Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
During my time as a youth director, I attended a seminar where one of the speakers said that part of our job as leaders was to recognize that youth are not the future of the church, but the present.
That sentiment resonated deeply last weekend at Fall Workshop, the annual autumn gathering of youth in the West Virginia Conference at Cedar Lakes near Ripley, WV.
Fall Workshop offers a wonderful mix of fun and faith-building activities, all of it anchored by worship. Centered around Hebrews 12:1-2, this year’s theme, “Run the Race” invited students to persevere in their pursuit of a Christ-led life with preaching from Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, Wes McKinney, and Bob Cover, as well as music from Huntington-based Render the Hearts.
In addition to fun race-themed competitions, students were able to attend small-group workshops of their choice on topics such as photography, improv, life after high school, Bible study, geocaching, artistic expression, worship through music, and the prayer labyrinth.
The highlight of the weekend was a color run/walk, where participants ran or walked through several “color stations” where they were doused with multi-colored powders…a reminder of the light and diversity of the church.
Of course, the purpose of all the activities at Fall Workshop is to build and strengthen the faith of our youth, and to equip and empower them to take their faith into the world, to become disciples who make disciples.
While both of my daughters and several members of youth groups I led went to Fall Workshop every November, I had never attended until last year. This was my first full weekend at the event, and I left feeling encouraged for not just where we’re going as a church, but where we are.
You can learn more about Fall Workshop and other youth opportunities by contacting Shea James, our Conference Director of Young Disciples and Outdoor Ministries, at 304-344-8331/ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see more photos from Fall Workshop, visit our Flickr page at this link.