Winter Thaw Warms Youths’ Commitment to Christ (1/17/20)

Posted by on Feb 8, 2020 in EventReport, FEATURED, Friends & Fellowship, youth, Youth Group | 0 comments

We always hear that we must “Commit to Christ.”  But what’s that REALLY mean?  How’s that play out in practical terms- especially if you’re a teenager?  Can you be committed to Christ in school, marching band, sports teams, or work?  How do you show commitment to Christ to your parents and brothers and sisters?

On the weekend of January 17-19, our youth group traveled to the Twin Pines retreat center in Stroudsburg PA to take part in the Youth Retreat which Twin Pines hosted.  This winter retreat is called “Winter Thaw,” and this year it was led by Jana Snyder.  Jana is a mom, a pastor’s wife, and she has harnessed her passion for Christ and for teens by leading youth ministry for over 25 years.

 

Preparing the Way…

A retreat weekend isn’t free; it is held at a Retreat Center which hosted and organized the retreat, and some cost is involved in order to attend.  Back in December, we came up with a creative way to raise funds for the retreat; they wrapped Christmas gifts! 

Over the course of two evenings, the Youth Group gathered in the church and people brought their unwrapped gifts to them.  In a few minutes, “customers” left with one less “to do item” on their list and a few more Youth Group members were that much closer to signing up for the retreat.

 

Get Away…

On Friday January 17 2020, we traveled to  Twins Pines Retreat Center and spent the weekend at Winter Thaw.   Winter Thaw is a great chance for our youth to get away from the daily grind of school, sports, and pressures.  As we leave the excitement of the Christmas holidays and enter the “normalcy” of January, this break gives us a chance to refocus on our relationships with Jesus.

Along with five youth leaders, eighteen students attended the retreat located in Stroudsburg, PA. The retreat focused on the call to be obedient to God.   Our theme verse was from 1 Kings 8:61…

“And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands…”  

NIV

 

Committed???

Jana Snyder

Teenagers often hear they are to be committed to Christ, but they may not fully understand what that means or how it applies to their daily lives.

Jana Snyder, our speaker, along with the worship band from Chapel United Methodist Church in Red Lion, PA, demonstrated and challenged us to display our commitment and obedience to God in concrete ways at school, work, activities, and with their families.

 

After returning form the retreat, one of our BLAST members reflected on the experience…

Recently, members of the Jr. and Sr. High Youth Group attended Winter Thaw, a retreat center in Pennsylvania.

The facility is located in the Poconos, so we enjoyed the snow (some of us REALLY enjoyed throwing it at other people!). We enjoyed competing against other churches in a silent movie contest as well as other recreational games. Our whole group had a lot of fun playing volleyball on a snow-covered court and spreading God’s love one clothes pin at a time!

This year, the focus of the message was obedience. Obedience to God, oneself, each other.

Jana, the speaker, made a very interesting point about how being obedient means not only serving God but serving him how he wants us to serve. In addition, she stressed the importance of understanding that failure is not the end, that when we fail, God always has plans to support us and lead us back to him.

We learned about different ways we can deal with the pressures of being a teenager, both in school and at home, and how crucial it is for us to trust we are safe in God’s capable hands no matter what comes our way.

What was perhaps the most impactful part of the message was a section on the things we should and should not do to serve God. Jana talked about how we can include serving Him in our daily lives at such a young age through actions as simple as being honest with each other and to ourselves and refraining from judging others. 

In just the short time we spent at Winter Thaw, Jana, the retreat staff, and our youth leaders taught us about the importance of serving God in everything we do and provided us with some helpful ways we can do this in our lives regardless of our age, experiences, or resources.

 

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