Chesapeake Conference churches added 545 new members in 2022 through baptism or profession of faith.
The conference winter youth retreat was held Feb. 25-27 at Highland View Academy.
High schoolers from across the Chesapeake Conference gathered at Highland View Academy (Hagerstown, Md.) from Feb. 25-27 to meet new friends and learn more about discovering their purpose during “Generation Rain.”
Generation Rain is an annual winter retreat organized by the Chesapeake Conference Youth Department for teenagers ages 13-19. The retreat derives the inspiration for its name from Joel 2:28 and aims to help young people discover and follow God’s plan for their lives.
“We are training young people for the last generation,” says Carl Rodriguez, Chesapeake Conference Youth director. “Our goal is to disciple young people to allow the Holy Spirit to infill their lives so they can serve a new mission for God.”
The theme for this year’s retreat focused on purpose and featured keynote presentations from Chelsy Tyler, Student and Volunteers pastor of the New Hope (Fulton, Md.) church. Tyler’s messages concentrated on addressing the big questions teenagers face, such as “who am I?” “do I matter?” and “does God really love me?”
The weekend also featured breakout seminars on relevant teen topics, discussion groups, and social activities.
“What I like about Generation Rain is getting to meet new people from different churches and just growing spiritually throughout the weekend,” says teenager Kelly Perez from the Dover First (Del.) church.
Desmond Nana, who attends Highland View Academy, agrees. “It was actually fun. We had some good food, and the service was actually good.”
Rodriguez says he was encouraged to see the enthusiasm throughout the weekend from teens and lay youth ministry leaders. “I’m excited that the young people want to be here,” he says. “[I’m also excited] to see how the leaders are encouraging young people to come…It tells me they have buy-in in helping young people grow.”
The next Generation Rain is scheduled for Feb. 24-26, 2023.