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Pennsylvania Youth Ministries Teach “Jesus 360°”

By Kris Eckenroth

More than 380 young recently participated in the first young adult spiritual retreat to be hosted by the Pennsylvania Conference Youth Ministries department in quite a few years. The event was held at Laurel Lake Camp in Rossiter, Pa.
Jennifer Miller, a teacher at the Lehigh Valley school in Whitehall, Pa., first brought up the idea to revitalize the event last summer. Plans were soon made and a theme chosen: “Jesus 360°.” Through the theme, leaders hoped to challenge youth to involve Jesus in every area and direction of his or her lives. Once registration was opened, groups from all across the state started registering. The conference was hoping for at least a hundred to attend, but God thought bigger. More than 90 young people were turned away due to limited space at the camp.
Youth Ministries partnered with the conference’s Education department as well as the chaplain’s office of Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) in Hamburg, Pa., to make the retreat a success. As a result, youth from elementary schools, junior academies, BMA, and local church youth groups were involved. Four BMA youth were selected to be the weekend speakers: Justin McAuliffe, Amanda Gomez, David Krajewski, and Myer Rutlidge. A team directed by BMA student Emily Ferguson led worship in music. The weekend included worship, the Compass Café, an obstacle course, sledding, a three-on-three basketball tournament, an improv comedy team, and a show by BMA’s Aerial Aires gymnastics team. It was a wonderful weekend that proved to be life changing for many of the youth.