When Isaiah encountered God in the temple, he was given a glimpse into God’s holiness, and his life was forever changed.
In Exodus, we learn that, as Moses was tending his sheep near Mount Horeb, he encountered God in a burning bush.
And Saul had a life – and name – altering encounter with God on the road to Damascus.
Think about the myriad other encounters found in God's Word. In many cases, they were completely unexpected but always life changing.
This fall, students in the 6th through 12th grades will have an opportunity to experience God, encounter Him, and hear what He has to say.
Encounter, set for Nov. 15-17 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, is a three-day weekend youth retreat designed to help students encounter God in unique ways. The retreat will offer passionate worship, relevant Bible study and opportunities for fun and fellowship.
“My prayer for Encounter is that the message, worship and connection with other youth from across South Georgia will meet people where they are – youth and adults alike,” said Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries. “We are all in different places on our spiritual walk, but God has something to say to each of us and desires for us to draw close to Him ... to encounter Him. This weekend will be the foundation for this annual retreat and I look forward to seeing God at work in the lives of our youth. Through our gifts to Soles4Souls, the retreat’ mission component, others will also encounter God's love in a tangible way!”
David Herndon will serve as the retreat’s speaker. The youth minister at Wesley at Frederica United Methodist Church on St. Simons Island, Herndon has a unique way of combining music, comedy, and crowd participation to reach youth and share the truths found in God’s Word.
Justin Crenshaw and The Solomon Porch Band, of Valdosta First United Methodist Church, will serve as Encounter’s worship leaders.
Brandon Rushing, also known as “Hey Ya!,” will serve as the event’s emcee. Rushing has more than a decade of experience entertaining children and youth and brings his contagious, energetic personality to each group. His interactive characters will leave the youth rolling with laughter and give them something to talk about for weeks.
To close the weekend, students and counselors will have an opportunity to serve those in need.
In Exodus 3, readers are given a glimpse into Moses’ amazing encounter with God on Mount Horeb. As Moses approaches the burning bush, God tells him, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
During the Sunday morning worship session, retreat participants will have the opportunity to "take off your sandals" (a pair of shoes they are willing and able to donate) and place them at the altar. Donated shoes will be given to Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization that distributes shoes and clothes to those in need.
Encounter is a Safe Sanctuaries compliant event. All adult chaperones must be Safe Sanctuaries certified. A signed Safe Sanctuaries form must be returned by the group leader along with group registrations.
The cost is $130 per person, which includes lodging, meals, insurance and a t-shirt. The deadline for registration is Nov. 8.