After months of preparation, #EPiC15 is now the winter retreat that was. And it was great. Twelve churches from across the Presbytery of the Alleghenies piled 190 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:
Pastor Jonathan Shirk (former Student Ministry Director at North Park EPC, now serving as Senior Pastor in Manheim, PA) joined us to bring the Word in three plenary sessions. He spoke on Becoming Church, Loving Church, and Growing Church. His messages emphasized the importance of finding our identity in the Church, loving Church, and being on mission as the Church. You can watch videos of all three of his messages here: Becoming Church, Loving Church, Growing Church.
We also had breakout sessions from nine different speakers on topics like conversion, diversity, friendship, and Christian music. 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 third 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 150 teenagers lifting their voices to praise Jesus Christ.
We had our first ever EPiC Dodgeball Tournament. A bracket of 16 teams made up of 6 people each was narrowed down until our championship round between The Dads of North Park and Salty Sailors of First Presbyterian. The Dads pulled off the victory and were awarded the trophy.
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!
With the exception of a couple outstanding checks and a couple reimbursements in the process, the financials went pretty smoothly. The books should be closed on the retreat by the end of next week with very few issues.
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 #EPiC16! 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.