Dear First Pres,

   This is my second time as a Summer Staffer with FPC, and it has been a completely different experience. A lot of things have changed since the summer of 2016 when I last worked here. I am working with 4th-6th graders instead of High School; I am working in a team of three instead of two, and the content we bring to elementary children is on a different level than content for high school students, and rightly so! Not only are my job details different, I am also in a different place this summer. I am out of college, engaged to a wonderful woman, and feel called into youth ministry and seeking what that might look like.
   That is a lot of change! My life looks significantly different than it did just last year, let alone the summer of 2016. The thing that has not changed my entire life is my God. He is still calling me to run to Him. He still wants to show me more of who He is and how He is working in me to be more like His Son. I still have a lot of growing ahead of me, but I have a different focus this summer.
   Colossians 3:1-3 talks about where our focus should be. "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."(NIV) This summer, by God's grace alone, I have been more focused on "things above" as I speak with others about who God is and what He has done for us. I treat my family differently as I live with them again. I am free to be encouraging, trusting, and joyful with them because my life is not defined by my interactions with others. It is defined solely by God's call on me and the worth that I have in Christ.

Stephen Goodale
Elementary Summer Staffer