2017 Ignite Retreats Foster Candid "Conversations"
Students in 7-12th grade enjoyed February retreats at Lakeview Conference Center and Forest Glen.
What was the highlight of this year’s IGNITE Mid-winter youth camp at Lakeview? Student leader Emily Letulle asked her group and heard a half-dozen different answers. One student from Temple UMC in Port Arthur said, “Everything.” Another enjoyed "field games with Brad,” and yet another youth said, “the game with the weird name!” The “Conversations” theme provided a variety of opportunities for candid discussions, so one of the Port Arthur youth group members said he thought the best part was the “workshop breakouts, particularly the topics covering justice and barriers. It was neat to see the things that hinder our conversations and come between us as building blocks that create walls between us.” As might be expected, youth come to these events from a variety of places and bring a variety of perspectives, and perhaps leave with new ideas and thought processes. One of the girls in the youth group shared that she “really connected with our sermons and with the music.”
Sara Hinshaw Hatten, high school senior, Sunset UMC, Pasadena, shares, “It was an amazing experience in which the whole youth group got to be together. We danced, sang, and laughed all while growing stronger in our faith. It was very different because I was one of the oldest ones and I got to see a lot of people experiencing it for the first time.”
“Several of my youth told me that this year was the first time that they had such meaningful discussions in their small groups,” shares Ruth Ann Person, Youth Director at Conroe FUMC . An attendee from FUMC Pittsburg says, “I am so glad we came to this. It gets me excited about camp." One high school student says, “I loved the down to earth and heartfelt worship that helped me deepen my faith and connection to my Christian brothers and sisters.”
“We had an incredible time at Ignite retreats this year! It was great to connect with old friends, engage with some new churches, and share this faith journey with youth from New Boston to Beaumont. It is a privilege to bear witness to students worshiping together, connecting to one another, and the retreat sparking part of their discipleship journey,” says Eddie Erwin, TAC Director of Youth & Young Adults. “Thank you to everyone who helped make the retreat a success through worship, leadership, writing materials, and workshops. I pray that you are having some amazing conversations, especially as Bishop Jones reminded us to, "offer graceful acceptance and listening to others throughout our conversations.”
One of the high school girls describes one of Ignite’s highlight experiences saying, “I loved small group and how we really got to be in fellowship with one another,” she shares. “Connecting with other youth from outside my church is always refreshing.”
Bradley Doherty, Lakeview Director of Program and Ministry says, "Lakeview was so thankful to once again host Ignite for the Texas Annual Conference. It's always amazing to see so many kids come together from different churches to participate in worship, small groups and make new friendships."