Chesapeake Conference churches added 545 new members in 2022 through baptism or profession of faith.
High school students attended the annual spiritual retreat at Mt. Aetna Retreat Center from Aug. 26-28.
High school students from Spencerville Adventist Academy traveled to Mt. Aetna Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md., last weekend for the school’s annual spiritual retreat.
School organizers said the event’s goal is to help students bond at the beginning of the new school year in an “intentionally spiritual way.”
The retreat began on Friday with a series of icebreaker games and activities organized by the academy’s student association. Friday night featured the first of four messages from the weekend’s guest speaker, Javier Scharon, pastor of the Dover First and Forest Grove churches in Delaware, who spoke on the theme of reflecting Christ. The evening concluded with a nighttime hike to a mountainside clearing where students sang songs, learned about creation and were invited to spend quiet time with God.
On Sabbath, students participated in worship programs, spiritually-oriented team activities, and small group discussions with peers. Toward the end of the Sabbath, students were encouraged to find a quiet spot to spend an hour in prayer and Bible reading.
Tim Soper, academy chaplain, said he was excited to see many students eager to have spiritual conversations with their teachers. He added: “I was encouraged to see that kids are going to be able to connect spiritually with mentors across the board and not just from a chaplain or Bible teacher.”