2009 PEBBLES FROM THE ROC ARTICLES

 

(JANUARY-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC       On Monday, November 24th, 2008, when the roads were slick, a young man by the name of Ryan Krause was killed in a car accident in Johnson Creek when his car went under the back of a snow plow.  Ryan had attended our ROC Youth Center and Bible/Talk Time regularly for three years but was not attending recently as he had become too old for the ROC.  All through the week, after the fatal accident, there was a steady stream of former ROC teens coming to the ROC to counsel with Pastor Mueller.  As most are unchurched, they thought of the ROC as the only place they knew where they could receive such help.  As Pastor Mueller, with God’s Word, counseled the teens at the ROC and also many more teens at the visitation, he gave thanks to God for placing him at the right time and at the right place.  It is impossible for us to measure the impact of the Gospel of Christ on all of these grieving teens, but, oh, how many heard it. 

            We invite everyone to stop in at the ROC anytime to visit.  Also check out our newly redesigned web page, www.thewttnroc.com.  From the web page learn more about our volunteer program by clicking “Staff Info.”.  We are always in need of more volunteers.  Pictures, calendars, wish lists and so much more can also be found on the web page.  Check it out today.

            Please note 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.  Donations for matching, therefore, can be for any amount up to $600.  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.

 

(FEBRUARY-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC (written by Janine Petri, an adult volunteer at the ROC and a member of Hope Lutheran in Dousman)      Bible Talk Time, which is held every night the ROC is open, has always been well attended except for Friday night.  Not so long ago I remember when only 2-3 teens stayed for talk time on Friday night. At that time it was a good opportunity for those more serious in learning about God to talk about what was on their mind. Pastor Mueller has since changed Bible Talk Time on Friday nights from 9:30-10 p.m. to 9:00-9:30 p.m.  This time change allows the teens 1/2 hour at the ROC after Bible Talk Time. The last Fridays I have counted 13-15 teens and I still feel the ones who stay are more genuinely interested in hearing the Word of God.

            There were many questions when Pastor Mueller (PT) gave the lesson one Friday night about the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, so many that there was no time for the closing song to be sung.  Another Friday night, a teen presented the message she had prepared along with a song, where PT filled in as needed. After Bible Talk Time, another girl approached PT asking if she could share something next time. I found out later that one of the boys asking the most questions had asked PT, "What was it Jesus did?"  He had heard of Him but had no idea that Jesus died to save us. You may not see these teens in your church on Sunday, but they are active in their “church” every night at THE ROC.

            A “ROC RELOCATION FUND” has been established to save special gifts for when we need to relocate/renovate.  Such gifts (checks made out to THE ROC) may be sent to 1411 Wedgewood Dr., Watertown, WI. 53098.   Thank you so much for your cheerful support.

 

(MARCH-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC           Mom, where’s dad?  A common story we hear at the ROC includes the absence of the father.  The stories range from the woman being left to herself when she becomes pregnant to the father ending up in prison due to dealing drugs.  Many times fathers are also absent because they seem to love their work or their hobbies more than their family.  Many fathers try to convince themselves that the children aren’t being hurt in any way by their absence.  I would invite such fathers to come talk to us at the ROC so that we can tell them how their children yearn for attention and encouragement from their father.  The lack of such attention, instruction and guidance leaves the children hurting.  It’s amazing how many times Pastor Mueller is called “Dad” by the teens.  We thank our Lord for the time we have at the ROC to be their “father”, leading them to their heavenly Father.  We pray that God would also help us place before the male teens models of Christian fathers so that they can break the cycle of being absent from their children and bring up their own children in the Lord.

            All are invited to come on down to the ROC anytime we are open.  We would love to see you.  You may also wish to consider being a volunteer.  We need you.  It’s amazing what our volunteers learn about teens and living and sharing our faith in the world.  Come see us.

 

(APRIL-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC              How would you respond to a “Homeless Man”?  The teens at the Watertown Recreation and Outreach Center (THE ROC) for Youth on S. Water Street in Watertown recently faced that question.  One of the regular volunteers at THE ROC, Todd Morris, dressed up and disguised himself as a “Homeless Man”.  “Hank” (Todd in disguise) came to the ROC and sat outside on a milk crate in the ROC parking lot holding up a sign on which it was written, “Will Work for Food”.  As “Hank” sat outside, many things began to happen.  Cars would pass by and come around the block for a second or third look.  One white car stopped and offered five dollars to “Hank”.  "Hank" explained the disguise and situation to the driver but the driver wanted “Hank” to have the money anyway, but "Hank" respectfully refused.

            As teens noticed “Hank” sitting outside, they began to struggle with what to do.   Pastor Mueller, the director of the ROC, was aware of the disguise and helped teach the lesson by asking questions like, “What shall we do about the “homeless” man in the parking lot.   The greatest lesson the teens learned was how Christ died for ALL and saved ALL and we want to love ALL as He does.  The teens learned that we need to be careful as we help strangers but there are ways to help and at the same time remain safe and protected.  All involved also faced the battle in their hearts between remaining coldly uninvolved (like the priest and Levite in Jesus’ parable) and helping (like the Samaritan in Jesus’ parable) “Hank” in some way.   All of the teens eventually wanted to help “Hank” by giving him some food and asking him to come into the ROC to warm up as it was bitterly cold outside.  A teen accompanied Pastor Mueller outside to ask “Hank” to come in and warm up.  Eventually Hank came inside and more great lessons were learned.  The teens were respectful of “Hank” and avoided treating him as weird.  As ‘Hank” expressed a need to sleep in one of the recliners, the teens showed respect by being as quiet as they could so as not to disturb him.  THE ROC has never been so quiet.  One of the teens gave "Hank" his blanket he had made during the ROC After-School Program.  At the end of our Talk Time, “Hank” revealed himself as Todd.  You could have heard a pin drop as the teens were shocked.  The staff made it clear that the exercise was not intended to embarrass or pull one over on the teens but to teach the lesson of compassion and love to all.  All involved greatly appreciated the lessons learned.

 

(MAY-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC     Recently four unchurched teens attended a worship service with Pastor Mueller as he preached at one of our WELS churches.  Three out of the four teens had never attended a church service before.  As Pastor Mueller knew that they would be unfamiliar and, therefore, uncomfortable, he prepared them for the worship service by explaining how the hymnal is set up with the liturgy in the front and the hymns in the back.  Pastor Mueller also explained to the teens how to respect the worship that occurs before the actual starting of the worship service.  The teens responded as they remained quiet and also joined in solemn and sincere worship preparation and etiquette.  Earlier the teens had quietly toured the church and facility and found their seat in the balcony.   A humorous moment happened in the worship service as all four teens, during the service, moved from their seats and hung over the balcony rail so that they could see the pulpit while listening.   The teens had no thought that this was out of the ordinary.  They just wanted to hear and see.  Later the teens expressed their thanks and asked questions about God’s Word and the Gospel they had heard. 

            The Jerry Kastens Memorial Golf Outing & BUFFET BANQUET will take place on Sunday, June 28th.  If you do not golf, please come for the 3 station buffet dinner and ROC presentation.  The buffet will begin around 7:00 p.m. and the cost is $16.00.  For a golfer, the total cost will be $55.00 which includes green fees, team prizes drawn, flag prizes on each hole, other prizes and the buffet.  Sign up deadline for golf and meal is Monday, June 22nd. Also consider donating an auction item or sponsor a hole.  All proceeds go to The ROC. Any questions or any other inquires please contact Dale Ninmann at 920-261-5719 or daleninmann@charter.net.

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  The ROC (Recreation Outreach Center) Rummage will hopefully be held this year July 23-25.  We especially pray for a successful sale this year as the ROC will have to relocate.  Your donations of items or time would be much appreciated.  Please contact Ruth Uttech 920-261-6772 or Pam Erdmann 920-261-9674 if you have any questions.  We cannot accept TV's, large console stereos, large microwaves, organ, pianos, encyclopedias, bowling balls, any chemicals, tires or any other item we may not be able to sell and may have to pay to dispose of once the sale is over.  Please set aside your slightly used, clean, workable items for the sale.  We are sorry but we have no place to store donations until the sale.  Thank you for your help and generosity. 

 

(JUNE-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC    Every branch that does bear fruit, He (the Father)  prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2)  The teens at the ROC, at a recent Bible/Talk Time gave many examples of what they need pruned or cut away in their lives so that their life in Christ flourishes all the more.  What a joy it is to see teens, who were unbelievers, come to faith, share their faith and flourish through Christ their Savior.  Come see for yourself.  Stop in at the ROC anytime.

The Jerry Kastens Memorial Golf Outing & BUFFET BANQUET will take place on Sunday, June 28th, at the Watertown Country Club with a 4:00 p.m. tee time.  If you do not golf, please come for the 3 station buffet dinner and ROC presentation.  The buffet will begin around 7:00 p.m. and the cost is $16.00.  For a golfer, the total cost will be $55.00 which includes green fees, team prizes drawn, flag prizes on each hole, other prizes and the buffet.  Sign up deadline for golf and meal is Monday, June 22nd. Also consider donating an auction item or sponsor a hole.  All proceeds go to The ROC. Any questions or any other inquires please contact Dale Ninmann at 920-261-5719 or daleninmann@charter.net.

Also, please prepare for the ROC Rummage Sale to be held on July 23-25 at Trinity/St. Luke’s School (Western Campus).  donations of items or time would be much appreciated.  We cannot accept TV's, large console stereos, large microwaves, organ, pianos, encyclopedias, bowling balls, any chemicals, tires or any other item we may not be able to sell and may have to pay to dispose of once the sale is over.  Please set aside your slightly used, clean, workable items for the sale.  We are sorry but we have no place to store donations until the sale.  Thank you for your help and generosity.  Volunteers are greatly needed.  To volunteer or for more info., call Ruth Uttech 920-261-6772 or Pam Erdman at 920-261-9674.

 

(JULY-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC           PLEASE HELP FUND THE ROC.  The Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center for Youth (321 S. Water St.) RUMMAGE/BAKE SALE will be held July 23, 24 & 25 at TRINITY/ST. LUKE’S SCHOOL GYM WESTERN AVENUE CAMPUS.  GET READY:   Set aside your clean, undamaged, workable treasures.  Our most time consuming task is sorting the sale items!  We need you.  Please volunteer (Call Ruth Uttech 261-6772 or Pam Erdman 261-9674) - Transport tables 7/19 a.m. and 7/25 p.m.; Help receive and sort donations – 7/19-22; Work the sale – 7/23 - 7/25 - Assisting customers; Carrying items; Keeping tables etc. neat; Accepting money & packing items; Selling baked goods & soda; Clean up & pack up left over items – 7/25 – 12:30 until done  GET SET:  Donations accepted: 7/19: 12:00–5:00; 7/20, 7/21, & 7/22: 8:00–5:00.   (Please use gym doors off the playground).  Bake sale items can be dropped off Wed. a.m. or anytime during the sale.  PLEASE PRICE YOUR  BAKE SALE ITEM(S).   GO:  COME & BUY – THURSDAY JULY 23 & FRIDAY JULY 24:  8-5:00 and SAT. JULY 25: 8 – 12:30.  PLEASE do not drop off donations other than during our designated drop off times.  It is important to know ahead of time how many volunteers we can count on.  More help is needed before the sale and during clean up and pack up times. Left over items will go to Twice As Nice and a number of other places. This project will receive a $1,600.00 Thrivent match if $5,000.00 is raised.  THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE ROC, especially this year as it looks like THE ROC will need to move its location.

 

(AUGUST-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC          Where will our ROC Youth Center go?  We are actively seeking an affordable place for THE ROC.  It seems we will need to move THE ROC very soon.  We had centered on two locations but they both fell through.  Please inform us if you know of an affordable place for THE ROC that is somewhat centrally located in Watertown and has a large open room with bathrooms nearby.  Thanks so much for your SUPPORT including your generous gifts.  Thanks so much for your PRAYERS.  Thanks so much for your HELP.  Even as all of you are an answer to our prayers, so also our Savior God will answer our prayers for a new place for THE ROC.

Come and enjoy a brat, chips and soda.  The ROC teens will be at Piggly Wiggly with a Brat Stand on Sunday, August 23rd from 10:00-3:00 and then at Glenn’s Brat Stand on Friday and Saturday, August 28th and 29th, 10:00-3:00 both days.  Helpers are greatly needed to run the brat stands.  Please call (206-9581 or 261-4444) or e-mail (wttnroc@sbcglobal.net) Pastor/Director Mueller to offer your help or to suggest a new location for THE ROC.

 

(SEPTEMBER-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC   Ruth Uttech is a long time volunteer at THE ROC and agreed to share her thoughts through this and upcoming issues of “Pebbles From THE ROC”.  Ruth writes, “My Dad was the quiet, strong pillar in my life during my most formative years.  He saw to it that I went to a Christian Day School, took me to church each Sunday and always welcomed my friends to my house.  He was my rock.  Many of our ROC kids come from broken or dysfunctional families.  They are looking for guidance or someone to simply listen to them.  They need attention.  I see Pastor Mueller filling the roll of substitute Dad for many teens and while teaching them how to become a better person, he shares the most important thing – the love of God in Christ.  I encourage all to stop by the ROC to see the love of God at work and consider being a volunteer of some kind.”

Many hours of hard work were put in by so many for the ROC Rummage Sale and the Golf Outing.  We were overwhelmed by the many items donated and the many hours given.  Thank you so much!  After matching by WELS Kingdom Workers and Thrivent, over $20,000 will go to the ROC as over $10,000 came from each event.

Please continue to keep the future location of THE ROC in your thoughts and prayers.  We still have not found an affordable, centrally located and open building.  Keep your eyes open.

 

(OCTOBER-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC              In this article, we continue to share with you the thoughts of Ruth Uttech, a long time volunteer at our Watertown Recreation & Outreach Center (THE  ROC) for Youth.  Ruth writes, “The ROC has rules and through the 5+ years that I have helped at THE ROC, I have seen the enforcement of these rules shift slightly.  At first it seemed only PT and his assistants would be the enforcers of the policies.  I now see many teens telling other teens how to behave.  I have seen PT (Pastor Tim Mueller) gently, but firmly, reprimand teens who are pushing the limit of the established policies.  I have been there while teens shared their feelings of suicide.  I have then watched the gentle way PT helped them deal with their problems and assured them that in Jesus they are forgiven and that God would always be there for them.  PT has assured them that he also will help them anyway he is able.  I now know that Watertown has homeless teens or teens that were thrown out of their homes.  I have seen teens with anger issues learn to control and deal with these issues.  One of our teens was a proclaimed atheist and now is a believer.  I have seen teens who have been baptized as a result of attending the ROC.  Teens that are no longer able to regularly attend the ROC are constantly stopping by – just to say hello and bring PT up to date about their accomplishments and/or problems.  Some of these teens now have become junior volunteers.” 

            Please stop in at the ROC anytime to see if you would like to volunteer.  Such helpers are always needed.  Goodies are also always appreciated by the teens.  Thank you so much for all the support, help and financial gifts you give to the ROC.  THANK YOU from all of us at THE ROC!

           

(NOVEMBER-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC             As we think of all of the support so many of you have given to THE ROC Mission and Ministry, we think of the words of the Apostle Paul, "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you".    What a blessing you all are and how grateful we are to be in God's family with you through Christ our Savior!  We were indescribably overwhelmed by how many people showed up for the ROC MOVE and how willing everyone was to help.  It also lifted everyone's heart to see how so many ROC teens showed up to help.  The main part of the move was completed in only two and a half hours.  We, then, together, enjoyed a wonderful "Celebration of the ROC(K) meal.  Our thanks first goes to our Lord who is our ROCK and Redeemer.  Thank you also for all of your help and thank you to those who provided the meal.  It truly was a wonderful day.  Thank you to St. Mark's for providing a temporary home for THE ROC.  Anyone is welcome to stop by THE ROC which is now in the basement of St. Mark's Parish Hall.  Please continue to help us look for a permanent home for THE ROC.  Also, please continue to pray that many more teens hear the Gospel of Christ through THE ROC.

 

(DECEMBER-2009) PEBBLES FROM THE ROC        But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law” (Gal. 4:4, 5).  Christmas is all about the fulfillment of God’s promise of the Savior in Christ’s birth.  By that fulfilled promise we have freedom from the eternal death due to our sin. 

This is the wonderful Gospel message we have been sharing at THE ROC all these years.  Don Bartz, the chairman of the ROC Board, comments on those years as he soon will finish his terms on the board.  Don’s comments will continue next month:  I look back at my 9 years on the ROC board, - 9 years!  Even though the ROC has been open for 6 years, it took 3 years to get to the point of opening it.  I remember how God worked things for good as Pastor Tim Mueller (PT) was called to be the full-time pastor and director of THE ROC.  I remember, as a volunteer working with PT one evening, three teen boys walked into THE ROC. They were dressed with leather coats that had spikes that went over the shoulders. They “looked” pretty rough. PT went right over to them and shook their hands and welcomed them. 10 minutes later their coats were hung up and they were enjoying the ROC. These 3 boys went on to become some of the positive leaders that the other youth listened to.   The Lord has blessed the ROC in so many ways.”

            Many have asked about where THE ROC will go in the future.  THE ROC BOARD has determined that we need to build or buy a building of our own with a goal of having most, if not all, of the purchase price up front.  Renting will drain our funding quite quickly.  A Siebert Foundation Grant of $50,000 has been awarded to THE ROC Building Project but it is a grant that is to be matched by gifts.  If there are any with the means and the heart for helping provide a ROC youth center building, please be sure to contact Pastor Mueller at 920-206-9581 or 920-261-4444.   Thank you all for your help.