Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Steadfast


Good afternoon, team! I wanted to let you all in on our ministry's game plan. Below the next picture is a letter from our FOCUS director, Brandon Worsham. I'm thankful for the technology we have that allows us to continue campus ministry even though we don't expect to be on campus again for a while. I want to say thank you to all of you for your support even through this time. If any of you need anything at all, please don't hesitate to reach out. I know some people are losing income in this time, so if you are concerned about finances and need to make adjustments, please let me know - I completely understand!
I can't help but think of our community's theme for the year - Steadfast. While I don't think this situation is ideal or to be glorified in any way, what a great opportunity to lean in to our steadfast God and offer him to others who are struggling to find peace amidst the chaos.

Lord let us not forget your steadfastness.

Love you all.
Jacy Garcia


I found this on pin4web by Sybille Strauss and think it's beautiful

To the entire FOCUS Community:

I want to update you on how FOCUS is responding to COVID-19, especially in light of so many of our campuses extending spring break and moving to online instruction only afterward. As a community, we need to be praying diligently for our world during this concerning time. We don’t need to panic, because we know our hope is secure in Christ, but we do need to take action in order to love our neighbors well. Those actions may be personally inconvenient, uncomfortable, and/or expensive. The situation is evolving daily, and spring break has disrupted our normal schedules and access to one another, so we will hopefully have more definite plans in the coming 2 weeks, but here are the actions we are currently taking/considering:
  • The 3 SSI trips from Washington State that were scheduled to arrive on March 22 are cancelled.
  • Pizza Theology will not happen in its normal format on March 29, but we are considering our options for livestreaming a special teaching time, so stay tuned!
  • We have cancelled our weekly large group fellowships (TNF, TNT, FNF) on our various campuses. We will be following the various policies on each campus to determine how long that will be in effect. We are also considering livestreaming weekly services to replace these. 
  • One-on-ones and FOJ studies will continue as planned, moving to phone or video calls depending on the health and comfort levels of the students and pastors involved.
  • For cores and other small groups, we are working with student life offices to determine what policies may affect those. We will not stop small groups of adults from gathering together, but we are also working on developing a video conferencing option. We will certainly encourage all sick or exposed students to stay away from others.
  • Leader development meetings on Monday nights will move to small groups led by a pastor, whether in-person or virtual.
  • We are waiting to make a final determination on SICM plans. We haven’t spent any money yet and it’s not urgent for a few more weeks. We will continue to monitor the situation for now.
Thanks for being gracious and flexible. We as a team of pastors are committed to providing pastoral care to the students in our community and beyond.
For the kingdom,
Brandon Worsham

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

February Update

It feels like it was just a few days ago I sent you my last update - time really is flying! February was pretty short, but still busy between New Testament class, a few big events, and day to day ministry. I'm excited to be heading into a five day spring break which I'm hoping with be a strong springboard into the final quarter of the year. Alex and I are going to spend a couple days in South Texas just to get away for a bit. Along with exploring, I'm looking forward to slowing down and having some time to reflect and prepare for what's next. Our entire staff team is praying about what our students need in the coming months, so I intend to spend some time in prayer about that. Alex has a promising interview next week and I invite you all to join me in praying for him. This job process has been slow-going and frustrating at times, but he's been patient and diligent.

Once a year we have a Family Night on our regular Thursday Night Fellowship night so students can invite their friends and family to come see what we're all about and why we do what we do. Of course anyone is welcome to visit any time! But students and parents were both able to share about what this ministry has mean to them specifically. It was really sweet to meet parents and get to know the people behind the people I meet with regularly. If you're ever in the area (or live near by) we would love to have you join us on a Thursday night!

At the end of the month, we had a big fundraiser called Spring Showcase for students we'll be sending to Washington in May and June for SICM (Student Institute of Campus Ministry) where we send potential leaders for training. The event was a benefit concert and art show and let me tell you, we have incredible talent all throughout our ministry. It was amazing to see so many people come together from all of our campuses, churches, and even connections outside of those, to raise money for students who might not even understand the vision yet. Thank you to those of you who could come, who donated, and simply for praying for the event! It was earlier than we expected this year, so we thought the turnout might not be as large as it usually is, but I think we had the highest attendance we've ever had!

I wanted to give you all an update on our Preston Ridge Campus since we had been doing once a month things separately from the rest of the Collin campuses. We've come to the conclusion that for now, we don't have the resources or staff availability to become an independent campus yet. We were prepared for this outcome and we're happy to still be part of the larger ministry. This semester we're trying to heat up outreach events and being present on campus to give students something to be part of throughout the slow days between classes.

Here are some pictures from Showcase since I didn't take any on my own this month.

One of our pastors at Richland, Sirak, and a UTD student, Josiah, did an amazing rendition of Hotel California.
You can barely see my friend Kylie on the left here, but she and I are doing the apprenticeship together. Her sister Jordy, on the right, is a student at Collin this year. They grew up in our family of churches and it has been so sweet to get to know both of them this year! They also have beautiful voices and love singing together - go sisters!


A framed photograph by our friend and coworker from the art show. I’m eager to find the right spot for it at home.

A handmade mug from a student in Denton we also got from the art show. I’m telling you, the talent is impressive.
As always, thank you for your support and joining me in this apprenticeship! I love you all and hope you can find your own restful break in the long season if you don't get a spring break.

Prayer Requests

  • Alex's job search and coming interview
  • Discernment for what our students need
  • We have students coming here from Washington after Spring Break to do a mission trip at Collin College. It'll be an event and outreach filled week for both our team and their's. Pray for preparations for that and then a fruitful week coming up.
With love,
Jacy Garcia

Steadfast

Good afternoon, team! I wanted to let you all in on our ministry's game plan. Below the next picture is a letter from our FOCUS d...