The long, warm days of summer are quickly coming to an end. The hallways and classrooms in our schools are all clean and prepared for another ten months of learning. And that means it's also time for a brand new year at The Bridge to start!
This is an exciting time for The Bridge. A lot has happened over the past few months of the summer that we think you should know as we prepare to head into the 2014-2015 year. We've decided to highlight six things of impending importance.
1. Pastor Carlos and The Bridge
Recently, in July, our founder and youth pastor, Carlos Cedeño, transitioned positions in our church and has become the senior pastor. While we'll miss him in the day-to-day operations of The Bridge, we know that his leadership over the entire church will guide us into new and exciting territories.
2. Bridge United Closes its Doors
On August 24, 2014, we closed Bridge United. Bridge United was our Sunday service for teenagers that met weekly in The Liberty Center. Bridge United was originally called The Sanctuary Youth Church and was opened in September 2004. For ten years, it served as a home church for many teenagers in Elizabeth. While we loved The Sanctuary/Bridge United, we are moving in a new direction going forward and realized that it had served its purpose and run its course.
3. Bridge Home Small Groups to Begin in September
On September 10, 2014, we reintroduced Bridge Home Small Groups to our ministry. About 10 years ago we had a Small Group program with multiple groups all around the City of Elizabeth, but slowly faded it out. We believe that the Small Group environment is important and more beneficial for the lives of our students, and so we are investing our energies into them for the foreseeable future. We are starting with two groups - one for boys and one for girls. These groups will be be much smaller and more intimate than Bridge Fridays is or Bridge United was. Students will get to grow together with a small group of other teenagers in their same age range. They will have dedicated leaders ministering and mentoring them and pouring their own lives and experiences into them. We believe that the students who attend the small groups will grown closer to God and develop a more long-lasting and powerful relationship with him as well as with each other. For more information about our Home Small Groups, including times and locations, please visit our Small Groups page.
4. Bridge Fridays Start September 19
One thing that is not changing at The Bridge is our Friday night program. The Bridge will continue to meet in six school gymnasiums throughout the city. Our six locations are:
- The Bridge: Downtown in Terence C. Reilly School No. 7
- The Bridge: Elmora in Elmora School No. 12
- The Bridge: North Elizabeth in Robert Morris School No. 18
- The Bridge: South Elmora in Woodrow Wilson School No. 19
- The Bridge: Twenty-Three in Nicholas Murray Butler School No. 23
- The Bridge: Uptown in Madison-Monroe School No. 16
Just as last year, we will offer two Friday night programs, one for elementary students and one for middle and high school students.
Bridge, Jr, our elementary program, is open for students from grades 2-5 from 6pm - 7pm.
The Bridge, our middle and high school program, is open for students from grades 6-12 from 7pm - 8:30pm.
In order for any youth to attend The Bridge's program, they will need a filled out, signed, and completed Parent Consent Form. You can pick up a Parent Consent Form at any Bridge location or by downloading one here.
5. The 2014 Bridge Olympics and BBQ
The Bridge follows the same schedule as the Elizabeth Public Schools. That means that when the Public Schools are closed, The Bridge is closed. As such, even though The Bridge opens its Friday program on September 19, we must be closed on September 26th in honor of Rosh Hashanah. Instead of just taking the night off, we will be hosting the 2014 edition of the annual Bridge Olympics and BBQ at the Warinanco Park skating rink, starting at 2pm. We'd love for all Bridge students and families to come attend. The Olympics are a day of great fun for all students involved, and we'd love to be able to meet and talk to all our parents as well.
6. The Bridge's Online Newsletter and Social Media Links
In order to better communicate important Bridge information with our students and parents, we are launching a brand new Bridge e-mail newsletter. This newsletter will be sent out bi-monthly and is completely free. If you'd like to sign up to receive our e-mail newsletter and other important announcements, you can do so on our website, http://bridgeyouth.com or by giving your e-mail address in at any Bridge location. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook at the username, @bridgeyouth.
Thanks again for being a part of The Bridge family for the 2014-2015 season! We can't wait to see where the journey takes us over the next several months.