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Copyright Information

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Ten "Commandments" for Writing Better Letters

All Purpose Letter Writing Outline

Tips For Using This Book

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Letters to Members of All Ages

Chapter 2
Letters to Other Members

Chapter 3
Letters to Nonmembers

Chapter 4
Letters to Church Staff

Chapter 5
Letters to the Community

Chapter 6
Letters to the Media

Chapter 7
Letters to Vendors

Chapter 8
Letters for Special Occasions

Chapter 9
Letters of Acceptance, Confirmation, Invitations, & Refusal

Chapter 10
Letters to Raise Funds

Chapter 11
Letters to Colleagues

Chapter 12
Letters of Policy & Doctrine

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Chapter 1 ē Letters to Members of All Ages

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 The letters in this chapter are examples of some of the most common a minister will need to write. Many deal with what may seem mundane announcements, yet are actually vital pieces of information. It is important to keep congregations aware of both big and small events so they can in turn be involved in the life of the church.

Some letters deal with the hard issues; disciplining a troublesome member, announcing the resignation of a pastor, and so on. Yet most deal with the good news of Sunday school promotions, wedding plans, new programs, and more.

It is always important, whether the news is good or bad, that the message be communicated clearly, accurately, and truthfully, as well as in the appropriate tone. These letters achieve each of those goals.

1-1 / To Adults about Advancements

It is my privilege to inform you that as of MONTH XX, our district supervisor, NAME, will assume the office of executive board member for the denominational office in California. Iím certain you will want to join me in wishing him Godís best as he advances to this new position. NAME has been a great help to me personally, and I will miss his work on the district level. But as an executive board member, he will have even more opportunities for service to the Lord.

If you want to convey your congratulations to him, his new address will be:

STREET
CITY, STATE ZIP

As of now, a replacement for district supervisor has not been named. When one is, I will inform you.

1-2 / To Adults about Agendas

As you know, the parish is in the process of constructing a new building in which to meet. A meeting has been set for DAY, MONTH XX, at 7:00 PM to discuss the various aspects of the project.

On the agenda will be the following:

  • Blueprints of the proposed building will be displayed and discussed. The architect will be on hand to explain them.

  • A list of what jobs men in the parish can do will be presented, and a system of when they can work will be set up.

  • The finances for the project will be reported and ideas for additional fund raising will be developed.

As you can see, this will be an important meeting. Please make every effort to be present.

1-3 / To Adults about Announcements

Pentecost was the first great ingathering of the Church. On that day when the Disciples of Christ went into the streets of Jerusalem with the power of the Holy Spirit upon them, the witness which they gave brought some 3,000 persons into the infant Church. It was the beginning of the Christian movement, which was to spread into the entire known world within the next fifty years, to win an empire within 300 hundred years, to carry the message of salvation to Europe, Asia, and America in the following centuries.

We are heirs of the witness, and this coming Pentecost Sunday, MONTH XX, we wish to see another ingathering of men and women into the Church. At that time, we will receive new members who have recently completed the New Memberís Class.

We also are extending an invitation to everyone; those who are regular in worship, those who love the Church but donít get out to worship as often as they would like, and those who once found the fellowship of the Church to be uplifting but have somehow drifted away.

Will you help make Pentecost 200X another great ingathering of the Church? That first Pentecost of the Church brought in 3,000 persons. We would like to have 300 in worship here that Sunday to proclaim our part in the Church. Come and be a part of it.

1-4 / To Adults about Appointments

This is to inform you that Father NAME, who has served our parish so faithfully for the past four years, has received a new appointment. As of MONTH XX, he will begin serving in St. Lukeís parish in Columbus.

As difficult as it is to see him go, I am confident that he will be more than able to handle the new challenges of his position. I am also certain that he will miss St. Michaelís and those of you whom he has come to know and love. If you feel inclined to express your appreciation for his service to him, I encourage you to do so.

As of the present, no successor has been appointed to fill Father Marksí position. When one is named, I will inform you.

1-5 / To Adults about Condolences: On Death of a Spouse

A letter of condolence is one of the most difficult things to write, but it must be done. Usually it may be brief, offering empathy, not pat answers, and the availability of the clergy to assist the survivors during the progression of the grieving process.

The entire St. Michaelís parish joins me in extending heartfelt sympathy to you at the tragic passing of your husband. There is no bond so deep as that of a man and his wife, and to break that bond through death is to inflict unspeakable pain on the remaining spouse.

Though we cannot fully understand the trauma you are experiencing, be assured that you are in our prayers. Our Heavenly Father will be with you to strengthen and support you as you go through these stressful days of adjustment.

The grieving process, especially for the loss of a mate, is a lengthy one. If at any time you need to talk, please feel free to call me. I am available at any hour.

1-6 / To Adults about Congratulations: On Job Promotion

It was great news to hear about your promotion from assistant professor of English to associate professor. This advancement is certainly well deserved, and I am confident that you are fully qualified to handle it.

As you know, your profession is yet another aspect of your life in which you can demonstrate your faith. May God grant you many opportunities to do so!

Again, congratulations from myself and the parish. Red Deer College is blessed to have you as part of the faculty.

1-7 / To Adults about Disciplinary Action

A letter concerning problems caused by a member which are severe enough to require disciplinary action must be handled delicately. Notice the restating of the warning that the behavior must stop, the expression of concern for the individual, and the offer to further discuss the situation at any point.

I regret that in spite of the talk we had last week, you have continued to do the very things you were advised to stop. As I informed you at that point, if you continued to attack my person and my authority as pastor, you could expect consequences.

Therefore, you are hereby relieved of all positions you hold in the church. Obviously, it isnít fair to the congregation or to me for you to continue serving at this time.

I truly hope that you will reconsider your stand and again be able to resume service and fellowship here. Even though we have had our different viewpoints, you have been a valuable part of the church and I donít want to lose you.

However, as long as you hold your current beliefs about me and my ministry, it is impossible for you to remain a leader here. I pray that you would seek God for a peaceable solution to this problem, and that you will soon be fully restored at Community Church. As always, I am more than willing to sit down and talk with you at any time.

1-8 / To Adults about Elections

Greetings in the Name of Christ!

As a result of the general elections held on MONTH XX, the following members have been selected to serve on the council at Community Church:

Name, 000-0000
Name, 000-0000

Feel free to contact any of these individuals at their home phones listed above. In agreeing to be on the council for the next two years, they are reaffirming their desire to serve Christ and their fellow members.

For your convenience, other council members are:

Name, 000-0000
Name, 000-0000

We extend our congratulations to the new council members, and we are confident that they will work together with the rest of council in accomplishing what Christ has called Community Church to do.

1-9 / To Adults about Encouragement: While Waiting to Adopt a Child

It has been several months since I sent my recommendation about you to Catholic Social Services, and I am certain that by now you have completed their process of applying for the adoption of a child. All that is left for you to do is to wait until they have a baby available for you.

Naturally, this is the most difficult part. Perhaps it seems to you that you will never receive the son or daughter for which you have waited so long. But I want to assure you that we will all continue to keep you in our prayers. You will get just the right child that our Heavenly Father has for you, at exactly the right moment. This time of waiting can be useful in preparing yourselves for the challenge of parenthood.

If at any time you feel the need to talk, please call me. And if there is some way I can help with the process at the agency, I am more than willing to contact them on your behalf.

May God bless you and uphold you during this time.

1-10 / To Adults about Evaluations: Of Church at Yearís End

Looking back over the year we have just finished, I am praising God for all He has done in Community Church. Are you aware that:

  • 36 adults united with our fellowship, through confession of faith or transfer of membership?

  • 17 young people joined the church at the completion of communicantsí class?

  • 23 children and adults underwent the sacrament of baptism?

  • 20 couples were married?

In addition, our average Sunday morning attendance went from last yearís figure of 198 to 245. In Sunday school, attendance increased from an average of 89 to 140 people. The weekly offerings went from last yearís figure of $905 to $1500 this year.

Programs for youth, women, and senior citizens flourished, and we can rejoice that we were able to donate over 2500 pounds of food to those who needed it.

All in all, 200X was a good year for Community Church. However, we should not be satisfied with our past achievements. It is time to continue to move forward. In the coming year, I would like to see more people attending the home Bible study groups, a greater commitment to personal prayer among members, and many more persons led into a relationship with Christ.

Yes, there is much to be done, but we can go on to meet the task with the Lord as our strength. Letís trust Him to make this New Year the best yet!

1-11 / To Adults about Information

As Christmas approaches, St. Michaelís will again hold a live Nativity in the church parking lot. Our youth will be playing the roles of the Blessed Virgin, the shepherds, etc., but we are in need of live sheep and/or a donkey for the display. If you have access to these animals and could loan them to us, please contact my office.

The hours for the live Nativity will be 6:00 to 8:00 PM on the nights of MONTH XX, XX, XX, and XX. We hope you will be able to attend and bring your children.

May your Advent season be full of the joys of this special time of year.

1-12 / To Adults about Instructions

Gratitude is an attribute that God wants us to cultivate. Itís very easy for us to forget to thank Him for the blessings of good health, family and friends, a home, and the freedom to worship our Heavenly Father.

In addition to verbally expressing our thanks to God, we can demonstrate it by helping others less fortunate than ourselves. One way of doing this is by contributing to Gather Foods Days, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, MONTH XX and XX. Baskets for the food will be placed by the doors of St. Michaelís on those days.

Especially needed are canned goods such as tuna, fruits, and peanut butter, as well as other non-perishables. The items collected will be divided between the Jupiter Referral agency, the Samaritan House, and needy individuals in the parish.

Please consider the plight of these people and contribute to Gather Foods Days. Thanks.

1-13 / To Adults about Meetings: To Vote on Purchase of New Building

As you probably know, our family at Community Church has been seeking a new building for our ministry. We are now ready for your vote on whether or not to purchase the old Logston building.

A meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, MONTH XX, after the morning service. At that time, we will present a resolution that requires your action. This is your official notice of that membership meeting. All members over eighteen years of age may vote.

If you cannot attend but would like to cast your vote, please contact me.

In addition, I would ask that you continue in prayer about the building, that we would have the wisdom to know if this is Godís will for our congregation.

1-14 / To Adults about Newsletters: To Update Mailing List

The church newsletter is an important link for our members and friends at Community Church, and we are more than willing to send it to anyone who wishes to receive it.

However, some who have wanted to get it in the past may no longer be interested, for any number of reasons. Therefore, we are updating our mailing list. Enclosed you will find a card with space for your name and current address. If you desire to continue receiving the newsletter, please mail or return the card to the church by MONTH XX. Anyone whose card is not back by then will be automatically taken off the mailing list.

It is not our intention to drop the names of any of our members or friends who are interested in the newsletter. But it is not good stewardship to keep paying postage for mailings that people donít want.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Whether or not you wish to remain on the mailing list, we wish Godís best for you today and every day.

1-15 / To Adults about Problems: Concerning Parking

Recently, a problem concerning parking has developed of which you should be aware. As you know, NAME has been kind enough to permit St. Michaelís parishioners to use his parking lot across from the church. His only stipulation was that it be used by a maximum of ten cars, none of which were to be located on the grass surrounding his office.

However, for a number of Sundays, there have been approximately fifteen cars in his parking lot during the 11:00 AM Mass, as well as sometimes for other services. NAME has brought the matter to my attention, since the grass is starting to show signs of wear.

I am certain that this reminder to you will result in no further problems with too many cars in NAMEís lot. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

1-16 / To Adults about Procedures: To Borrow Church Property

It has come to my attention that many in the congregation are unfamiliar with the procedure for borrowing church property. As a result, several items have been taken without permission. When this happens and a particular item is needed there is no way to find out where it is. To help eliminate this problem, let me state the approved church policy:

If any person or organization wishes to borrow any equipment, permission must be obtained from the president of the Board of Trustees. He is James Murray (address and phone). James manages a list of everything loaned out so that we always know where it is.

Preference will be given to members, and all equipment must be used for purposes in keeping with the official beliefs and policies of the church.

Please understand that anyone who borrows anything owned by the church is responsible for replacing or repairing the item if it is damaged or lost.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. I am certain that there will be no further problems.

1-17 / To Adults about Questionnaires: Please Complete & Return

For a number of years, Community Church has met at 9:30 AM for worship, with Sunday school following at 10:30. Recently, the idea of holding the worship service at the later time has been discussed by the Administrative Board. However, before deciding, we would like your opinion.

Please complete the enclosed questionnaire and bring or mail it to the church by MONTH XX. At the MONTH XX meeting of the Board, the results will be presented and a final decision made. In order for this decision to accurately reflect the wishes of the congregation, we need to know what you want.

Thank you for your help in this matter. Working together, we can certainly come to a place of agreement on the hours of the Sunday services.

1-18 / To Adults about Resignations: Resignation of Pastor

Itís important to inform the church membership of a decision to move to a new position before it has gone through the church via word of mouth. The letter doesnít need to go into detail about why such a choice has been made. Note how the following letter reveals both the pastorís eagerness to assume the new job and regret at leaving.

It is with mixed feelings that I write this letter. As of MONTH XX, 200X, I will no longer be pastor of Community Church. I have accepted a position as senior pastor at Faith First Church in Weston, and I will be assuming my new duties there on MONTH XX.

Naturally, I look forward to the work in Weston with great anticipation. There will be many opportunities for ministry as well as for personal growth there. Yet, leaving the congregation at Community Church is extremely difficult for me. No group of people could have been more supportive to me and my wife. I question if I will ever feel as close to a church family as I do here.

But there is no doubt in my mind and heart that it is time for me to move on to this new challenge. I wish each of you the very best as you seek God and obey His leading in your life. As you have always done for me, encourage and help your new pastor. And be certain that you are in my prayers.

1-19 / To Adults about Schedules: About New Sunday Evening Services

The book of Revelation tells us that as the ages go by, the distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous will increase until the last great battle between them. We donít know when this battle will take place, but we can make a decision about which side weíll be on when it does happen. Will you and your family make the decision to stand as Christís people throughout the following months?

One way you can act on your commitment to be the righteous is to plan to attend the new series of Sunday evening services now being scheduled.

The first Sunday of each month will be devoted to a service of worship through song. Individuals from our church will be sharing their vocal talent with us, and as a congregation we will sing a number of hymns. You will even have a chance to request your favorites.

The second Sunday will be Church Family evening. After a potluck supper, a film appealing to the entire family will be shown.

A special service will be held on the third Sunday of each month. This will include guest speakers and musical groups.

The fourth Sunday will be in the hands of different lay groups within the church, such as the youth and the womenís association.

When there is a fifth Sunday in the month, nothing will be scheduled, in order that you may spend the time with your family.

Iím excited about this new series and I hope that you will be too. Decide now that you will be a part of Sunday evenings at Community Church. Iím certain that it will only strengthen your commitment to Christ.

1-20 / To Adults about Special Events: About Upcoming Service with Visiting Musical Group

Greetings in the Name of Our Lord!

ď0 sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord all the earthĒ Psalm 96:1 (KJV).

Community Church is going to be praising the Lord in song on Sunday evening, MONTH XX, when we host the NAME OF GROUP from CITY, STATE. The service begins at 7:00 PM

A group of fifteen musicians and vocalists, ages eighteen to thirty, the NAME OF GROUP have traveled across most of the eastern United States, presenting their message that Jesus truly brings a changed and different life to those who let Him into their hearts. Their style varies from Southern Gospel to contemporary Christian, and the enthusiasm and vitality of the group has ministered to congregations everywhere for the past five years.

Plan on joining us for this exciting and inspiring evening of song, and bring a friend. You can expect to receive a blessing!

1-21 / To Adults about Thanks: Upon Receiving Congregational Christmas Gift

A thank you note is always gratefully received. If an actual gift is involved, it should specifically be referred to; if it is cash, as in the following example, the amount ought not to be revealed, but to state the intended use is in good taste.

As my wife and I opened the envelope presented to us from the congregation at the Christmas Eve service, we were once again overwhelmed by the generosity of Godís people. Thank you, dear friend, for your part in the gift. We realize that for many, it meant a sacrifice; perhaps one less meal in a restaurant or a smaller present for your spouse. Believe me, it is appreciated!

After much thought and discussion, Mary and I have decided to use it to purchase a new arm chair. If youíve been in our living room lately, you know how much it is needed. We expect to have it in the next month; after then, please feel free to stop in and see it.

We are so pleased with the gift, but even more so, we cherish what it means Ė the love, prayers, and support of our congregation. May God bless you richly!

1-22 / To Children about Advancement: Moving into the Next Age Group Class for Sunday School

Fall is here again! Schoolís started, leaves are beginning to change in color, and the weatherís getting cooler. Things are happening at Community Church, too. You will be moving up to a new Sunday school class. Promotion Sunday will be on MONTH XX, and on that day you will become a part of the fifth and sixth grade class. The class meets in room 104, and Mrs. NAME is the teacher. The Sunday school hour is from 9:00 to 10:00 AM Weíre sure that youíll have fun and learn a lot in your new class. Hope youíll be able to make it every week!

1-23 / To Children about Announcements

If you see people and trucks from the Channel 8 TV station around St. Michaelís next Sunday, donít be surprised. The station has asked us to be included in a special report on ďGrowing Up Catholic,Ē and they will be asking some questions of several children from our parish. If they stop you as you are leaving Mass, you should politely answer their questions. When we know the day and time the show will be broadcast, we will tell you.

1-24 / To Children about Certificates

Attention all girls and boys who attended Vacation Bible School! Certificates saying that you were a part of the fun and learning at this yearís VBS are ready for you now. They can be picked up in the church office at any time, along with a number of art projects completed on the last day of VBS. We would appreciate it if you could get them as soon as possible. Thanks!

1-25 / To Children about Condolences: On the Death of a Mother

The loss of a parent is extremely traumatic. The following letter acknowledges the validity of the questions such a child may have, and expresses the willingness to talk it out, without guaranteeing answers.

It doesnít seem fair, does it? Just when you needed her, your mother is gone. Maybe you feel angry at her, or even at God for letting her die. Or you could be wondering if sheíd be alive now if you had done or thought something differently. You might be confused and asking your self, ďWhy did this happen?Ē

All of those thoughts would be very normal for you to have. In fact, the grownups who loved your mom are probably feeling the same things. No one would be mad at you for thinking them. And if you are, it would be good for you to talk to someone about your feelings.

If you want to share them with me, I would be glad to listen. Just call me and we can get together. I donít promise to have a lot of answers (even adults donít always know everything, especially when it comes to a death), but we can talk it out. I join the rest of the parish in telling you how sorry I am at your great loss. My prayer for you is that our loving Heavenly Father will comfort you and your family.

1-26 / To Children about Congratulations

Now that you have reached the third grade, we at Community Church feel you have come to an important point in your life. You have a firm grip on reading, and so you are ready for your very own Bible. Reading Godís Word is very important, because you find out what God is like and what He wants you to do.

To help you learn the Bible, we want to give you one especially written for boys and girls. On Sunday, MONTH XX, we will ask you to come up to the front of the church during the 10:30 AM worship service. Then you will get your Bible.

We hope that you will read it every day and do what it says. Congratulations on taking this big step!

1-27 / To Children about Disciplinary Action

I am sorry to tell you that for the next month, you will not be permitted to attend your Sunday school class. In spite of repeated warnings from your teacher, Mrs. NAME, that your in-class behavior must change, you have continued to create problems by talking to and poking your classmates. I have also personally spoken with you, but you have apparently chosen to keep it up. So we have no choice but to remove you from the class for a time. For you to remain would simply not be fair to the others in the class who want to learn.

During class time in MONTH, you will be required to stay in the church office. We hope that by the end of the month, you will be willing to act as you should in your class. At that time, you may return to your room. But remember, I will not hesitate to take you out of class again if your behavior is not what it should be.

I have talked to your parents about this, and they are in agreement with me. Believe me, neither they nor I like doing this. But at this point, we can see no other way to go.

I do feel that you donít really want to be like this, and I am praying that God will help you to change. If you want to talk, please call me.

1-28 / To Children about Encouragement: When a Parent Remarries

Many children face a stepparent entering their families which brings a time of adjustment for all involved. The following letter is written on a positive note, assuring the child that the problems which arise will work out. Yet it recognizes that the stepparent will never take the place of their parent, and that the child may have to deal with negative emotions.

By now, you are probably busy helping with the wedding plans. You havenít said what you think about your dad getting married again, but I wanted you to know that if you have some mixed feelings, itís OK.

Iím sure youíve been told that your soon to be stepmother is not trying to take your motherís place. No one can ever do that. You will always love and miss your mom.

But you can grow to love your stepmother too. It may not be easy at first. After all, since your momís death, you and your dad have been on your own. And youíve done pretty well.

Now this lady you hardly know will be moving into your house and doing things your mom used to do. You could feel sort of angry at her. Or you might be mad at your dad for marrying someone else. If you feel this way, donít be upset. Lots of kids have gone through the same thing when their parents remarried.

But remember, God has brought Marie into your dadís life. He wants to make you a family Ė not just like the one you had, but a new family. If you let Him, He can help change any bad feelings you have. It will take time. There will be problems, just as with anyone beginning relationships. Yet they can be worked out, if the three of you want them to be.

If you ever want to talk to someone about all of this, call me. I am praying for you during this difficult time of adjustment.

1-29 / To Children about Evaluations: Of Vacation Bible School

How did you like Gospel Bob? What was the most fun in Vacation Bible School last week? What didnít you like? We want to know!

So that we can plan for next year, we need to find out just how you felt about it. Please take a minute right now and answer the questions on the back of this letter. Then bring or mail it back to the church by Sunday, MONTH XX. You can give it to your Sunday school teacher or put it in the offering basket. Thanks for your help!

1-30 / To Children about Information: Concerning Establishment of New Childrenís Choir

Do you like to sing? If you do, we have just the place for you! Starting in MONTH, the Cherub Choir will be forming for girls and boys in grades two through six. We will be practicing once a week for about 45 minutes, and we will sing during morning worship five or six times a year. The director will be Mrs. NAME.

When we find out more details, we will let you know. But you can start practicing singing right now!

1-31 / To Children about Instructions

Several months ago, you were given a little plastic bread loaf bank to take home from Sunday school. Your teacher told you that you could put money in it and that after a while, you would bring it back to church. Then the money would all be put together and given to Missions. It will help hungry children to get food.

I hope that you have remembered to put some quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies in your loaf, because now it is time to bring them back to church. All loaves need to be here by Sunday, MONTH XX. That day, we will be breaking them open and seeing how much money we have to help the poor children.

Please make sure that your Sunday school teacher has your loaf by then. If you do not have a loaf, you can still bring in some money to be used for this project. You can also ask your parents if they would like to give anything.

Thank you for your help, and remember that hungry boys and girls are counting on you.

1-32 / To Children about Meetings

It was great to have you join us for Kidsí Club last night. We hope that you had fun and learned more about Jesus too.

Remember, Kidsí Club meets every Thursday at 7:00 PM in Community Churchís Fellowship Hall.

Boys and girls in the first through the sixth grades are welcome to come for a time of stories, crafts, games, and a snack.

Ask your parents right now if you can come back next week. Youíll be glad you did!

1-33 / To Children about Newsletters: Establishment of Childrenís Page

Attention boys and girls! Starting in MONTH, Community Church will be putting out a newsletter just for you. It will be on the back page of the regular church newsletter, and it will have fun things for you to do and read. There will be a story, puzzle, or dot to dot, and some ideas for things you can do to help others at home or at church.

The newsletter will also list things that you would want to know about, like Kidsí Club special activities or childrenís services.

How can you get this great newsletter? Simple! If your parents get the regular newsletter, you will already get the childrenís newsletter. If your parents donít get it, just tell your Sunday school teacher or Kidsí Club leader that you want it.

Donít forget, your very own newsletter will be in the mail soon. Be on the lookout for it!

1-34 / To Children about Problems

The following letter is intended to be sent to all children in the Sunday school who are beyond nursery age. The problem, too much noise as youngsters pass the adult classrooms, as well as the desired change in behavior, is clearly defined. And although the consequences of further misbehavior are specified, the certainty of no more problems is conveyed.

Are there problems at Community Church? Yes, but we think they can be solved. You see, during the Sunday school hour, some boys and girls go down the hall past the rooms where the grown ups are meeting. Instead of walking quietly, they talk in loud voices and make too much noise with their feet. They laugh and clap their hands. Even when their teacher tells them to stop, they keep doing it.

All the noise makes it hard for the grownups to hear their lesson. It has to end. As your pastor, Iím asking you to listen to your teacher and be VERY quiet when youíre in the hall during Sunday school. Itís not fair to make others who want to learn miss their lesson.

Iíve spoken to all the Sunday school teachers about this, and any boy or girl who keeps doing it will have to come talk to me. Jesus would not want you to disobey. Iím expecting to see a big change this Sunday, and Iím certain that you wonít disappoint me.

1-35 / To Children about Questionnaires: To Complete One on Favorite Activities

What do you like to do? Swimming? Roller skating? Eating pizza? Whatever it is, we want to find out.

Once again, the Sunday school department is planning the annual get together for all the boys and girls who have been learning about Jesus each week. We decided that we would do what you like this year. With this letter is a questionnaire listing some things kids have fun doing. Please answer the questions about what you think we should do. Also fill in (or have your parents do it) the best day and time for you to attend. Then mail or bring the paper back to church by Sunday, MONTH XX.

When we have all the papers, we will decide what most boys and girls would like to do. Then weíll let you know the plans.

Donít forget, we need your help to make this the best Sunday school outing ever!

1-36 / To Children about Resignations

This is to let you know that after next week, I will no longer be leading the mid-week evening childrenís meeting.

During the past two years that Iíve been in charge of it, I have really enjoyed getting to know you boys and girls. As Iíve played with you, sang with you, done crafts with you, and taught you about Jesus and the Bible, Iíve learned a lot. I hope you have too.

Because the adult home Bible study group has grown so much, it will now be dividing into two. I will be leading the new group, so I can no longer go to the childrenís meeting. Mrs. NAME has offered to take my place. Iím sure sheíll do a great job and that you will all help her.

Iíll miss having the time with you each week, but I know you will be in good hands.

1-37 / To Children about Schedules: For Vacation Bible School

Have you met Captain Joe? If you havenít, youíre in for a treat! That pirate is coming to Community Church by way of videos for this yearís Vacation Bible School. He has lots to teach us about Jesus and living for Him. But Captain Joe is also just plain fun.

We hope you plan to join the good times, beginning DAY, MONTH XX, at 9:00 AM VBS will last all week and be out at 11:30 AM each day, except Friday, MONTH XX. On that day, a picnic lunch will be held after classes for all the girls and boys involved. Tell your parents to pick you up at 1:00 PM Friday.

The closing program for VBS will be held during morning worship on Sunday, MONTH XX. You should be at the church by 9:30 AM so you can practice your part before the service begins at 10:00 AM.

Invite your friends to join you at Vacation Bible School. Captain Joe is ready to meet you!

1-38 / To Children about Special Events: Upcoming Puppet Show

Many places of worship hold occasional special services for boys and girls. A letter such as the following generates excitement in the children, which they will hope fully pass on to their parents, the ones who are usually in charge of transportation.

Hi Boys and Girls,

Peaches, Cupcake, and Bubblegum are coming your way soon! Tell your mom and dad to mark the calendar right now, because the special childrenís service on Sunday evening, MONTH XX, is one you wonít want to miss.

Ms. NAME and her puppets will be ready to meet you at Community Church, starting at 7:00 PM Called ďThe Puppet LadyĒ by children where she lives, Ms. NAME has been bringing her friends Peaches and the others to churches for ten years. Youíll laugh at the funny things they do and say as they learn about Jesus.

Donít miss this special evening service just for you!

1-39 / To Children about Thanks: For Assistance at Festival

You may not realize it, but you were an important part of the St. Michaelís festival last week end.

If you worked in a booth with your parents, if you watched your younger brothers and sisters so that Mom and Dad could work, if you set up chairs or threw away trash, you helped make the festival the great success it was. And if you could do none of that but still attended, you also did a lot, because you were needed to enjoy the games, food, and fun.

Thanks for whatever you did! By working together as the parish did last weekend, we help each other. Iím proud of what St. Michaelís can do.

1-40 / To Teens about Advancement: Into Next Age Level Class for Sunday School

Good News! Now that you are beginning your sophomore year, you are invited to be come a part of Community Churchís senior high Sunday school class. The class meets in room NUMBER starting at 9:30 AM NAME and NAME are the teachers.

Iím sure that youíll find them easy to talk to, fun to be around, and deeply committed to the Lord. They want to help you learn more about your faith, as well as to mature in your walk with Christ. If you have been attending the junior high class, move on up to room NUMBER. If you havenít been coming, how about starting next Sunday? Youíll be glad you did!

1-41 / To Teens about Agendas: For Youth Group

Where will you be the evening of Sunday, MONTH XX? I hope youíre planning on attending the youth meeting. We have plenty of important things to discuss.

On the agenda are:

  • Making final plans for Youth Sunday, MONTH XX. We still need two teens to read Scripture and one more usher.
  • Deciding which money making project to do in MONTH, selling candy apples or have a slave day.
  • Writing a group letter to the child we sponsor in Mexico.
  • Brainstorming about how we as a youth group can help fight pornography in our city.

Because of all of this, we really need each member of the youth group to be present. Can we count on you?

1-42 / To Teens about Announcements: Cancellation of Youth Group

Because of the illness of NAME, the youth group will not be meeting this week. We trust that NAME will soon be well enough to fulfill his responsibilities as youth leader.

Keep in mind that the canoe trip planned for MONTH XX will take place at that time, even if NAME is unable to go. Itís not too late to sign up for it.

1-43 / To Teens about Appointments: To Set Up Personal Conferences

Congratulations on successfully completing membership class at Community Church! As you will remember, however, before you can actually join the church, you need to meet with me personally to talk about your own relationship with Jesus.

I have set DAY, MONTH XX at 4:00 PM for your appointment. Please come to my study at that time. Plan on spending about twenty minutes with me.

If for some reason you wonít be available then, call the church office to reschedule.

If you donít want to be considered for church membership now, you may cancel your appointment. But I would be more than willing to meet with you anyway just to talk about any questions or concerns you may have.

1-44 / To Teens about Condolences: On the Athletic Teamís Loss in Tournament Play

While this type of loss isnít like losing a loved one, it would be a great tragedy to a teen member of the team. Writing a letter like this expresses the churchís caring for the individual, especially important during adolescence when religion often becomes personal, not just something of oneís parents. Also conveying pride in the athleteís ability to participate in sports, the letter builds self image and confidence at a time when the teen may be lacking in them.

To say that last nightís game was a great disappointment is such an understatement that itís almost better to say nothing. But we at Community Church wanted you to know that although SCHOOL NAME is now out of the district tournament, we are proud of you.

Throughout the basketball season, you have worked hard with the team, doing your best to help make it a winning season. And youíve succeeded. With a fourteen win, two loss record, no one can say otherwise.

We realize it must be a severe blow not to get to attend the regional tournament. But you can be sure that everyone in Glendale thinks you (and the entire team) did a great job. Remember, God can use a defeat in your life too.

1-45 / To Teens about Congratulations: On Athletic Honor

On behalf of everyone at Community Church, we would like to congratulate you on your being named to the district all star basketball team. This honor is certainly well deserved; we know how hard you have worked over the years to do your best on the court. Yet you still found time to be faithful to the church in attendance, serving as an officer in youth group and singing in the youth choir.

We just wanted you to know that weíre proud of you, and weíre eager to see how the Lord is going to continue to use you in His service over the years. May you always keep Him first in your life.

Again, our congratulations.

1-46 / To Teens about Disciplinary Action: To Confirm Verbal Discussion

As I stated in our talk yesterday, I wanted you to have a written record of what was said. Vandalizing the menís room at the church shows a serious lack of respect for the parish, myself, and God. You will be required to pay for the damages, and you will work 20 hours under the janitor to make up for what you have done.

After speaking with you about this, I believe that you are sorry and will not do such a thing again. However, I must remind you that if you do, more severe consequences will take place.

I have talked to your parents, and they agree with what I have decided to do. Of course you will still have to deal with this in confession, which I expect you to do soon. May God help you to do what is right.

1-47 / To Teens about Elections: Results

Just in case you missed it, youth fellowship elections were held at the MONTH XX meeting. Next yearís officers will be:

  • President, NAME;
  • Vice president, NAME;
  • Secretary, NAME;
  • Treasurer, NAME.

Congratulations to these young people! We are looking forward to a great new year as all of us work together with the officers. Please keep in mind that they canít do anything without the support and participation of each member of the youth fellowship. Plan now to be an active part of it in the fall!

1-48 / To Teens about Encouragement: To Victim of Terminal Disease

Dealing with cancer patients (and others with fatal illnesses) is another difficult but necessary aspect of the ministry. The following letter would not be appropriate to send to everyone, but in this case, where the teen is well known by the pastor, candidness is acceptable.

Iím angry! Seeing the cancer drain your energy, invade more and more of your body, and tear you away from the things and people you love makes me furious. And Iím sure that your own anger must surpass mine.

All I can say is that I am praying for you continually, that the Lord would give you the strength you need, both physically and spiritually. You are in the middle of a great battle, and at times (or maybe even most of the time), you must feel very alone in your struggle.

But believe me, you havenít been forgotten. Many of the people at Community Church have been and are faithfully praying for you too. We are asking God for a miracle.

In the meantime, you must keep on fighting. That doesnít mean you canít ever feel down or that you should pretend that everything is fine. But donít give up. Godís love for you is just as strong as it ever has been, and He understands better than anyone else what youíre going through.

I know Iíve told you before, but I want you to know that I still am available any time you need to talk. I promise to listen, not give pat answers, and to let you be whatever you need to be.

1-49 / To Teens about Evaluation: Personal

As the New Year starts, it seems like an appropriate time to do a little self evaluation. How would you answer the following questions?

  1. Am I attending Sunday school faithfully?
  2. Is Sunday morning worship a priority for me?
  3. Have I been active in youth fellowship?
  4. Do I devote time each day to personal prayer and Bible study?
  5. Do I look for chances to share my faith with the people in my life?
  6. Am I growing in my relationship with the Lord?
  7. Am I involved in some kind of service to others on a regular basis?

Donít worry, you donít have to tell anyone how you answered these questions. But if youíre like most of us, you realize that you could stand some shaping up in the areas mentioned. Why not decide right now to do something to strengthen one of them today? It could be that you need to make more of an effort to attend youth group. Or maybe your biggest weakness is not taking time to pray and read the Bible. By setting goals and working one step at a time, you can change. And when would it be better to do so than the present?

While all of the areas mentioned are important, I admit that I would especially like to see more of you at the youth meetings and in Sunday school. So if you havenít been for a while, why not try it again? Youíll be glad and so will I!

1-50 / To Teens about Information: Confirming Reservation & Giving Details for Youth Retreat

We are delighted to acknowledge your reservation for the fall youth retreat to be held MONTH XX- XX at Camp Wattzmatta. The youth committee has been working hard to plan a fun as well as spiritually challenging weekend.

In order to ensure that everyone has a great and meaningful time, we want to remind you of the rules Community Church has set up for youth activities.

  1. No alcohol, smoking, or drugs.
  2. Lights out by 11:30 PM and quiet by 12:30. Please be considerate of those around you trying to sleep.
  3. No radios, tape decks, or boom boxes.
  4. No running off from the group. Youíre expected to be at all scheduled activities.
  5. Everyone helps clean up.

With your cooperation, weíre confident that this retreat will be the best ever! Come expecting to be blessed!

1-51 / To Teens about Instructions: Concerning Youth Retreat

Itís hard to believe, but the fall youth retreat is only a week away! The youth committee is excited about the program planned, and we hope you are too.

Please be at Community Churchís rear parking lot at 4:00 PM sharp on DAY, as it is important that we leave on time. In addition to your sleeping bag, Bible, and toiletries, you are asked to bring snack food to share on DAY night. Soft drinks will be provided.

We will be back at Community Church at approximately 8:00 PM on DAY evening. Make sure you will have transportation home.

See you on the XX at 4:00 PM!

1-52 / To Teens about Meetings: Special Officersí Meeting

Just a reminder that the youth group officers will be meeting before youth group on DAY, MONTH XX. Please make every effort to be in the library at 6:00 PM We will be discussing the upcoming summer campout, and we need the input of each of you in order to make several important decisions.

1-53 / To Teens about Newsletters: Change in Youth Page

Calling all teens! As of MONTH, the Teensations page of Community Churchís monthly newsletter will have a new look. In addition to the usual activities calendar, we are expanding it to include original writings and art work by youth. If you have drawings, poems, short stories, or other work you would like to share, submit it to the church office. We will try to use two or three items a month. If possible, they should somehow reflect your faith.

Please seriously consider what you can contribute. Your work can not only show what talented youth we have in our church, but it can minister to needs.

Anything to be considered for the MONTH newsletter should be submitted by MONTH XX. Thanks for your cooperation: without it, this new venture cannot succeed.

1-54 / To Teens about Problems: Throwing Snowballs

Once again, the high point of winter Ė snow Ė has arrived. I know many of you have been looking forward to it for some time, and I also know that snow seems to be just waiting to be formed into snowballs and thrown.

But a few teens in our parish got a little carried away with the snowball war after the 11:00 AM Mass last Sunday, and the end result was that an elderly lady was hit with a snowball. I realize that this was an accident, but the lady did not appreciate having snow all over her clothes. In addition, she could have fallen and been injured.

Because of this, I must insist that no snowballs be thrown within a quarter mile radius of the church. I would also like to see the person who threw the snowball which hit Mrs. NAME apologize to her.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

1-55 / To Teens about Procedures: For Election of Officers

At the next meeting of the youth fellowship, we will be holding elections for new officers. Here is the procedure which we will use:

For each position, the youth council will present two names of those who are considered capable and willing to serve.

In addition, nominations from the floor will be accepted. Anyone may nominate a person, including himself/herself, but the nomination must be seconded from someone else present. A maximum of two names per office will be accepted from the floor.

After nominations have been closed by a motion and a second from the floor, members may vote for one name for each position.

When the voting is completed, the written ballots will be tabulated and the winners announced at the end of the meeting.

Be thinking now who you would like to lead the youth group next year! We already have some great ideas for programs and projects for then, and if you are dedicated to God and willing to serve Him in this way, we need you to accept the challenge of being an officer. Even if you donít want to run, please make sure to come and vote. Let your wishes be made known!

1-56 / To Teens about Questionnaires

What do you want the youth group to do? Would you like roller skating? A hayride? Horseback riding? What subjects would you like to learn about? Getting along with parents? Dating? Handling peer pressure?

As we plan activities for next school year, we are trying to set up a schedule that you will be excited about. But in order to do so, we need your help. Please fill out the enclosed questionnaire, indicating what interests you, and bring or mail it to the church by Sunday, MONTH XX.

Thanks for your input. We expect to have such a great youth group planned that every teen in the parish will participate!

1-57 / To Teens about Resignations: Of Youth Officer Due to Illness

As you may already know, NAME has been having a struggle with his health for sometime. In spite of the cancer, he has been doing an outstanding job as president of the youth group.

But now, as his condition is worsening, NAME has informed me that he can no longer handle the responsibilities of his office. Rather than hold back the group in any way, he has decided to resign. He has assured me that as his health permits, he will continue to attend meetings. But he feels someone else needs to take over the leadership position that he has held.

Although Iím sorry to see NAME take this step, I understand and agree with his decision. This is a very difficult place for him to be in; I know how dedicated he is to the youth group.

At the next meeting, we will be taking nominations for a new president. In the meantime, I hope that you will make an effort to encourage NAME in some way. Let him know that although he can no longer serve as an officer, he is still an important part of our youth group.

1-58 / To Teens about Schedules: For Youth Retreat

In only one more week, the youth retreat will be here! I hope youíre as excited as I am. Here is the schedule for Fridayís and Saturdayís activities:

Friday:

4:00 PM Ė Meet in church parking lot.

5:00 PM Ė Arrive at camp. Time to unload gear and find out where things are.

6:00 P.M Ė Dinner. Girls in cabins 1 & 2 set up; boys in cabins 5 & 6 clean up.

7:00 PM Ė First Session. Bring your Bible, pen.

8:00 PM Ė Break for Recreation.

8:45 PM Ė Share Groups.

9:00 PM Ė Second Session.

9:45 PM Ė Wrap-up.

10:00 PM Ė Snack and free time.

12:00 midnight Ė Lights out.

Saturday:

8:00 AM Ė Breakfast. Set up, boys in cabins 7 & 8; clean up, girls in cabins 3 & 4.

8:45 AM Ė Personal morning devotions. Find a place by yourself.

9:00 AM Ė Third session.

10:00 AM Ė Sharing groups.

10:30 AM Ė Fourth session.

11:15 AM Ė Free time.

12:15 PM Ė Lunch. Set up, boys in cabins 5 & 6; clean up, girls in cabins 1 & 2.

1:15 PM Ė Fifth session.

2:15 PM Ė Share groups.

2:45 PM Ė Wrap-up.

3:00 PM Ė Free Time.

4:30 PM Ė Pack up.

5:00 PM Ė Leave camp. Stop at restaurant on way home.

6:45 PM Ė Arrive at church. Make sure someone is there to pick you up.

As you can see, we have a lot planned. Come expecting to have a great time and to be challenged in your faith!

1-59 / To Teens about Special Events: Youth Seminar

What are your plans for DAY, MONTH XX? I hope youíre free, because the youth group has a great opportunity on that day.

We have been invited to attend an intra-parish Drug Information Day to be held in CITY, STATE. Over thirty parishes have been asked to participate, and the day begins at 10:00 AM with a general session about the problem of illegal drugs among teens.

After a luncheon, the group will be broken down into smaller workshops dealing with problems such as how to help a friend who uses drugs. This will be followed by a time for socializing.

The day ends at 4:00 PM, and we plan on being back to St. Michaelís by 7:00 PM. Because of the importance of the topic, the parish will pay for any teen who wishes to attend the seminar. Your only cost will be money for a meal on the drive home.

I would encourage you to plan on going if at all possible. The drug problem is a serious one, and Iím certain we will gain from the information presented.

As soon as possible, I will let you know how to go about signing up for the trip. In the meantime, mark your calendars!

1-60 / To Teens about Thanks: For Help With Festival

You deserve a note of appreciation, so here is one! Your work at the St. Michaelís Festival last weekend was outstanding; the childrenís rides and games were a great success. I can imagine it must have taken a good bit of time to organize all of them, as well as to make sure each was running smoothly during the festival.

I look forward to being able to count on your help for next yearís festival. Thanks again for all you did!

Copyright © by Stephen R. Clark. All rights reserved.