Winter White Wash – Awake (info)


Interested in Winter White Wash or want to know more?  Here’s the details!

Who’s Invited: Any and all 7th-12th grade students.

What’s Happening: Full day of skiing/boarding, tons of games, ice skating, worship and sessions, and more!!

When it’s Happening: We will leave no earlier than 10am on FRIDAY January 24th. We will be getting back into town no later than 3pm Sunday January 26th.

Where’s it Happening: Skiing/Boarding at Snowy Range Ski and Rec Area, Sessions and games at Gryphon Theatre in Laramie, Housing at Ramada or Days Inn.

Why it’s Happening: We like hitting the slopes, we like hanging out together, we like hearing about Jesus. Why not do it all the same weekend?

Ok, I hear ya. You want more info.  Here’s the specifics.

Registration forms and early bird fee (pricing outlined below) are due to Matt by December 4th (HUB Night). ANY registrations received after this date will incur a higher cost and will not receive a event hoodie! Registration forms are available at the bottom of this post or at the church.

We rent skis/boards locally from Rock On Wheels (900 E Lincolnway) for a couple of reasons. 1) We get fitted before going to the event, ensuring that our equipment fits properly.  2) We get to avoid the long lines at Snowy Range waiting to get rentals. 3) We like George at Rock On Wheels and like supporting his business. These advantages comes with an additional $5 cost to the total registration cost (pricing outlined below)**. Matt will let you know when you need to get fitted for your rental, approx 10 days before the event, and Matt will also be sure your rental gets to the mountain and back home safely.

If you wish to rent a helmet or goggles, George at Rock On Wheels would love to help you out. You will be responsible for paying for this gear separately.

We will be leaving for this event on January 24th at 11am. This is a Friday which means you will need to plan on being out of school that day. We make our way to Laramie and eat lunch there (you cover this meal). After this, the weekend begins! We head out of Laramie at 12 noon on Sunday January 26th, eating lunch on the way (you cover this meal), and will be back to the church no later than 3 pm.

The theme for this weekend is ‘Awake’. Mark Klingler from Seattle, WA will be our speaker. The Matt Estrin Collective from Journey Christian Church in Greeley, CO will be leading worship.

Here’s a look at how the financials work for this event:

Early Bird Registration Costs: (All forms and early bird deposit received by Dec 4)

-$125 if early bird deposit ($60) and forms are received by 12/4

-$160 if early bird deposit ($60) and forms are received by 12/4 AND you want a ski/board lesson

Late Registration Costs: (Forms and payment received after Dec 4)

-$145 if registered after 12/4 (no hoodie)

-$180 if registered after 12/4 AND you want a ski/board lesson

*There are additional discounts if you own your own equipment, have your own lift ticket or don’t wish to ski/board

**These costs are different from what is on the forms due to us renting locally. See explanation above.

There is a lot of info in a short amount of space. Please free to get ahold of Matt with any questions about this event. I pray you join us for this awesome weekend.

Attached below is a registration letter and packet.

Winter White Wash Cover 2014


Matt Snyder – 307-632-2331 –


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take in a webinar presented by a guy named Mark Oestreicher. Mark has been involved in youth ministry in different roles for decades. He currently is founder of The Youth Cartel, specializing in encouraging and challenging adults who minister to youth through holistic professional coaching, strategic consulting, transformational events, and inventive resource development that advance youth ministry. He still meets weekly with a small group of Jr High boys in his home every week.

I’m not even going to try to touch on everything that was talked about. There was a TON of info communicated in the 45 minutes, and so I’m going to write on what hit me the most, hopefully it’ll be beneficial to you also.

This webinar talked about the cognitive changes that are taking place during the teenage years. Yes, there are physical changes that happen, and yes they are important to understand, but there is little talk of the changes that take place mentally during these years. You are going to see my basic notes from the session, hopefully a organized and explained enough to make sense. I’m not siting sources, I trust his sources are good. So here we go…

The cognitive change that happens during the teen years leads to some other changes that are easy to spot.  1) Emotional Change – includes abstract thinking and understanding information. 2)Relational Change – they start seeing themselves in the 3rd person perspective, being friends with others because they have similar interests, not because they are geographically close (as is during the childhood years primarily). 3)Spiritual Change – Changing from the black and white understanding of  faith. Beliefs are questioned and challenged now. They usually respond one of three ways: 1-This doesn’t work and I reject it. 2-This doesn’t work but I have nothing else so I will stay (legalistic believers). 3-This is real and I want to grow in it.

It is our job (parents/youth ministries/involved adults/etc) to help them wrestle through these questions. Doubt is ok, and possibly essential to development. They have to wrestle through the faith of their childhood, and we need to help with this.

The implications of abstract thinking are that they begin to see the world or people from a different point of view and they begin to speculate, asking ‘what if’ and ‘why’ questions. They are not good at it, and they tend to go back and forth between abstract and concrete thinking.

12-ish years ago the medical/scientific community began really learning about the teen brain. They believed it was unethical to study them until the invention of machines such as MRI’s. Since then, they have learned some things.

Teen Brains are not done growing. Before these advances, it was believed that brains were full grown by age 6. Now, they know that brains are not fully developed till 25ish.

There are some important parts of the brain that are not done growing or even there during the teen years.

- Frontal Lobes (behind the forehead) – This is the brain’s CEO – handles decision making, wisdom, priorities, impulse, control, planning, empathy, organization, focus, etc. This does not mean they are not capable of these things, its just limited. This is why it is easy for this age to test, push and risk.

- Temporal Lobes (in frond of the ears) – handles emotional understanding and interpretation. Guys are naturally behind in this area anyway. Teens don’t always know, because of this, what is appropriate in certain situations. We need to act as emotional tour guides, helping navigate these situations.

-Neuron Proliferation and Winnowing –  A couple years before puberty, neuron pathways are created and growing. During the next fourish years many of these are then cut away. What determines which are kept is how students use their brains, and these habits and tendencies effect them for the rest of their lives. If they are big gammers in the adolescent years, they will most likely be for many years following. This brings up a question of stewardship: How do we spend the time we have with the kids? We need to help them wrestle with what a follower of Christ looks like, just just giving us the right answers.


My takeaway – We need to be very intentional about how we spend our limited time with teens. We only have a few hours at best with them per week, and so we need to make the most of it with them. They are in a hugely changing season of their lives, we have the opportunity to challenge them to think truth out and seek out what a Christ follower really is.  Parents have such a greater influence because of the greater amount of time they have with their kids.

Spring Thing – Superhero! (info)

Spring will be here soon and so will our spring event, Spring Thing! Out of the events that we attend each ear, this event rotates locations each year. Within a couple years we will be hosting it here in Cheyenne.

This year’s theme will be ‘Superhero’, challenging everyone in what it means to be a hero of the faith. The event will be at Central Church of Christ in Gering, NE.  The speaker will be Terry Leathermon from Clifton, CO. Worship will be lead by musicians from the Scottsbluff/Gering, NE area.

Other than exciting sessions and youth group times, this weekend will also include:

- Bowling

-Paintball Tournament (see below for additional details)*

-Lip Sync Contest (cast prizes!)*

-Superhero Themed Banquet (best costume prizes!)


Here are some details:

Who: Any and all 7-12th grade students!

When: May 3-5, 2013 – Leaving after school on the 3rd and returning early afternoon on the 5th.

Where: Central Church of Christ-Gering, NE – Housing provided by families in Scottsbluff and Gering.

How Much: $45 if all paperwork and registration is to Matt by April 3rd (includes free t-shirt!). Late registration is $65.

Let Matt know if you have any questions. Paperwork is available below or at the church.

*see Matt for additional details on these activities.


Medical Release

Paintball Release


CIY Summer Conferences (info)

It seems early, but it is that time of year again. Summer will be here before we know it and with that brings our CIY summer conferences. The time is now to begin planning for these events!

Each year we attend one conference per age group. MOVE is our entering-9th-grade thru 2013-graduated-seniors event, and MIX is our entering-7th-grade through exiting-8th-grade event. Here are some specifics for each event:


MOVE is a 5-day high school only event held all over the country (we attend in Durango, CO), designed to amplify the call of Christ on students lives to become Kingdom workers. You not only learn and worship together but also spend quality time with your group. MOVE is an experience! it’s an all-inclusive event providing food, lodging, recreational activities and an amazing program!


WHO: Entering 9th grade thru graduated 2013 Seniors.

WHEN: Leaving June 30 – Returning July 6

WHERE: Fort Lewis College – Durango, CO

HOW MUCH: $289 registration cost / additional cost for food, activities, etc. Additional cost info to come soon!

Fill out this form and turn in to Matt or the office + $50 deposit by February 6th to reserve your spot! Space is limited and fills up quickly!! Don’t hesitate to contact Matt with any questions concerning these events!!

Permission slip – MOVE


MIX is not designed for hush schoolers or preteens. MIX is specifically designed for 7th and 8th grade students!! You will build relationships with others while being challenged to grow as Kingdom workers through dynamic worship, engaging activities, off-the-chart recreation and small group interaction. At MIX, you can be exactly who you are, while being challenged to embrace Christ’s call on your life!!


-WHO: Entering 7th grade thru leaving 8th grade students

-WHEN: Leaving July 14 -Returning July 19

-WHERE: Western Colorado University – Gunnison, CO

-HOW MUCH: $279 registration cost / additional cost for food, extra activities, etc. Additional cost information coming soon!

Fill out this form and turn in to Matt or the office + $50 deposit by February 6th to reserve your spot! Space is limited and fills up quickly!!  Don’t hesitate to contact Matt with any questions concerning these events!!

Permission slip-MIX

Winter White Wash 2013 – IDentity (info)

Who’s invited: Any and all 7th-12th grade students!

What’s going on: Full day of skiing/boarding, ice skating, swimming, games, worship & sessions + more!

When is it happening: January 25-27, 2013

Where is it happening: Skiing/boarding at Snowy Range / White Water Christian Church – Laramie, Wyoming

Why is this going on: We love to get out of town and hit the slopes while deepening our relationships with God and each other!

Maybe you need some more information:

Registration forms and early bird fee (pricing is outlined below) are due to Matt by December 12th. Registrations received after this date will incur a late fee, and you will not receive a free sweatshirt!! Forms are available in this post or at the church.

We get our rentals from Rock On Wheels (900 E. Lincolnway) here in Cheyenne to help with a couple of things: 1) We get fitted and know that we get what we want. 2) We avoid the long lines at Snowy Range waiting to get rentals. Because we rent here, there is an additional $5 charge to the total registration cost (pricing is outlined below). We need to go get fitted for our rentals between January 13 and 23. Matt will pick them up and transport them to the hill.

We leave for this event on January 25th at 11 am. This is a Friday which means that you will need to plan on being out of school that day. We make our way to Laramie and eat lunch there (this meal you cover). After that the weekend begins. You can refer to the schedule found within the registration packet for more information. The weekend ends in Laramie on Sunday the 27th at 12 noon. We will grab lunch (you cover this meal) and head home.

The theme for this weekend is ‘Identity’. Aaron Chambers, lead minister at Journey Christian Church and CIY Event speaker, will be speaking during the sessions and Delusions of Pluto will be leading worship.


Here’s how the financials work for this awesome weekend:

$115 if early bird fee ($55) and forms are received by 12/12

$150 if early bird fee ($55) and forms are received by 12/12 and you want a ski/board lesson

$135 if registered after 12/12 (no sweatshirt)

$170 if registered after 12/12 and you want a ski/board lesson (no sweatshirt)

*There are additional discounts if you own your own equipment or have your own lift ticket


There is a lot of information packed in here. Please feel free to get ahold of Matt with any questions or concerns you may have. I pray you join us for this great weekend!! Please check out the attached letter and registration forms.

Winter White Wash Letter

Winter White Wash Packet

A definition of blessed

I’m sure many define blessed in many different ways. for me, it’s always been knowing that I am fortunate during the situation that in, how good or bad it may be. and I’ve always known, at least in my head, that I am blessed, but many days that does not get to my heart. But I got to tell ya, today I know I’m blessed.

See I’m blessed because I have a God that allows me to serve Him, that’s pretty stinkin awesome if ya ask me.

I’m blessed because I have a beautiful wife and daughter (and soon to be son!) that love me even when I don’t deserve it. I love them very much!

I’m blessed because this weekend I get to celebrate with my folks my dad’s and my combined birthday. 25 years we have been havin birthdays together.

I’m blessed because I have the best friends in the world, many who Ive not seen for a while, but I cherish deeply.

I’m blessed because I get to worship with an amazing group of people on Sundays, and get to prepare for that service with a great bunch of talented peeps on Thursday’s. I love seeing how God is growing our group.

I’m blessed because I got to eat lunch with man that I highly respect, both as a man and minister. Getting to sit and hear from him is a privilege.

I’m blessed because I am saved by the blood of Christ and His grace has covered me. If in my life all the crap hit the fan, I would still be blessed because of this.

Thats my definition…how do you define blessed?

CIY MIX – …beach party blitz… :s

**As promised. This post is all about our organized rec time on day 2 of CIY MIX. Be sure to comment, cuz I know you will have what you believe to be hilarious comments….**

I have to start with this. I really do realize that I am not as in shape now as I was when I was in school. But I also know that I am going to keep blaming my, nonathletic, ability to do much physically to the higher elevation that we were at. That is my story and I’m sticking to it.

So there was this obstacle course. The theme for it was beach party blitz. You start off having to go through not one, but two inflatable obstacle blowups right off the bat. You then make your way over two teeter totters. Waiting next for you is a pool of three foot deep watery oatmeal, in which you are to cannonball into. Next lies 20-ish yards of 4×4 timbers that you are to balance beam walk across, while getting sprayed with a water hose. Then waits a 30-ish yard length in which you are supposed to crab walk down, oh right, while getting water soaker balls thrown at you. Finally you are to weave through some poles and cross the finish line. Easy enough, right?

As we were all standing waiting for this to get started, they asked for two adult volunteers to race through it first so they could explain it to the kids. Now understand. This is not a small event. There are 500ish kids here. There are over 60 adults, most of whom are in much better shape than I. And yet one of our children, who’s name shall remain anonymous (don’t worry Faith, I won’t tell), decided to raise my hand for me without me quite understanding what was happening. So there I am, wondering how this was going to end. Now you got an honest walk through of how it was. Here is an explanation of how I experienced it, as I was going through it.  This is my story…

I walk to the start line, giving my racing opponent the death stare through my shades. He is tall, at least 6’6”, and very athletic looking. I’m thinking I can easily take him (insert sarcasm). The whistle blows, and the race is on. I start off strong, until after my third step when I have to enter the 1st inflatable. I make my way through the obstacles, diving and crawling like non other. Exiting it I am only a few steps behind my opponent. I make a diving entrance into the 2nd inflatable. this one has a wonderful (sarcasm) hill to climb and then slide down. I choose to gimp my way over it and then tumble down, head over heals, falling to the ground on the outside. This is when I also realize that my shades have fallen off. As I choose to go back for them I realize that they are busted, probably from being caught between the inflatable floor and my face. No big deal. Next I make my way over to two teeter totters, totally out of breath already, and apparently not able to balance well at all (also know that I am so far behind at this point there is really no one watching me). I gracefully step through the oatmeal pool (didn’t even realize that I’m supposed to cannonball into it!) and onto the balance beams. Making my way across came the most enjoyable part of the whole experience, being shot right in the chest by a very cool water hose. I contemplated staying there and cooling, but I was determined to…well finish I guess. Next came the crab walk. I believe the last time I did this was when I was 10 years old, so it was very easy for me (insert sarcasm again). As I was making my way down the 3 mile length of field given to do this ridiculous task, I determined that I was tired of getting nailed in the genitals by what felt like lead balls, I decided to bear crawl the rest of the way. After finishing my multi-mile  treck, there really was no ‘weaving’ left in me. Stumbling across the finish line, I was glad they were not timing me, because I would certainly be embarrassed.

Now for the record, I at least from time to time feel old. And we were at lest 1,500 feet higher in elevation. So that’s my excuse. I now have more of a reason to get back in shape.

Nonetheless, it was worth it. There were some that did not do it. I did. It was worth it to see my kids get excited and laugh, even if it was for my misfortune. That’s good enough for me.