About Steve Cullum

RCC Student Minister

Summer at RCC

We are really excited about this summer at RCC! We’ll have some events for all ages, and we look forward to seeing you and your “ones!” Check out the calendar below, print one off for your fridge, keep it handy, share it with others, and make sure you show up for some fun!!

All of the events are designed for the entire family. So, yes, students should bring their parents!

Camp Create is back this year. If you have not yet signed up your elementary-age child to attend, do so today before we are all filled up! You can find more information by clicking here! If you are a teenager and would like to serve as a leader, please contact Amy Snyder today.

Our Summer Kick-Off will be at Field of Dreams from 4:00-8:00 PM, which will include life-size board games, competitions, and food. We’ll wrap up the evening with some outdoor worship time starting at 6:00, including a band full of RCC students and adults. We’ll also have a brief Gospel message especially designed to help your “ones” understand Jesus. The event is completely FREE. We’ll be providing some main dishes, but we are asking that if your last name starts with A-I, bring desserts; H-Q, bring chips; and R-Z, bring sides and salads. Click here to RSVP.

Each of the Student Ministry Worship Nights are from 6:00-8:00 PM at RCC, and they are designed for both 6-12th graders AND parents! We’ll also have some food, games, music, and a Gospel-centered message each night. Again, these events are free, but we will have a donation box for those who want to help out with the cost of food and other expenses (like the band we have booked on August 6).

Our annual family camping trip is something many families look forward to attending each year. For more information on how to sign up, contact Amy Snyder today!

We’ll be providing more details soon regarding the exact time and location for our Fall Kick-Off event. For now, mark your calendars!

 

RCC Students: What’s Coming Up? (May 2017)

May is almost here, which means the end of school is near! Students everywhere are probably rejoicing, but you parents aren’t as excited. No matter where you fall, we’ve got some exciting things happening around RCC this May around RCC!

The Middle will be wrapping up their “Relationship Goals” series on May 10. After that, instead of another series, we’ll have two stand-alone weeks for The Middle. On May 17, one of our high school seniors will be bringing a message all about what Jesus says are the greatest commandments. The next week, May 24, we’ll be doing a big Q&A night all about the questions that have been submitted over the last several weeks. On May 31, we’ll wrap up The Middle for the 2016-2017 school year by having a big party to celebrate. More details on this very soon!

High School will begin a new series on May 7, which will be led entirely by our seniors. Four of the graduating seniors will be bringing their own message on May 7, May 21, May 28, and June 7. We will take off the night of May 14, though, due to Mother’s Day. Looking forward, we’ll wrap up the school year for high school with a party on June 11.

This summer is going to be a big one, too! Here’s a quick preview of the calendar, but we’ll share more in the near future!

  • June 26-30 — Camp Create (all students invited to volunteer)
  • July 2 — Summer Kick-Off Event at Field of Dreams in Salem
  • July 9-15 — workcampNE Mission Trip (for current 8th graders and older)
  • July 23 — Student Worship Night (for all 6-12th graders & parents)
  • August 6 — Student Worship Night (for all 6-12th graders & parents)
  • August 20 — Student Worship Night (for all 6-12th graders & parents)

We will most likely add a couple more events and trips to our summer calendar, so stay tuned. But for now, make sure these dates are on your own calendars!

RCC Students: What’s Coming Up? (April 2017)

Happy Spring, everyone! As we turn our focus to Easter and the upcoming end up the school year, here is a quick run-down of what’s coming up in the world of RCC Student Ministries… (Warning, it’s kind of a lot!)

The Middle (5-8th grade) will continue their “All-Access” series through April 12. This series, which we started last Wednesday, is preparing us for Easter, as we discuss how Jesus has given us all-acess to God.

High School (9-12th grade) will finish up their current series, “Lenses,” on April 2. It’s been great to talk about some deep and serious stuff over the past several weeks, as we how we should approach our future, social issues, and other big stuff going on around us.

April 8 is the Worth It Conference. All students and parents are invited to join us for this one-day event that will help us remain pure in our dating (or future dating) relationships. In addition to local ministers and youth leaders, there will also be several professional athletes there to share their stories! Sign up online today!

On Sunday night, April 9, all high school students are heading over to Park Place Lanes for a night of bowling & pizza! The cost is only $15, so invite your friends and maybe even volunteer to take care of their cost! This will be in place of our usual high school ministry, so do not come to RCC. Instead, bring your money and friends, and meet us at the bowling alley!

RCC is hosting the Salem Community Easter Egg Hunt on April 15 at Soule School. Make sure you sign up to volunteer and invite your friends, family, and neighbors to the event!

On April 16, RCC’s Easter morning worship gathering at will be at Salem High School at 10:15 AM. Also, our high school ministry will not meet that night, due to Easter.

The Middle will start a new series on April 19 called “Relationship Goals.” This three-week series focuses on three different types of goals that should be set in relationships. We’ll talk about: What you do now affects your future; Guard your heart, value others, and be honest; and IF you want the right kind of person, you need to become the right kind of person. Even if you’re not even thinking about dating right now, these are great principles to put into place for all future relationships and friendships!

All 6-12th graders are invited to join us at the Salem Boys & Girls Club for an all-nighter on April 22-23 with several area churches. We’ll have tons of food, games, music, laser tag, dodgeball, basketball, swimming, and more! The cost is $20 per person, and there’s only space for 300 students, so sign up today!

Due to the all-nighter, high school will not meet on April 23. We’ll be back to our normal schedule on April 30, though! Also, you can start getting excited about May, because our seniors have a surprise for everyone!!

Due to NH school break, The Middle will not meet on April 26. We’ll be back to our normal schedule on May 3!

If you are in 8-12th grade and have not gotten your deposits in for our workcampNE mission trip yet, do so right away! Also, if you’re not yet in the workcamp team’s Facebook group, contact Steve today, so you can stay in the loop on all our fundraiser plans and deadlines.

Ok, you can breath now! I know it’s a lot! But rest assured, it’s all going to be great!!

RCC Students: What’s Coming Up? (March 2017)

Hey, all you 5-12th graders and parents! Here we are again with our monthly blog explaining what’s coming up in the world of RCC Student Ministries. We’ll cover the teaching series we’re doing for each program and upcoming events.

Game Night at The Middle (March 1)

New Hampshire students are on school vacation this week, so on Wednesday, March 1, we’re taking a break from our usual teaching and small groups at The Middle for a game night. Feel free to bring a snack to share and a game to play. We’ll have some time for you to play board/card games, but we’ll also have some large-group games. Be sure to invite your friends!

workcampNE Deadline extended to March 5

Officially, the deadline to sign up for workcampNE is today, February 28. However, a huge internet server issue has taken down the site we use for online registration. So, we’re extending the deadline (again) until March 5. Please sign up right as soon as you can. All current eighth graders through college students can sign up. The dates for this year’s trip are July 9-15, and we’ll be serving the community of Springfield, VT. If you have any questions, check out workcampNE’s website and last year’s recap video.

“Escape Room” Series at The Middle (March 8, 15, 22)

You’ve probably heard of escape rooms—you know, those places where you get locked in a room with your friends and then try to escape by solving puzzles and secret codes? Some people love them and can’t wait to solve the puzzles, while others count down the minutes until they’re over. Just like an escape room, we all handle difficult and painful situations differently… but often we look for some type of relief. Whatever it is, we all have a favorite distraction— something we get lost in. But the trouble is, these good and fun distractions sometimes lead to hurting others, hurting ourselves, or damaging our relationship with God. In this series, we’ll look at how to deal with difficult situations in our lives. As we do, we just might find that God’s inviting us to stop avoiding and escaping hard times, and instead, face our troubles head-on. And maybe we’ll see that through our struggles, God builds our character, provides us with comfort, and calls us to share that comfort with others.

“Lenses” Series at High School (February 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26, & April 2)

Our high school students are currently in a series called Lenses, which is all about worldviews. We all have a worldview, whether we have really thought about it or not. The real question is how do those views cause us to act? Specifically, we’re talking about how Christ-followers should view the world around them. Throughout the series, we’re going to tackle some pretty deep topics (things like college, dating, sexuality, abortion, stress, and terrorism) and discuss how Jesus wants us to approach them. We won’t always come away with exact answers, but we will provide a safe environment for healthy discussion to take place. This will take us right up to Palm Sunday, when we will head over to the bowling alley for a really fun night!


That’s it for this month. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

 

Deep Freeze 2017 Recap

This past weekend, RCC took 31 students and six adult leaders to Berea for our tenth Deep Freeze winter retreat. As always, it was a great time of fun, worship, bonding, and growing in our relationship with God. The main speaker this year was Lucas Ramirez, who is the Executive Director for The Gathering Place, a Christian leadership development organization that impacts over 12,000 students each year. The music was led by The Great Romance, a worship/rock band from the St. Louis, MO, area.

Throughout the weekend, our students engaged in four large group main sessions, where Lucas spoke on the weekend’s theme — Horizons. After an quick introduction on Friday night’s session, the other three covered internal, eternal, and visible horizons. Internal was all about who we follow determines who we are. Eternal was all about how the choices we make now impact eternity. Visible was all about how following Christ isn’t just about the exciting promise of heaven, but it’s about an adventure God wants us to live now.

Saturday also had a ton of games, free time, workshops, and food to fill out the time between the main sessions. Many of our students played paintball, went snow-tubing, met students from other churches, and played with some gl0w-in-the-dark paint. A group of our high schoolers even won the volleyball camp tournament! The workshops included topics from how to surround yourself with encouraging people to how to lead in your church, ministry, and school.

Of our 31 students, we had at least three who are considering baptism and many others who said they are ready to take their next steps with Jesus. It has also been great to watch our middle school students after Deep Freeze. They especially had a wonderful time bonding over the weekend, and you can clearly see its impact on our Wednesday night ministry!

Thanks to everyone who prayed for us and the many who helped make this weekend happen!!

Here is a quick video recap from the weekend. Enjoy!

 

RCC Students: What’s Coming Up? (February 2017)

Oh, February… The month of love! At least that’s what Hallmark tells us. It’s also another exciting month here in the RCC Student Ministries! Here’s a quick run-down of what we’re doing this month and a bit beyond…

Deep Freeze Winter Retreat 

Our winter retreat at Camp Berea is February 3-5. We already have 30 students signed up, and a few more are on the waiting list! It’s gong to be a great weekend of fun, connection, and worship! If you missed signing up, contact me right away, and I can add you to the waiting list.

Make sure you follow @rcc_students on Instagram this weekend, especially, as we will be posting photos and videos of the event all weekend long!

Please note that our high school ministry will NOT meet on Sunday, February 5, after we return from Deep Freeze. Take the night off. We do, however, encourage you to host a party at your home for “the big game,” and invite both your churched and non-churched friends. Then “pray for one,” and let God work!

Road Trip series at The Middle

Starting February 8, we’re starting a 3-week series called Road Trip. Aren’t road trips awesome? Whether it is to the beach or mountains or a family vacation, there’s just something about hitting the open road with your favorite snacks, good company, and the perfect playlist! Road trips are great adventures, but they are also times when the unexpected seems to happen.

Long before GPS, the Apostle Paul set out on a series of road trips, and just like us, he experienced some surprising and life-changing moments. During this series, we’ll dive into three of these turning points in Paul’s journey and see how they might apply to our lives.

Parents, click here for the Parent Cue for the Road Trip series.

Lenses series at High School

What lens do you use to look at the world around you? What impacts how you see things? As followers of Jesus, we’re called to live as He did, but sometimes that can get a bit confusing. Sometimes, we are left scratching our heads and wonder how Jesus would react to the issues of today.

Starting on February 12, we will start a series at our high school ministry simply called Lenses, where we will dive into worldviews and social issues. We’ll talk about many of the pressing topics of today and discuss how Jesus might handle it. This is a perfect time to come with questions. In fact, we are welcoming them with open arms. On our first night, we’ll provide the list of topics we’re planning to cover and give you a couple ways to submit your questions ahead of each week.

Parents, there will not be a Parent Cue for the Lenses series, but we will make sure to get the list of topics to you too. We highly encourage you to take the conversations home during this series!

workcampNE Mission Trip

Our mission trip with workcampNE is not until July 9-15, but sign-ups have already begun! The deadline for your application and $75 deposit is coming up on February 14. All current 8th graders through college students are invited, but we also want/need adults too!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me anytime. We would love to have you join us for this incredible service opportunity in Springfield, VT.

Click here to learn more and apply online.

Follow RCC Students on social media:

  • Facebook: facebook.com/rccstudents
  • Twitter: @rccstudents
  • Instagram: @rcc_students
  • Snapchat: rccstudents
  • YouTube: youtube.com/rccstudentministries

 

Don’t Let Doubt Keep You Out

This past Sunday was part three in our I’M IN series. First of all, I want to say how much I have enjoyed diving into these stories! Isn’t it great learning about how these everyday people had these amazing encounters with Jesus?

While Tom was out of town, I had the privilege of speaking about the Apostle Thomas and how Jesus helped him overcome doubt.

Doubt. It’s an interesting thing, isn’t it? It’s something we all deal with but we rarely discuss in the church. As I said in my message, I don’t think it should be like that. When Thomas doubted, the other disciples and Jesus embraced him. Shouldn’t we still do that today?

Through my research for the message, I came up with a few things that just couldn’t make it into the final draft. Much of it was a list of resources. So, I thought, hey, why not put them here on our blog!

If you’re struggling with doubt, here are the suggestions I talked about on Sunday and some resources and action steps to go along with them.

  1. Be honest. Make sure you acknowledge that you have doubts, but also pray about them. If you need guidance on how to pray about your doubts, consult the Psalms. David and other authors often cry out to God about their doubts.
  2. List all the things God has done. Think about everything He has done in your life and talk to others about the things He has done for them. If you journal, make it a regular part of what you write down about your day. And if you’re not regularly talking about “God-sightings” at home with your family, try to add it to your next dinner time.
  3. Look for the facts. Yes, faith is definitely faith, but historical facts can help us solidify our faith. The two histories most recommend are by Josephus and Tacitus. They are not Christian authors, but their historical records talk about things that the Bible also talks about, including Jesus. Be warned, as these are definitely not “light reads,” but they are good.
  4. Connect with others. Remember the disciples didn’t give up on Thomas. Just like the early church, we need to devote ourselves to God and each other. If you’re not in a Grow Group, Student group, or Kidz Rock group, make sure you get in one right away. Adults, contact Andy Glass, students can contact me, and children and parents of children can contact Amy Snyder.
  5. Be patient. Sometimes, it will take a while to get through it. Don’t give up. Not only do we need to be patient with ourselves, but we need to have patience for others who have doubt. Remember the “golden rule” as we help others deal with doubt.

If you’re the reading type, here are a few other books that can help you along your path:

If you have questions specifically about the Bible, you may want to check out this recent article by Bob Russell.

My prayer is that RCC will always be a place where you can be comfortable bringing your doubts. We all have them, so we might as well be honest with ourselves and help each other! If you have any questions or doubts you would like to talk about with one of us on staff or our elders, feel free to contact us or swing by the office!


To listen to the “Don’t Let Doubt Keep You Out” message online click here!

 

Join us for workcampNE 2017

workcampNE is a week-long service-based mission trip designed for high school students, college students, and adults. Not only will you connect with others, but you will reach out and serve people in need. Students and adults from several churches come together for a week of serving, worship, and connection. Projects include painting, roofing, deck building, cleaning, etc.

For an idea of what happens at workcampNE, check out the 2015 recap video.

Who can go? Any student currently in 8th grade through college and any adult.

What are the dates? July 9-15, 2017

Where are we going? Springfield, VT

What is the overall cost? $375 (Below are some guidelines to help you break it down each month. The only 2 we are strictly enforcing are the February 14 deposit and the May 22 final cost.)

  • February 14 – $75 (this locks you in as your non-refundable deposit)
  • March 15 – $100
  • April 19 – $100
  • May 22 – $100

We will do some fundraising to help with the cost. The are primarily to help students, who will most likely need more help with the cost than adults, but adults are definitely invited to join in as well. Below is a list of the fundraisers we are planning.

  • January 6, 13, 20, 27: Babysitting for Grow Electives (4-week classes at RCC) – This is optional, but each team member who helps will get approximately $75 to go to their trip (exact amount TBD).
  • Selling drinks at Easter Egg Hunts – This is an optional fundraiser, and all the funds raised will be split between those participating.
  • RCC’s Got Talent & Silent Auction (6-8 PM) (Time commitment is 5-9 PM @ RCC) – This event is required for everyone attending, and the primary purpose is to raise funds for our transportation. DATE: TBD.

In addition to paying what you can out of pocket and fundraising, we also encourage every team member to send letters to their friends and family in order to raise awareness of their trip. In this letter, you may also ask for financial support, but the main focus is prayer support. If you need a sample letter, please get in touch with me.

In order to attend workcampNE 2017, everyone will go through an application process, but the good news is that it is all online! Just click the link below and go through the process to register!

REGISTER ONLINE

Remember, the deadline to register and turn in your initial $75 is February 14, 2015 (pay online or via check made out to RCC).

To learn more about the workcampNE organization, head to their website at www.workcampne.com.

RCC Students: What’s Coming Up? (January 2017)

Happy 2017, everyone! I hope you had an awesome holiday break! High School starts back this Sunday, January 8, and The Middle starts back up on Wednesday, January 11. And while snow and cold weather are coming up for everyone, here is what is coming up specifically for the Student Ministries this month!

Before we jump into the big topic for this month, I wanted to quickly remind you that our Deep Freeze winter retreat at Berea is coming up on February 3-5. Those who have signed up, please get your final payment and paperwork into me by January 29. You can also make your payment online. Just head to the receipt you received in email when you registered. If you need me to send it to you again, just let me know!

Also, the applications are online for our summer mission trip with workcampNE (July 9-15, 2017). All current 8th graders through college students are invited to join us. Just click here or head to the event page in the RCC mobile app to sign up today. The deadline is February 14.

We’re starting a brand new series for High School and The Middle called, “I’M IN!” For all you parents, you to experience this series right alongside your students, because our Sunday morning worship will also be in this series throughout January! It’ll be a great time to come together on the same thing at the same time for all students and parents!

I’M IN Series Description: “Are you in?” It’s a question we all answer over and over again. When there’s a party, when our coach says it’s time for tryouts, when we’re offered a summer job, when our friends go to the movies, or when someone invites us to church, we all have the chance to decide if we’re “in” or “out” for that particular activity. Sometimes the answer is an easy, “Count me in!” Other times it’s tougher. There are good reasons on both sides. Some of Jesus’ friends were faced with the same decision of whether they were “in” or “out.” They had good reasons to join the Jesus movement, but they also had some pretty compelling reasons to step out—things like doubt, guilt, pride, and the fear of what they might miss. As we get to know these sometimes famous and devoted followers, we’ll talk about the decision they faced, why they could have walked away, and what led them to say, “I’m in.”

Each week, we’ll look at a different friend of Jesus at The Middle and High School Ministry. Here’s the plan, in case you want to read ahead:

  • Week 1: Mary Magdalene (Jan. 8 for High School; Jan. 11 for The Middle)
  • Week 2: James (Jan. 15 for High School; Jan. 18 for The Middle)
  • Week 3: Thomas (Jan. 22 for High School; Jan. 25 for The Middle)
  • Week 4: Matthew (Jan. 29 for High School; Feb. 1 for The Middle)

For all you parents, we’ve got another round of our Parent Cue for  you to use as you take the discussion home. We hope it can be a great resource to aid in conversations between your spouse, kids, and even extended family!

Next month, we’ll start into two different series with The Middle and High School. Our 5-8th graders will be in a 3-week series called “Road Trip,” all about the Apostle Paul. Meanwhile, our 9-12th graders will be doing a couple different things including a week all about college preparation and also begin a discussion-based series on social issues and the Bible (more on this in next month’s blog).