Youth will ENCOUNTER God at fall retreat


In today’s selfie-centered world, we know the pull of social media to have the right pose, the perfect filter, and the best caption. What if we flipped that around? What if, instead of pointing the lens at ourselves, we pointed to others ... and we pointed others to Jesus?

Psalm 139 paints the picture that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. So if God made us all unique, we should love ourselves as His creation, right? RIGHT! AND ... we can’t forget the greatest commandment of all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength AND love your neighbor as yourself.”

This year at Encounter, the annual youth retreat of South Georgia’s Connectional Ministries, students will dig deeper and look closely in moving from “selfies” to “(un)selfies.” We will study God’s call to love our neighbors (as much) as we love ourselves. 

Held at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, Encounter is designed for middle and high school students in sixth through 12th grades and will be held Nov. 20-22.

Multiple speakers will share throughout the weekend, including Joel Diaz, an 18-year youth ministry veteran, and Josh McLemore, Student Minister at Douglas First UMC. Returning to host the weekend will be Brandon Rushin (better known as “Hey Ya!”), a hysterical character-based entertainer that leaves the audience doubled-over in laughter. Justin Crenshaw and the Solomon’s Porch Band out of Valdosta First UMC will lead worship. 

Churches will register as a group and payment is required within seven days of registration. The cost for the event is $130 per person and includes programming, insurance, food, lodging, and one t-shirt per person. 

Click here to be directed to the online Group Reservation Form.

Adult chaperones will be provided by each church group and must be Safe Sanctuaries certified. For more information, contact Event Coordinator Suzanne Akins at or (912) 638-8626. More information can also be found on the Encounter website, Deadline for registration is Nov. 13, 2015.