2016 was again a great year for the Children of Next Chapter Ministries. This year we continued to have groups going on as often as 4 evenings a week. During these groups the children would eat dinner together, do a relationships building activity together and conclude the evening with a leisure time that often included laughs and a whole lot of fun. The children also were involved in one of the camping trips this summer. Many of these same children met with their mentor on a weekly basis. The year ended with the children celebrating the service of the longtime staff member and Youth Coordinator, Melinda Fischer, whose last day was December 23rd.
As a result of Melinda’s resignation it was decided that the Youth Ministry would be separated by two distinct groups-children’s and teens. As a result of this we promoted Courtney Dugstad to our Teen Ministry Director and we posted a Children’s Ministry Director position in mid-December. Though we had some amazing applicants unfortunately we have not hired anyone for the Children’s Ministry as of yet. Therefore, after a very fun yet busy time for staff that shared evenings with the children through January, it was prayerfully discussed and decided to make some modifications to the Children’s Ministry. It was decided to have a more concerted effort on our mentoring program and pause evening activities until a new director is hired or a new direction is decided. We will still be continuing our Thursday Night Network For Life group for children whose parents attend. Research informs us that children that are impacted by crime often have higher risk factors. Our goal of having a stronger focus in our mentoring program will contribute to the likelihood of the following risk factors being reduced and protective factors being increased. Our children will likely be benefited by our mentorship program with the following;
· Less likely to Initiate a use of drug and/or alcohol use
· Less incidents of physical violence initiated by the mentee
· Increased competence in school
· Improved grades
· Fewer skipped days of school
· Higher self-esteem
As we move forward a mentor and mentee can expect the following:
· To hear monthly from Courtney Dugstad about fun activities going on in our community, sharing neat stories, and available to answer questions that a mentor and/or mentee may have.
At the present we are very excited and proud because all of our children and teens have mentors except for two fourth grade girls and one teen aged boy. If you have interest in mentoring either of these youth and/or being on a waiting list as we look to add participants over time please feel free to contact Courtney Dugstad at our office at 507-529-5799.
Again thanks for all your support of Next Chapter Ministries and please reserve your ticket for our First Annual Restoration Celebration which will take place March 17th. This event allows us to continue to “build lasting relationships with people that have been impacted by crime, restoring them to God, family, and community with the Gospel of God”. To reserve your ticket please call our office or purchase your ticket on our website: http://nextchapterrochester.org/upcoming-events.