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Joyful youth fall retreat

Posted: September 27 2022 at 11:35 AM

Over 65 youth and adult youth leaders from across the Northern Illinois Conference came together over the weekend of Sept. 23 - 25  for a fall youth retreat in Lake Geneva.

Over 65 youth and adult youth leaders came together the weekend of Sept. 23 - 25  for a fall youth retreat in Lake Geneva. The retreat theme was JOY (Jesus, Others, and You) with a focus on joy in fellowship as reflected in scriptures in Philippians 1—2 and Psalm 133. Rev. Josiah Montgomery, Pastor of East Side UMC in Chicago and Asst. Director of Faith and Action at North Central College (Naperville) was the retreat's guest speaker.

The planning team consisted of 8 churches (Belvidere: First UMC, Bolingbrook: Friendship UMC, Buffalo Grove: Kingswood UMC, Chicago: Urban Village Church, Hinsdale UMC, Machesney Park: New Life UMC, Mendota: Zion UMC, and Wheaton: Gary UMC), led by Daniel Lee, Director of Youth Ministries at Gary UMC in Wheaton. Daniel started sharing this vision with other adult youth leaders over a year ago and said he was, “grateful that we’re one church and can share joys and struggles. Hopefully, this is the beginning of something the conference can work together on for years to come.”

Youth and adults shared their excitement of being in connection and getting to know youth from other churches. Rev. Jeremiah Lee, Pastor of Good Samaritan UMC in Addison and a member of the Anti-racism Task Force, shared that his students enjoyed it so much that he’s planning to get his youth together with youth at Hinsdale UMC in the future. He said, “they really connected and loved the community effort.”

The planning team is interested in working with other churches in the future. If you’re a Pastor, Youth Pastor, or an Adult Youth Leader and interested in joining this ministry, please complete this short survey and you’ll be updated about future plans. 

Co-sponsors of the JOY Fall Retreat were the Anti-racism Task Force, the Discipleship Task Force, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, North Central College, and the Northern Illinois Conference.  


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