Middle School FL Electives

RYM Middle School Florida Electives

Please read the descriptions below and register at the bottom of this page for TWO electives!

1. Built Different - Kurt Cooper

Why is it that you feel the freedom to talk trash about your hometown, but the second someone from another place makes fun of it you get defensive? Why is it okay for an older brother to pick on his younger sibling, but when another kid does it, the older brother is ready to fight? In this elective, we’ll dive into the differences that shape our modern existence (race, sex, ethnicity) and explore how the Gospel and our identity in Christ speak to the things that divide us. 

Kurt Cooper has served as the Minister to Youth at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Montgomery, Alabama since 2012. He and his wife, Marty, have two boys: Campbell (10) & Grayson (5). 

2. Turn Down The Volume: Silence and Stillness Before The Lord - Drew Turberville

Our culture is getting faster, louder, noisier, and more chaotic with every hour. And whether we know it or not, that is damaging to our souls. God has given us the gift of silence and stillness before Him to center our lives around Him and to enrich our souls. In this class, we’ll study Scripture about why being still is so hard, why silence and stillness is a gift, and how to build this into our daily rhythms.

Drew Turberville is the Student Pastor at Riveroaks Reformed Presbyterian Church in Germantown TN. He has been there for over 4 years and has loved every minute of it! He and his wife Erin have been married for 9 years. They have three kids and a dog: Cole (7), Ellie (5), Whit (1.5), and Lucy (63 in made-up dog years).

3. Belonging to God in an Age of Self-Belonging - Austin Lenox

You belong to something. Everyone does! Much like the question of worship, it's not IF you belong to something but WHAT it is you belong to. Our current society is driven by a commitment to the idea that we belong to ourselves. "YOU are the only one who can call the shots in your life!" What if rediscovering the beauty of belonging to God in an age of self belonging is what we need to combat everything from burn out and depression to drug/alcohol abuse and pornography? If the "self-belonging" world in which you live feels inhuman and impossible to be happy in...join us in this elective!

Austin was raised in rural North Alabama before attending Mississippi State University where he found and fell in love with RUF, Reformed Theology, and Youth Ministry. He has served at Main Street Pres. (Columbus, MS), First Pres. (Jackson, MS), and now serves as the Director of Youth and Assimilation at Redeemer in Midtown Memphis. He's married to Meredith. Track Austin down to hear why Pepsi is better than Coke and why cats are superior to dogs.    

4. Women in the Bible - Rose Ohnstad

Ever wondered how women fit into the Bible and Christianity? In a world that has mixed information about Christianity’s stance on women, come explore for yourself what the Bible reveals to be true about the importance of women in the greatest story ever told. We will spend the week looking at biblical women and their traits to see what we can learn and how the Lord used them to accomplish great things! 

Rose and her husband, Sander, live in Jackson, MS where Rose is serving in her 6th year on youth staff for First Presbyterian Church. Rose loves anything containing chocolate and peanut butter, and loves to hear podcast recommendations! 

5. Permission for Emotions-how the Psalms can speak and give voice to the deepest cries of our hearts - Tim Pitzer

You became a Christian and now are enjoying new life in Christ, and yet at the same time you find yourself struggling with fear and anxiety as you live in and interact with the world around you. Often we are taught either directly or indirectly to get our emotions under control. Our prayer life turns into a rehearsed sequence of statements we consider safe and not too passionate while at the same time our hearts are screaming inside for comfort, for clarity, and for life. In this class we will look at how the Psalms give us permission to experience and profess real emotions about what God is doing, and see a model for restoring to us the joy of his salvation.  

Tim grew up in Rhode Island and attended Clemson University where he met his wife Stephanie. He attended RTS Charlotte and has served in Youth and Family Ministry for 14 years at Clemson Presbyterian, Hilton Head Presbyterian, Watershed Fellowship, and currently at New Covenant Church in Anderson, SC. He and Steph have four girls; Ruthie (7), Clara (5), Iris (4), and Abigail (7 months). He enjoys cycling, running, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers. 

6. What's Shaping You - Chandler Machemehl

When you think about the man or woman you'd like to become, say, 20 years from now, what comes to mind? Do you imagine yourself doing a certain kind of job, being married, having a family? What about at the very end of your life - what kind of person do you want to be? In this class, we'll talk about the things that are shaping us - for the better and for the worse - and how we can follow Jesus for the long haul. 

Chandler is married to Allison and they have three kids: Mabel, Cheney and Wylie. He went to UGA aka “the Harvard of the South”. He loves to play golf and eat at the Waffle House. Chandler is the youth pastor at Downtown Pres in Greenville, SC. 

7. The Power of Music - Michael Hall

It’s just true - music…all kinds of music…is powerful!  It affects our minds, emotions, and bodies in a variety of ways.  Why?  Is it neutral?  If it’s so powerful we should consider just how it’s power is affecting us.  Not primarily to stand in judgment on what music is good and what is bad, but (I believe) to identify what is true and celebrate it, identify what is false and reject it, and finally to discern how (or if) we should integrate it into our lives as children of God.  The goal for this class is to be informative, reflective, and fun.  We’ll talk about music, listen to music, think about music, and hopefully come out a little wiser for it!  

Michael is the Director of Training for RYM.  Before joining the RYM staff in 2016 he was a youth pastor in three churches (in SC, MO, and VA) for a little more than 20 years. Michael is married to Kirby, they met through RUF at Ole Miss where the Lord called them both to faith in Jesus.  They have three kiddos: McKenzie (20), Carter (19), and John Thomas (17).  He loves being outside, college football, food shared in community, laughter, powerful music and their two dogs…Rosie Gamgee (English Bulldog) and Theodore “Teddy” Laurence (French Bulldog).


Please fill out the following interest form for two electives!



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