One Confirmation Retreat Offered in 2012

1/3/2012

Connectional Ministries, in partnership with Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, will again offer youth from around the Conference the opportunity to learn, worship and fellowship at their annual Confirmation Retreat.

With only one Confirmation Retreat this year, set for March 16-18, 2012, registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.  While the retreat itself has space for 600 participants, the maximum space for on-site housing at Epworth By The Sea is 500. 

Designed for students in the sixth grade and above, the “Join the Journey” Confirmation Retreat will provide churches of all sizes an opportunity to connect with others through worship, study, and fellowship.  The event will also include large group gatherings around the church seasons and breakout sessions with topics of grace, United Methodist History and United Methodist lingo.

Not meant to be the only confirmation youth go through, the Confirmation Retreat should be complimentary to what a church is or will be doing.

“The Confirmation Retreat is a great opportunity for us to grow in our relationship with God and learn about our United Methodist heritage with 500 other students the same age,” said Jim Towson, associate director of Life Span Ministries with Connectional Ministries. “It's amazing how learning about our past can better prepare us for the future.”

Workshop topics include:

  • Talkin' Funny / Mumbo Jumbo: This workshop with help attendees understand and define the words used in United Methodism, including Wesleyan terms, organizational terms, titles, and more. Confirmands will gain a greater sense of organization and understanding of key people and terms.
  • Three Simple Rules: This workshop is a study of the General Rules that were observed by the Methodist societies of John Wesley and that are found in the United Methodist Book of Discipline.  Students will explore what it means to do no harm, to do good, and to attend upon all the ordinances of God.
  • Packing for the Journey: This workshop will help students learn about things they will need on their “journey” of faith.  They will learn about what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus, how to grow in that relationship, and why it is important to serve others because of that relationship.

Also offered during the weekend are Join the Journey “Holy Clubs,” smaller breakout groups that will study specific topics with a method and purpose, to grow in knowledge and love for Jesus Christ.

Confirmands may choose to study any of the following:

  • An Invitation to Chat (prayer): this workshop focuses on looking into the practice of praying and gives confirmands a better understanding of what prayer is: when, where, and how they can pray.  Opportunities to lead prayers in Sunday morning worship will be available if a group or individuals desire.
  • Come to the Table (Holy Communion): this workshop explores the meaning of Holy Communion and gives confirmands the opportunity to serve during Sunday morning worship.
  • Feast on the Word (Bible study): this workshop helps unlock the mysteries of an ancient book with an ever-so present message applicable to daily life.
  • Devotion Motion (Devotions & Meditations): this workshop looks at and practices reading devotions and meditations appropriate for youth.

The large group general session gatherings will take place in Strickland Auditorium and will include high-energy music, drama relevant to the topic being discussed, a speaker, individual church time for discussion, multi-media presentations, and youth involvement. The following church seasons will theme each of the individual sessions: Advent and prevenient grace, Lent/Good Friday and justifying grace, Easter and justifying grace, and Pentecost and sanctifying grace.

“Our conference overflows with so many gifted leaders and teachers,” said Allison Lindsey, Confirmation Retreat planner and director of children and programming at Douglas First United Methodist Church. “It is awesome to pull in so many different individuals to speak for our general sessions, teach workshops and holy clubs, and lead worship for the weekend. There is nothing like the energy of 500 youth worshipping in Strickland Auditorium to both inspire you and humble you to the responsibility and opportunity that we have to make disciples.”

Click here for more details and to register or call Diane Giles at 888-266-7642.