2007 PEBBLES FROM THE ROC ARTICLES

 

(JANUARY-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC   

What a joy it was to see the article in The Watertown Daily Times on December 2nd about our Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center (ROC) for Youth.  It was even a greater joy to read the quotes by teens who have attended THE ROC concerning how THE ROC has impacted them and their lives.  What, of course, did not show up in the article but far more important, is how the Gospel has impacted them eternally.  Oh, how we celebrate God’s grace, and how, by that love and forgiveness in Christ, we have so many teens who have become our friends for eternity.

During the Christmas season, we celebrated Christ’s birth by taking a good number of ROC teens to the movie, “The Nativity”, which was offered to us for free by the Watertown Towne Cinema.  Our celebration continued as we further studied the events of Christ’s birth at our Bible/Talk Times.  A Christmas Party and gift exchange was also enjoyed by teens and parents on Sat., Dec. 23rd.

Everyone is asked to mark on their calendars Saturday, March 31st when we are planning a ROC Banquet/Benefit.  The event will include some entertainment, a catered meal at 5:00 p.m., a brief ROC presentation, a few other brief presentations, and the opportunity to support THE ROC.  Look for more information soon so that you can be sure to get a seat.

           

(FEBRUARY-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC   

            What a blessing it was to be able to take about 35 ROC teens to the movie “The Nativity” on Saturday, December 16th at the Towne Cinema as the owners of the cinema provided it for free.  We were pleasantly surprised that most of the teens were unchurched and a good number had attended because our ROC Christian teens invited them.  Later on, at a Bible/Talk Time, we were able to compare the movie to the truth of Scripture and center on the Gospel of salvation in Christ all the more.  Thanks to Todd Morris for setting up the event.

We invite everyone to the first annual ROC Banquet/Benefit, “Swing into Action” on Saturday, March 31, 2007 @ 5:00 pm at the Luther Prep Auditorium (Western Avenue and College Street).  By this event, we seek to provide updated information about the ROC, good fellowship, exciting entertainment and an opportunity for all to support the ROC.   You will soon find an insert in your bulletins providing more information and how to RSVP.  We encourage you to reserve your place immediately as there will be limited seating.

            The main way we help the teens who attend the ROC and share God’s Word with them is by first building strong relationships of trust.  Among many, one way we do this is through an after school activity time on Wednesdays which was recently implemented.  From 3:00-4:15 p.m., we provide homework help, play table games and work on a craft with the teens.  Besides volunteering to help supervise the ROC, you are invited to volunteer to organize a craft for the teens.  Call Pastor Mueller at 261-4444 or 206-9581 for more information or to volunteer.  Thanks again for your support.  

 

(MARCH-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC   

            Everyday our gracious Lord continues to shower blessings upon our Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center (ROC) for Youth.  Besides the generous gifts given to fund the ROC, neighbors and friends continue to stop by with special gifts such as Bible video games, goodies and treats, video games, the installation of a TV antenna, an air-hockey table, the equipment and installation of a security system and the like.  The last time it snowed, someone (we still don’t know who) plowed the parking lot.  Also, someone signed the ROC up at www.goodsearch.com.  Punch in THE ROC under the charity and each time you use this search engine on the internet, $0.01 goes to the ROC.  Thank you also to all the volunteers who help supervise and support the ROC.  We can’t keep it open without you.

We invite everyone to the ROC Banquet/Benefit, “Swing into Action” on Saturday, March 31, 2007 @ 5:00 pm at the Luther Prep Auditorium (Western Avenue and College Street).  By this event, we seek to provide updated information about the ROC, good fellowship, exciting entertainment and an opportunity for all to support the ROC.   A registration form has been provided.  You can also stop at the church office or the ROC to pick a form up.  In order to keep the cost of the meal down, anyone who would like to donate a dessert for the banquet is asked to call Pastor Mueller at 206-9581 to let him know.  We thank Mayor John David for planning to attend and share a few remarks.  We encourage everyone to reserve a place immediately as there will be limited seating.  Thank you.

 

(APRIL-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC   

In order to further build relationships of trust and provide Gospel outreach opportunities, we have begun an after-school program (every Wednesday) at our Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center (ROC) for Youth.  This social, interactive time (3:00-4:15 p.m.) involves helping teens with their homework, a craft project and/or a table game.  None of the regular games or computers are used.  This time has turned out to be extremely valuable as so many positive and Christian principles are learned and practiced.  We, however, need your help. Some monies have been given to fund this after-school program which we would like to use to provide a variety of projects and crafts from various people.  If there is a craft or project you would like to do with the teens, please call Pastor Mueller at 261-4444 or 206-9581.  Make the call.  Thank you.

Another way someone can help is by helping us get or paint new outside signs (4’x8’) for the ROC.  The two we have are rotting and chipping away.  Your gifts to the ROC are always appreciated.  Remember, also, that the ROC is an approved organization for the Thrivent GivingPlus® Program.  This means that Thrivent will contribute $1 for every $2 donated by Thrivent members to the Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center (ROC) For Youth up to a  $300 maximum supplement.  Thrivent members can give to two approved organizations a year for matching.  Consider such a gift for matching for the ROC if you aren’t fully using this program yet.  Pick up a GivingPlus® form at the ROC today.

 

(MAY-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC      The following article was written by Todd Morris, a member of one of our churches and an adult volunteer at our ROC YOUTH CENTER.

During a “talk time” in February, PT (Pastor Mueller) was discussing how there is nothing we as sinners can do to get into heaven, as it is only by grace, through faith in Jesus, our Savior. I decided to play the devil’s advocate, and comment “PT, so you are telling us that if I be as good as I can be, be kind and helpful to others, BUT not believe in Jesus, I can’t get into Heaven?” Several of the unchurched teens started jeering me, “that’s just stupid, why would you even say that?” PT went on to explain that there ARE people who unfortunately DO believe in doing good works and trying to be “perfect” to get into Heaven. Several times later that night, and a couple of times since, two of the “regular” unchurched ROC teens have come up and mimicked me in a nerdy voice saying, “you’re telling me that if I be as good as I can, BUT not believe in Jesus, I can’t get into Heaven?” Knowing it’s all said in fun, I just laugh and take it in stride as they continue, “Todd you’re such a dork, there’s no way anyone is that stupid”. What I’m really thinking at this point is, WHAT A GREAT GIFT GOD HAS GIVEN THESE KIDS THROUGH THE WORK AT THE ROC!  Four years ago, these two teens in particular knew very little to nothing about how to end up in Heaven, let alone anything about Jesus. Through the Word of God being taught at the ROC, plus the examples of love and forgiveness being displayed everyday there, they have come to know the only way to heaven, which is through Christ, and not works.  Even though there are kids at the ROC who don’t necessarily believe in Jesus right now, they are learning who Christ is and what it is to be a Christian.  At another “talk time” near the end of March, PT was leading a closing prayer, and followed up by adding the Lord’s Prayer at the end. I got a little emotional as we progressed through the Prayer, as I could here so many of the teens joining in praying the Lord’s Prayer with us. There were more kids praying the Prayer than I have ever heard before! When it was over, I took a quick head count to see how many WELS kids were in the crowd. Of the 19-20 kids, only 5 were connected to a WELS church, and I would estimate of the remaining 14-15, less than 5 others have been churched at all. Most of these kids have learned the Lord’s Prayer solely at the ROC - Wow!

I think most people who live in Watertown, but didn’t grow up here, would agree that it is hard and difficult being accepted into certain social circles. Being involved with the ROC has opened many new avenues to different people, events, and activities. Most of all, it has been very rewarding seeing teens change from being distant and untrusting of PT and the ROC staff, to considering us their friends. I welcome all of our WELS members to join me in becoming friends, as well as Christian mentors to these ROC teens. You can’t imagine how much it will enrich your life!

 

(JUNE-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC    What a blessed and growing time the teens had at Ponderosa as they learned how to show love to God and others by their hard work.  The teens learned what it means to be faithful and dependable with a strong work ethic and to volunteer out of love.  New ROC t-shirts were proudly worn by the hard working teens. Donations for more t-shirts ($11.00 each) for the next event would be greatly appreciated.  $466.00 was raised for the ROC through this event.  Thank you to all who participated.  The ROC teens will again help the ROC by having a Brat Stand at WalMart on Saturday, June 9th from 11:00-2:00 p.m.  Stop in and see them at work.

Remember the ROC GOLF EVENT is scheduled for Sunday, June 24th, at the Watertown Country Club with a 4:30 pm tee time. It will again be a 9 hole scramble with 5 person teams.  We would love to have any non-golfers attend the buffet following the golfing for a cost of $15.00.  A silent auction and sponsoring of holes is also part of the outing.  Sign up deadline for golf and meal is Tuesday, June 19th. All proceeds go to The ROC. Any question, any other inquires or to register, please contact Dale Ninmann at 920-261-5719 or e-mail daleninmann@charter.net.

            Also, please prepare for the ROC Rummage Sale to be held on July 19, 20 & 21 at Trinity/St. Luke’s School.  Please call Ruth Uttech (920-261-6772) or Pam Erdman (920-261-9674) with any questions regarding what we can accept or to indicate your willingness to volunteer. (Sorry but we have no place to store items until the sale.)  Note: This year we will begin receiving on Sunday July 15 so that we can run the sale for 3 days rather than the 2 days we have done in the past.  Of the approximately 700 hours put in by the volunteers last year, most of the time spent was for accepting donations, sorting and organizing them for the sale.  Volunteers are greatly needed.  To volunteer or for more info., call Ruth Uttech 920-261-6772 or Pam Erdman at 920-261-9674.

            Remember, you can stop by at the ROC anytime it’s open to visit or be considered for our volunteer staff.  Your gifts are also greatly appreciated and needed.  Thanks so much for your support.  Contact info. for THE ROC and Pastor/Director Mueller:  920-261-4444 or 920-206-9581 or wttnroc@sbcglobal.net.

 

(JULY-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC    Anger is very prevalent among young people today.  We know the sinful nature, which we all have, produces anger and hate.  That sinful nature, producing anger and hate, shows itself so well today due to severe anger being displayed as an example by parents, a message of anger and hate being promoted everywhere and broken homes leaving the children alone and often feeling rejected.  At the ROC, we rely on God’s law and the Gospel of love and forgiveness in Christ, to make the difference, and it does.  A teen told me recently that before he came to the ROC, he was in fights all the time but now he hasn’t been in a fight for over a year.  We don’t hold back with the law that condemns and we don’t hold back with the sweet Gospel that forgives and motivates.  Loving Christ, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26).

Continue to get ready for the ROC Rummage Sale to be held on July 19, 20 & 21 at Trinity/St. Luke’s School.  Please call Ruth Uttech (920-261-6772) or Pam Erdman (920-261-9674) with any questions regarding what we can accept or to indicate your willingness to volunteer. (Sorry but we have no place to store items until the sale.)  Note: This year we will begin receiving on Sunday July 15 so that we can run the sale for 3 days rather than the 2 days we have done in the past.  Of the approximately 700 hours put in by the volunteers last year, most of the time spent was for accepting donations, sorting and organizing them for the sale.  Volunteers are greatly needed.  To volunteer or for more info., call Ruth Uttech 920-261-6772 or Pam Erdman at 920-261-9674.

            Remember, you can stop by at the ROC anytime it’s open to visit or be considered for our volunteer staff. The number of volunteers is seriously low right now.  Your gifts are also greatly appreciated and needed.  Thanks so much for your support.  Contact info. for THE ROC and Pastor/Director Mueller:  920-261-4444 or 920-206-9581 or wttnroc@sbcglobal.net.

 

(AUGUST-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC          We thank our Lord God for the Gospel of His love and forgiveness in Christ, by which we are saved and which has touched the hearts of so many at our Recreation and Outreach Center (ROC) for Youth.  A new wave of teens has started coming to the ROC, as those who have just finished sixth grade (now considered in seventh) are allowed to attend.  As the number of unchurched attending the ROC continues to be well over 50%, we are thankful and excited to be able to share the Gospel with so many who haven’t heard it before.

            We are also thankful to our Lord for all those who worked so hard on the golf outing for the ROC.  Thanks also to those who donated the auction and door prize items and sponsored the holes.  Thanks to WELS Kingdom Workers for financially sponsoring the event and also Thrivent for the matching funds.  The total raised for THE ROC was a new high at $11,000.

$774.70 was the total for THE ROC as WalMart matched the $387.35 which came from the Brat Stand we had there on June 9th. 

The ROC teens along with adult supervisors, will be at Glenn’s Brat Stand on Friday and Saturday, August 17th and 18th, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Stop by to have lunch and at the same time support THE ROC.  Adults are asked to call Pastor Mueller at 206-9581 to volunteer to help. 

            Remember, you can stop by at the ROC anytime it’s open to visit or be considered for our volunteer staff.  Your gifts are also greatly appreciated and needed.  Thanks so much for your support.

 

(September-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC        At a Bible/Talk Time at the ROC, which is held everyday the ROC is open, eternal life in Christ and the resurrection were being discussed.  The teens were encouraged to consider that life in Christ everyday as they use such things as the butterfly (from a cocoon) and the lily (from a bulb) to remind them of that life.  One ROC teen asked if one of the perennials in the flower boxes on the outside wall of the ROC could be in memory of her mother.  The ROC teen and her mother came to trust in Christ through the Word of God proclaimed at the ROC.  Her mother died not long after she had heard the Gospel.  How thankful we are that the teen and her mother heard and believed the words, "’Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-56)

            We thank our Lord everyday for your help and support.  Remember, also, that the ROC is an approved organization for the Thrivent GivingPlus® Program.  This means that Thrivent will contribute $1 for every $2 donated by Thrivent members to the Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center (ROC) For Youth up to a  $300 maximum supplement.  Thrivent members can give to two approved organizations a year for matching.  Consider such a gift for matching for the ROC if you aren’t fully using this program yet.  Pick up a GivingPlus® form at the ROC today.

            Also, we greatly thank all who helped with the recent rummage sale.  $6,400 was raised for the ROC.  After the matching funds are received from Thrivent and WELS Kingdom Workers, the total will be approximately $10,000.  There were also approximately 900 volunteer hours given for the rummage sale.  We are truly overwhelmed with the generosity.

 

(October-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC             In order to share with you what is happening at our ROC (Recreation & Outreach Center for Youth) and to encourage others to volunteer, thoughts from the teens and volunteers have been included in the Pebbles from the ROC.  This month, Janine Petri, a ROC volunteer and member of Hope Lutheran in Oconomowoc, shares her thoughts:  Sometimes waiting for signs of growth in faith can be hard but we thank our Lord for his love and patience as he allows us to rejoice over that growth.  We have seen many of the teens at the ROC grow in their faith and love for God over time. Some still leave before Bible/Talk time while others stay and ask questions. On Friday nights, Bible/Talk time is later so a number of teens choose to leave but the remaining teens engage in even more meaningful conversations about God’s Word. Some teens, who haven’t been at the ROC all night, have come just for Talk Time. We see teens change who they hang out with. There have also been a number of occasions where teens have shared their faith and guided the actions of each other.  Praise God that He is so patient with us and doesn’t give up on us.

            The ROC has become a place where the teens know we won’t give up on them.  We are, however, in great need of volunteers.  We hope that shortage will be corrected so that it doesn’t threaten the center.  Please give volunteering a try by calling Pastor Mueller at 261-4444 or 206-9581.  Thank you so much.

 

(November-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC          At a recent Bible/Talk Time at the ROC, the teens were asked, “How do you get to heaven?” Out of the thirty-five teens in attendance, five didn’t believe there is a heaven and twenty-five believed you have to be good and keep the commandments.  The teens were then asked if they believed they would go to heaven.  Just about all of them were unsure even though some felt they would probably go to heaven because they weren’t like murderers.  After showing how all of us have fallen short, what a joy it was to direct them away from themselves to focus on Christ.  Using the cross, the punishment for their sin was revealed and eternal life was made sure.  We wonder how many of those teens we will now see in heaven due to the grace of God given through that Bible/Talk Time.

            On Saturday, October 13th, the teens were again busy as they participated in cleaning the ROC.  It was good to see so many attend showing how they care about the ROC.  Look for the ROC teens to again show how they care as they work at Ponderosa the evening of Thursday, Nov. 8th.  All tips and donations, along with a percentage of the sales that evening will be given to the ROC.

We sincerely thank everyone for their continued support of THE ROC mission and ministry.  Your generous gifts make it possible to continue this mission to the youth.  Please remember that you can stop by at the ROC anytime it’s open to visit or be considered for our volunteer staff.  Also, you can check with Pastor Mueller if you would like to donate goodies, a wish list item or a special talent you have such as singing, game playing and the like.  The teens love the involvement of the adults.  Once again, thanks so much for your support.

 

(December-2007) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC          The following is written by Curtis Mallow from St. Paul’s in Ixonia.  Curits is a ROC volunteer and encourages all to call him (920-988-1266) for information or questions concerning volunteering at THE ROC.

A couple weeks ago as I got ready to go and do my shift at the ROC, I was tired and the thought of staying home and watching a movie sounded very tempting. Fortunately for me, it was to be a quiet night because of the homecoming dance at the high school. One of our regulars was in, one of those guys that are way too cool to go to a homecoming dance. This young man did have a bit of a “bad boy” image, as he has had some “run ins” with the local police. About a year ago he nearly lost his life in a single vehicle crash that left him pinned under a vehicle that turned out to be stolen. He’s since made a full recovery physically, but remains difficult at times, and occasionally needs a firm but loving hand to guide him. (PT does that so well)

During a game of pool and small talk, I couldn’t help but notice there was a young lady he was interested in, and she was planning on going to the homecoming dance with, or without him. I teased him a bit; “it’s a shame that you’re too cool for the dance, you just may have had a good time.” We finished our game and went about our business.

About a half hour later the phone rang and it was this young man, wanting to know if I knew how to tie a tie, I said I did, and he hung up. Another ten minutes passed and the phone rang again, now he was in the parking lot and wanted me to come out there to tie his tie for him, as he didn’t know how. (and of course didn’t want to tarnish that image he’s worked so hard to create.) So out to the parking lot I went, and was surprised to see his parents out there with him, camera in hand, ready to mark this special occasion. The young man was smiling from ear to ear and had a hard time hiding his own excitement about going to this “lame” homecoming dance.

Funny thing about this whole story is that as I walked back into the ROC, I wasn’t the least bit tired. In fact, I was pretty charged up about what I had just witnessed, and it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with what the ROC is all about. To just be there and witness to these kids about what it is like to have Jesus in your life. Sometimes by just showing up, sometimes by something we might say, and sometimes by being available to tie a tie for a young man who is still searching. Little stories like this are what keep me coming back, week after week.