Faith After High School by Gerald Fadayomi. We will also be pairing our high school seniors with different mentors around church who will keep in touch throughout graduation and the year to follow. We are looking forward to these conversations! Contact Josh Hinken or Lauren Abrell with any questions.

4-D is back on Sunday mornings! High schoolers are invited to join Patty Hansma from 9-10:15a in room 224. Come eat some donuts and study the power of stories with us!


Are you in a sport, band, choir, school musical, and/or something else that we can cheer you on at? Send us your schedules! Our leaders would love to come and support you! Send any schedules/details to Lauren Abrell at (630)750-6458 OR .


Please note that you must have a FirstCovGR Student Registration/Waiver for the 2023-24 school year submitted in order to participate in FirstCovGR's student ministry events. Please fill out THIS form. We need one form per student.


We are super excited to walk alongside you, your student, and your family this year! We believe that what we do in student ministry is important when it comes alongside what you already do at home. In order to bridge the gap between home and church, the two must not only encourage one another, but they must work together. We hope to use this section of our newsletter to provide you with resources to use at home as well as to share opportunities to get involved at church with your student(s). Our student ministry team is very excited about partnering with you!


  • Our team loves the resources that Fuller Youth Institute provides. Fuller Youth Institute is a branch of Fuller Theological Seminary that has paved the way for youth ministry and intergenerational discipleship. They have a whole library filled with books, articles, podcasts, and more that are directly for parents. Check out THIS link to find out more about it.


  • We are also looking for parents, ministry teams, and other volunteers to host OR or provide a meal for our Middle School Bro/Gal Nights. Here are some dates we are still looking for:
  • Provide a meal on Wednesday, Nov. 1 for our gals
  • Host our gals on Wednesday, Dec. 6
  • Provide a meal on Wednesday, Dec. 6 for our bros
  • Please fill out THIS link if you are interested. We appreciate your gift of hospitality!


  • Join our Facebook group: FirstCovGR Youth Group. We often post about upcoming Middle and High School events, post ETAs when we have group outings, and upload lots of pictures to this page!
  • Follow us on Instagram @firstcovgr_ms & @firstcovgr_sh
  • Check out our High School LinkTree:
  • Want to find out more about our student ministry? Click HERE to visit our website!


Our team would love to connect with you! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Josh, Michelle, or Lauren via phone call, text, email, or office visit. We are looking forward to partnering with you this year!

YAY! You successfully made it to the end - thanks or reading and being diligent will all the details. Looking forward to seeing you all so soon!

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