The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

December flew by! I hope all of you had a fantastic Christmas and New Years! I pray that this holiday season has been a reminder of all that we have to be thankful for, and that this new year is one of many blessings!

December Recap

This month, we wrapped up the semester and I finished off my first semester as an apprentice! We had our annual Christmas party, Christmas service, and staff dinner! My core and FOJs came to a close and we prepared to take a break before we jump right into next semester- I cannot wait to tell you all about it!

Christmas Party and Service

Each year, UTD FOCUS puts on two Christmas related events- our Christmas service and our Christmas party. As a student, these were two of my favorite events and were a good way to wrap up the semester while I was focusing on finals. This year, our Christmas party was Polar Express themed and it was a blast! Throughout the night we pulled inspiration from the movie and made all of our games have to do with trains and Christmas. It reminded me of Polar Express Day from elementary school and made my heart happy! For our Christmas service, we partner with one of our local churches, Cornerstone Family Church, to put on a Christmas service for our students. We do lots of Christmas hymns and get to hear from some of their congregation as well as our students. It is such a sweet event that concludes with us eating cookies that Cornerstone’s members have made us and a time to hang out with both our students and members from Cornerstone. 

Class Wrap-Up

This semester, I have learned so much! I have taken and wrapped up Old Testament, Spiritual Leadership, Maturing with Mandy, Ministry Essentials, Evangelism, Financial Stewardship, Preaching, and Body Stewardship classes. Each one of these courses has been such a blessing to me and all of the apprentices and I feel like I am only beginning to unpack all that I have learned. It has been so sweet getting to hear and learn from some of our pastors and get to pick their brain about topics that we are only beginning to think about. I am looking forward to my classes next semester and am excited to see all that God is going to do through them! Would you join me in praying for next semester for myself and all of our students? I think the newness of a new semester is always a great way to be reminded of all that God is doing and all that He has done!

Staff and Winter Retreat

In the next few weeks, our staff will be going on a retreat to reset and prepare for our next semester. I am looking forward to getting away for a few days and getting to spend some uninterrupted time with God and with the people that I get to do this crazy wonderful job with! The following weekend, we will be taking over 350 students to winter retreat in Glen Rose. Winter Retreat is one of my favorite events because it is one of the few times that all of our campuses get to worship and hang out together! Would you join me in praying for both of these retreats? Specifically that we would experience God in big and small ways and that our time together would be fruitful! 

Thanks again for joining me in ministry this year and for being so supportive of all that God is doing at UTD! Your prayers and support have been so apparent and appreciated!

Until next time,

Jessica :)

P.S. Can you find Waldo?


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