After months of preparation and anticipation, #EPiC16 is now the winter retreat that was. And it was great! Twelve churches from across the Presbytery of the Alleghenies piled 180 people into the beautiful Camp Allegheny (Ellwood City, PA) for a weekend of fellowship, fun, and life-changing truths. Here are some of the highlights:
Shawn Stewart (Director of Mobilization for World Outreach) joined us to bring the Word in three plenary sessions. He spoke on our theme “Brand New” from II Corinthians 5:17-21. His three sessions talked about being made a new creation, being reconciled to worship, and being ambassadors for Christ. Our group time following each session reinforced the “recreating” work of the Gospel in the wounds and sin in our lives.
We also had breakout sessions from eleven different speakers on topics like depression, self-image, missions, and fear. These breakout sessions afforded great opportunities for specific study and discussion.
Students were also given time each morning to spend alone with God in His Word and to meet together in church groups to dig deeper into the lessons they were learning.
Returning to EPiC Winter Retreat for the fourth year in a row was Christian worship band Third From First. They did an excellent job of focusing our minds and hearts on the greatness of the King. It was inspiring to hear 140 teenagers lifting their voices to praise Jesus Christ.
We had our second EPiC Dodgeball Tournament. A bracket of 16 teams made up of 6 people each was narrowed down until one team was crowned victor. They received the “Golden Dodgeball” trophy, which they will bring back next year to defend.
There were plenty of other activities, like sledding, foosball, basketball, and board games. There was also a time for students to make short videos to show to the entire group. Talk about creativity!
This couldn’t have happened without the hardworking, sacrificial, and Christlike leaders who met Saturday and Sunday morning to pray and read Scripture together. A huge thank you to the leaders!
The leaders from this retreat will meet in the coming weeks to debrief using the feedback forms filled out by each student and begin planning the even better #EPiC17! We will also talk about the possibility of another event before then.
If you are interested in being a part of the next event or next year’s winter retreat, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.