Do you love beans?? or why we LOVE TLC!

We have worked with the Manna Food Project for the last four years; the summer of 2008 was the first time that TLC and Manna crossed paths.  Since that time, the young people who have been a part of the TLC program have done some amazing work for the project.  We have painted, sorted food, helped those needing food with their shopping, pulled weeds, and anything else that Gabby needed us to do.  In turn, the young people who have been a part of TLC have been amazingly blessed by Gabby and the entire Manna family.

Today was our Manna work day.

Our main task at Manna today was something that we had never done before; we were charged with repackaging kidney beans.  Gabby told us that the Campbell’s Soup Company donated a pallet – yes a pallet – of beans to Feeding America, an organization with which Manna is now a part.  In order to redistribute the beans to other pantries, the beans had to be packaged into 1.5 pound servings.

Armed and dangerous - look out beans!

Gabby told us before we started that it was an 800 pound pallet and that it would probably take a few days to get through.  As we began, we could understand why!  The beans were frozen together into a nearly solid ice sheet and needed to be chiseled apart as well as repackaged.  Once we started working, we assessed how long we thought it might take and what our goal should be.  The group decided that if they could finish half the box then it would have been a success.  After a while, some crazy things started to happen:

(This was while they were waiting for more labels to be printed for the bags!)



Immediately after using the beans like a waterfall, and somewhere around singing “Jumper” the teens said, “Let’s make an advertisement!”  And then they shouted, “We love beans!”

TLC is about the spirit that these young people are showing.  It is about working hard for a cause bigger than yourself all while making yourself the best Christian leader you can be.

Oh, those beans?  They packaged them all – but at last count there were over 42 boxes of beans that each had 25 bags and each bag weighed 1.5 pounds.  For those that aren’t near a calculator, that’s nearly 1,600 pounds of beans.  Over three-quarters of a ton.  Enough to provide 3,200 meals worth of protein.

This is why we love TLC.

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TLC 2011 – Day 1

We are underway, and it is good to be back!  God has blessed us this week with four new participants and one amazing ninja.  The energy in Emmanuel and within the group is already building and growing.  Look out Petoskey, here we come!

Necklaces, bolts, and books are ready for the participants

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5 Months From Now…

…where will you be?  Do you know what I will be doing?  I will be working my tail off at the Manna Food Project – or removing fencing or overgrowth at the Little Traverse Conservancy – or volunteering for the Petoskey Soup Kitchen.  Ok, so you caught me – I don’t know exactly what I will be doing, but I do know that when I am doing whatever it is that I am doing – I will be making my mark on the world.

Five months from now you could be sunbathing, or playing baseball, or simply hanging out with friends.  Do those things the other 51 weeks out of the year.  For one week, commit yourself to a bigger cause and a higher purpose and do something meaningful.

Come to TLC.

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TLC is coming

TLC 2011 is going to be here soon.  Mark your calendars for July 16 – the start of TLC.  The Jedi met last Sunday and had a great conversation about the upcoming camp.  Flyers were finalized and will be going up soon.  Be sure to check this page often for updates.  You can also subscribe via email (see the link at the bottom) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.  Documents for this coming summer will be posted shortly.

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TLC 2011!

It with great joy that I unveil to the world the dates of TLC 2011: July 16-24 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Petoskey!  The Jedi Council has been meeting regularly since the end of TLC ’10 and there is no doubt that this will be the best TLC yet.  Look for flyers and more information to be in your mailbox soon.

Mark your calendars!  Tell your friends!  Get ready for TLC ’11!

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Brochure is Up!

Hello World!  The brochure for TLC 2010 is posted on the Documents page.  Remember, TLC will be held July 17-25 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Petoskey.

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What TLC means to me

When Fr. Greg contacted me about joining the TLC team, I was instantly excited.  I had such fond memories of CALL and summer camp – which were instrumental in forming the basis of TLC – that I knew that it would be good.  From the first meeting, it was obvious that I would be working with passionate people that were striving to make a positive impact on young people.

Once TLC began, I had preconceived notions of how things should flow.  These were carryovers from my time spent in the youth programs of the Diocese of Western Michigan.  These expectations – I finally realized – were holding me back.

The expectations that I carried with me were not in any way negative – nor did having them make my first experience at TLC negative.  It was just that they didn’t fit.  Once I began to let TLC happen – and put my own agenda on the back burner, it was amazing.  I witnessed youth banding together to accomplish wonderful things.  I was privileged to work side-by-side with the participants as we cleared miles (it was more than a mile, right?) of cattle fencing that had been partially reclaimed by nature.  When time was tight, the youth banded together to prepare an entire dinner for a local soup kitchen in 20 minutes flat.  I also was witness as the young people assembled in Petoskey began to grapple with what it means to be a Christian Leader.

It is an amazing blessing to be a leader in a program like this.  TLC is an entirely organic program that changes and grows out of a basic framework established many years ago.  I still am aware that TLC needs guidance by a committed and creative leadership team, but sometimes – just sometimes – I need to let go and let God work through the program and the youth to amaze me.

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Welcome to the new TLC website!  On this page, you will find information about upcoming events, posts from members of the TLC community, and much, much more!  Be on the lookout for information about TLC 2010!

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