Fall Kick-off BBQ & Bonfire – RESCHEDULED!



Due to a significant amount of rain and a saturated ground, the Soul Garage Kickoff BBQ & Bonfire is RESCHEDULED to this Friday, September 4th 5:00-10:00pm! Please help us pass the word to your friends.  Sorry to those that will be unable to join us on Wednesday due to football or family plans.  All the necessary info is below:


All youth 7th-12th grade are invited to join us Friday, September 4th from 5:00-10:00pm at Mark & Sonja Kuhrt’s house for the 2015 Fall Soul Garage Kickoff Bonfire.  Address is 1817 19th Avenue in Rice Lake.  Free food.  Free fun.  Free games.  Invite your friends.  Bring clothes for outdoor games and running shoes. Bring clean clothes to change into after the wet games!

If you haven’t already seen videos from Facebook or YouTube of Kiddie Pool Kickball, check it out by clicking HERE or watching below. It’s supposed to be epic, but we will let you decide.  Bring swimwear or clothes that can get wet and soapy.

We will also have our new 9 Square In the Air game set up.  If you have never seen this game played, check it out by clicking HERE or watching below:

There will be an opportunity for youth to share what God has done in your life this summer during an open mic time.  Come prepared to encourage one another and share your vision for our youth group for this year.  We will also spend some time digging into the Word of God, so bring your Bibles!  Bring a lawn chair if you want.


Beach & BBQ Day


All youth (incoming 7th graders through just graduated) are invited to bring a friend and come enjoy a day at the lake, Wednesday, August 26th 3:00-9:00pm.  This is a FREE event!  Come learn how to waterski or kneeboard or enjoy tubing on the lake.  Volleyball, Nuke ‘Em, Soccer, or Ultimate Frisbee.  We will have food, land games (including 9 Square in the Air) and water sports to be enjoyed by all.  Or, just enjoy hanging out with friends. As always, wear modest swimwear (Girls – No visible tummies and Guys – no speedos).

This is the LAST of the three Beach & BBQ Events for Summer 2015 at Silver Lake (4th Wednesday of each summer month).

In order to get to Grant County Park at Silver Lake from Maranatha click HERE.

Whatever your skill level, come enjoy the water.




Camping, Canoeing & Rock Climbing

Scouting Trip Down the Chippewa River
Scouting Trip Down the Chippewa River

All youth (incoming 7th graders through Class of 2015) are invited to join us for a short camping & canoe trip down the Chippewa River in Bruce Friday-Saturday August 21-22.  We will be meeting at 5:00pm at our campsite on the north side of Bruce (see attached map/directions).  The site where we will be staying is a building site located at the intersection of Divine Avenue and Chippewa Avenue (Take Divine east until it comes to a T at Chippewa and the construction site has a pole shed almost straight across Chippewa Ave.  Behind the pole shed is a trail leading across a wooden bridge to the river.Bruce Canoe Trip Directions


Bruce Canoe Trip Directions Closeup

Friday evening we will set up camp, cook a meal together, swim in the river, make s’mores and banana boats and have a devotional and worship song time around the campfire.

Saturday morning after breakfast we will load up and drive north a little ways to where we will put in to the Chippewa River with the canoes and kayaks.  We will then paddle down the river for 3 hours back to the campsite, stopping and playing in the river along the way.  We will do lunch at the campsite then pack up the camp.

Saturday afternoon, for those who are up for a little more adventure, we will head to Christie Mountain (15 minutes away) to do some outdoor rock-climbing for a few hours on the ski hill cliffs.  Once we are done rock climbing, we will head back to the Soul Garage.  Youth can be picked up at Christie Mountain around 5:30pm or we will try to shuttle everyone back to the Soul Garage around 6:00pm Saturday.  We do not plan to do supper together, but will probably have some snacks for while we are rock-climbing.

Rock Climbing at Christie2

Please RSVP ASAP by texting (847.682.2405) or emailing (tony@soulgarage.com) Pastor Tony (by noon on Wednesday at the latest).  Group size for rock climbing may be limited so first come, first serve.  When you RSVP, let me know if you will join us for rock climbing as well or get picked up after lunch from our campsite. 

Cost & Payment

  • Cost for camping & canoeing: $20
  • If you are rock-climbing as well, total cost will be $30
  • Payment can be made to Maranatha Evangelical Free Church


Packing List: Click Canoe & Rock Climb Packing List




Lessons From Chicago (Bella Vavra)


In God’s word, we read about all kinds of important things. We learn about fellowship, about discipleship, what it means to be a Christian, and how to show love like one. We learn that through Him we can do anything, and that we cannot depend on ourselves, but on him. On this trip I was lucky enough to see and experience many of these lessons personally, which was not only incredible, but eye opening, and it gave me a deeper understanding of what a Christian life can and should look like.


I got the chance to get to know not only the COSC youth group, but also my own youth group. Going into this trip that was definitely a worry of mine, as none of my friends who I typically talked to at youth group were attending this trip. I was going into this with, for the most part, a group I hardly knew. And yet, this turned out better than I could have ever expected.

Through every struggle we all worked together, critiqued each other when necessary, and held each other up. I believe it brought us together as a youth group, and without it I think I never would’ve gotten to know some amazing people. For example, putting together and running registration turned out to be a much bigger task than I expected, and as a result I was lucky enough to get to know one of our leaders and my partner on this job, Julie, who worked with me and overcame challenge after challenge with me. I found an incredible friend in her, in my roommates Gabby and Josey, and in other members of our team who I had hardly known beyond their names.

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Coming together as a youth group also gave me a better understanding of what Christian fellowship looks like, and a huge part of that was the COSC youth group and youth leaders. They were with us every step of the way on this trip, and I can’t thank them enough for everything they did.  They had a youth group that almost seemed like a family, they were all so close. I hadn’t realized a youth group could be like that, but it’s something I would love to have in our own youth group.

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Throughout the week we all worked to put together and run this VBS, which often meant early mornings and late nights. It was often very tiring, and I think it’s safe to say quite a few of us found a new appreciation for coffee. However, the whole experience was so beyond worth it.  Working with the kids was so much fun, and getting to be a part of something like this was something I won’t forget. Every bit of work payed off, and gave us all something to be proud of. It helped me to see what we can be capable of through God.

Huge thanks to all my friends and family who supported me on this trip, both financially and in prayer.  And a huge thanks to the leaders who guided us through it all. All in all, it was an amazing trip, and I really hope we get to go back next year 🙂

John 15:12 NIV
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

-Bella Vavra

Lessons From Chicago (Josiah Gander)


The training really helped me with my spiritual growth and how you would share the gospel with nonbelievers and people growing with Christ in the real world.


Leading a kid to Christ was an eye-opening experience because it taught me that there are different stages in becoming a Christian.


And it was an amazing experience watching Christ work in the kids.  Getting to see a youth group love one another was amazing to see also.

~Josiah Gander

Lessons from Chicago (Michelle Nord)

2 Kinds of People

I was once in a Beth Moore Bible study where Beth talked about two kinds of people.  She said some of you are not getting involved in serving your church and you need to step up and get involved.  Then, she said others of you need to step back because you are in the way of allowing someone else to step up.  Her comment for the second type of person really struck me because I am the kind of person who always steps in and gets involved.  I never thought about my over-involvement as preventing someone else from serving.  This lesson was lived out during the missions trip to Chicago.


Although the youth had not been very involved in any pre-arrival preparations for the VBS program, the plan was to assign them all to specific roles and have them prepare their own areas.  My goal was to entrust the work to the youth, rather than do it myself.  Sometimes there was only one way to complete a task and I just had to provide the instructions.  Sometimes, there was an end goal, with no specific plan of how to accomplish it.  I would talk through ideas with the youth and have them come back to me once they came up with a plan.  There were many times when I had to force myself to walk away and allow the youth to take the lead, even if it might mean failure on their part.  I had to step back so that I wasn’t preventing the youth from becoming the responsible, mature young people that they are capable of being.  This was not an easy thing for me to do!

In some ways, my other challenge was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to step back in many ways.  Being 8 months pregnant, there were many times when my physical condition required that I sit down and rest.  DSC_0075Not only did I have to step back to allow the youth to step up, but I had to sit down and put my feet up.  I couldn’t micromanage them, to make sure they were doing their tasks the way I wanted them done.  I had to trust that they were getting the job done.  Fortunately, the One who called them to serve on this team is FAITHFUL and it is He who equipped and sustained them through a busy, challenging, and exhausting week!

Unlike many VBS programs I have been apart of, where the youth were merely junior helpers or assistants, in many ways, the youth were running the program.  Sometimes there was an adult helping out, but other times it was solely on the youth to make sure their part of the program ran smoothly.  I was so proud to watch them rise to the challenge and become leaders along the way.  I am so glad that God enabled me to step back and get out of the way, to allow another generation of His followers to learn how to become leaders in His church.

I want to share two examples of how the youth grew in maturity during the trip.  Every day after the VBS program was done, we would gather together for lunch and spend some time debriefing how the morning had gone.  This gave the adults an opportunity to guide the youth as they were taking on the responsibilities of running the program.  It also gave the youth an opportunity to both affirm and critique one another.  Instead of being frustrated or complaining/gossiping about things that didn’t go well, we had a forum where frustrations could be voiced in a constructive way, with the goal of improving the VBS program, not tearing one another down.  On top of that, the youth and adults also affirmed one another in what was done well.  This was probably one of my favorite times of the day, listening to the youth build each other up with encouragement and praise.  You could see in the faces of the youth how much the peer affirmation meant to them.

DSC_0232The second example was one evening while we were debriefing in the van about the day and decided to stop and pray together for some specific requests.  I know many of the youth are not comfortable to pray out loud in front of others, but the majority of them not only courageously prayed aloud, but their prayers were a reflection of their maturity and spiritual growth.  I was blessed to be apart of that corporate prayer time.

This missions trip to Chicago was a blessing to so many – our team, Christ Our Savior Church, and the children who attended the VBS. Thank you so much to everyone who supported us financially and through prayers!

~Michelle Nord