New Beginnings

Hello everyone and welcome to my first blog post!

I hope your summer has left you thoroughly tanned and ready to kick off the fall. The past few weeks have been a doozy - the staff was all ordained, we went on staff retreat, and I'm preparing to move this week. This transition is one full of so much love and thankfulness; God has really given me a gift by placing me here.

So let's take a step back. Ordaining is a big deal! On July 26th, all of the apprentices and continuing staff made our commitments and got ordained. It was so surreal.  I remember watching my friends get ordained and believing I would never do that, but thankfully, God had bigger plans. Now I get to work with this rockin' team of humans (see below).

The 2018-2019 apprentice class at our orientation.

We kicked off August strong with my first ever FOCUS staff retreat. The entire trip was geared towards developing relationships and getting ready for the semester. We started each day with a walk-n-talk, worship, and a meeting with our campus staff. After lunch, it was game-time. We spent afternoons playing speedball, board games, and ping-pong. And finally, we came together in the evenings to eat, worship, share stories, encouragements, and Scriptures that God placed on our heart for one another. This retreat helped me paint a vision for the year ahead - a year of spurring, laughing, and helping one another grow closer to God. And as corny as it is, I think I walked away every night knowing God just a little bit more.

The staff gathered together to discuss the year ahead.

The whole group singing songs together in worship.

As we go into the school year, please join me in praying for our outreach and meeting new students. We are so dedicated to spending the first week of school offering friendship, and that takes a lot of energy. Please pray that we can continually serve as bold examples of God's care for His people throughout the week.

Lastly, I’d like to remind anyone who committed to give to go ahead and start setting up those payments! There are a couple options depending on how you want to give:
  • Online at
  • Write a check to "FOCUS" with my initials (SP) in the memo line and send it to Northeast Church 318 N Shiloh Rd. Garland, TX 75042.
Thank you so much for partnering with me in ministry and tagging along for the ride. Work like this is impossible without support from people like you who are willing to give to the mission. Also, please let me know how I can be praying for you! I’d love to take part in being on your prayer team.

With love,



  1. Hey Sam! I'm so excited that you are on the team this year. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on staff retreat - it sounds like we accomplished what we planned to!
    I am praying for you and all the apprentices as you dive deep into the Old Testament these next couple weeks. Stay focused on all that reading and learning, and God will show you some amazing things about himself!
    Love you!

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