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Teens empowered to lead at ‘Generation Now’ retreat

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The annual teen retreat featured messages from keynote speaker Christian Ponciano.

Over 100 teenagers from several Chesapeake Conference churches met up at Mt. Aetna Retreat Center from Feb. 23-25 for Generation Now, a retreat aimed at empowering the next generation of Christian leaders.

The annual teen retreat, previously known as “Generation Rain,” featured a series of relevant messages by keynote speaker Christian Ponciano, director of Youth and Club Ministries for the Texas Conference. His messages, delivered on Friday evening and Sabbath morning, addressed the retreat’s theme, “Change is Coming,” and set the tone for a weekend filled with spiritual revitalization, learning and fun.

Teens had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a variety of workshops designed to help them grow spiritually and learn how to share their faith. Social media specialist Henesis Vega spoke on “Digital Discipleship,” and Elijah Ramjattan, Campus Ministries director at Highland View Academy, presented a seminar titled “In My Jesus Era.” Chesapeake Conference’s Youth and Young Adult Ministries director, Kenia Reyes, led a workshop called “Put Me In, Coach!” and Shawn Paris, director for Camp Ministries, Missions, and Adventist Community Services, spoke on “Everyday Jesus.”

In addition to the workshops and worship services, Generation Now was packed with social and creative activities, ranging from craft sessions to roller skating. The retreat concluded with a round table discussion on Sunday morning, where teens reflected on the lessons and experiences they’d shared throughout the weekend.

Reyes emphasized that Generation Now exists to support and enhance youth ministry at the local church level. “By changing the name to Generation Now, we wanted to help our teens understand that God has called them to a bigger purpose that they can start working on now. By giving them this motivation and tools to use their gifts, we know their local churches will be blessed… Gen Now is here to give our teens resources to continue their commitment to their local churches and communities,” Reyes said.

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