MUUUCE – Trust Jesus and Have Fun!
How many pizzas do you need to feed 644 middle schoolers and their leaders? One hundred sixty, which were devoured in less than five minutes. It also takes 689 Chick-fil-A sandwiches, 4,320 bottles of water, 32 watermelons and 180 volunteers.
From Aug. 2-4, middle school students and leaders from 43 NWC churches gathered at Crossroads Church in Woodbury for MUUUCE: the Most Unbelievable, Ultimate, Urban Camping Experience. MUUUCE has been going on not just for years, but for decades. For a few days, middle schoolers learn more about Jesus at an event that’s designed specifically for them.
On Thursday afternoon, students unpacked their gear in one of two huge school gyms where they would camp for the next few days (there was no air conditioning, hence the “camping” part of the event). They then headed out to a massive field where they were greeted by a Welcome Party that was a middle schooler’s dream. It included lots of giant inflatable games, hair painting, a huge video game where students were actively part of the on-screen action, mini-donuts, ice cream bars, Mountain Dew, tacos, sno-cones and popcorn.
After the worship session that evening, students headed to the Big Thrill Factory where they could ride go karts, climb high ropes, spend time in the arcade, jump on trampolines or let loose with laser tag.
Friday morning kicked off with another great worship session featuring Leonard Davis from Young Life in Kansas City talking about the theme, “Trusting Jesus.” Worship was led by James Howard and the worship team from Crossroads. That afternoon, everyone loaded on the bus and headed to Valley Fair. The day finished up with another worship gathering and then the final service took place Saturday morning before they headed home.
Sydney Zenk was a student at MUUUCE just a few years ago. Now, she was participating for the first time as a leader with Countryside Covenant. She reflected, “Coming here [as a student] was my first big step into the faith. It’s cool to be able to come back and help other kids take that first, second or third step in their faith.”
MUUUCE is led by a team of a few paid but mostly volunteer leaders at Crossroads and a few other Covenant churches. Tim Stanley, pastor of the Crossroads Hastings Campus was the MUUUCE director and Sandra Florin and her team provided the creative and administrative backbone to the event.
Luke Korthuis (Salem Covenant, New Brighton, MN) and Alica Vela (Roseville Covenant) were active on the leadership team as well. This group meets all year to design an event that will help middle schoolers understand that they are deeply loved by God and that church is a place where you can have fun.