Retreat Ignited the Hearts and Spirits of Youth
By Jimmy Steele, Youth Ministry Coordinator, Palms Presbyterian Church
Thanks to the support of the Presbytery, over 70 youth from seven congregations returned to Camp Montgomery for the first time since November 2019 for the “Light the Fire” Presbytery Youth Retreat from April 29 – May 1. The energy was flowing from the beginning on Friday night as we welcomed in our guest preacher Rev. Damon Williams from Atlanta, GA, and our worship leader Paul Demer from Dallas, TX.
Rev. Williams shared three messages with us where among other key points, he taught us and reminded us that God’s plan for us is far bigger than anything we can imagine. He said “Once fire begins to burn, transformation can happen. Where you are is where God needs you to be.” He continued later in the weekend to say “If everyone of us stays away from those we don’t like, who is ever going to make a difference, and how we will ever come together?” he said. He also encouraged us through the story of Elijah and the widow to connect with others and share with others even when we have little.
Not only was the weekend filled with great sermons and music, but it was also jam packed with camp activities. Some of the great activities youth and their leaders enjoyed were an all-camp swim time in Emerald Lake, racing to the top of the climbing tower, firing arrows in our archery range, arts and crafts time, canoeing, campfire (of course with s’mores), an all camp game to “save Montgomery’s power grid from the squirrels,” and delicious meals.
Thanks again to our churches who participated and special thanks to the Presbytery’s grant for making the retreat possible, the Montgomery staff and the retreat leadership team (Zach Leopold, Rachael McNeal, Brooke Tucker, and Jimmy Steele) for their work to make this special weekend possible. Mark your calendars now and save the date for our next Presbytery youth retreat September 23-25! We hope to see you there.