2014 Winter Retreat: 1 Day Longer, $30 Less, Infinitely Better Venue

Dear Parents, 

I’m excited to announce our plans for the Winter Retreat this year.

Here’s the skinny:

  • Date: Jan. 17-20 (MLK Jr. Weekend, so we will take advantage of the extra day!)
  • Cost: $135 (that is $30 cheaper than previous winter retreats!)
  • Deposit: $50 due Jan. 6 to reserve a spot–must print out registration form attached and turn in with deposit (space is limited; see below in additional info).
  • Theme: Deep & Wide. Our focus this year will be on cultivating a depth of relationship with Christ through his Word and through prayer, the fruit of which has wide-reaching effects in the way that we live. Our prayer is that God would compel students to dig deep so they can grow wide.
About Ridge Haven Retreat Center:
  • Relationship with Tates Creek Presbyterian Church (TCPC): Jonathan Hansen, Zach Monroe (student ministry leaders at TCPC and Trinity Christian Academy, respectively) and I have been working together to cultivate as normative in our student’s lives what we believe is often treated as peripheral: (1) ecumenical/interdenominational unity and (2) evangelism. As such, we have formed a sort of unofficial partnership with TCPC’s Youth Group with the goals of (1) being a witness of unity across denominations, thereby showing that Christian fellowship is not based on doctrinal particularities but on the one we all call Lord (if you think this is not a pertinent issue, just go to seminary–it’s sad!); and (2) widening our impact among non-Christians in our kids’ schools by throwing parties one Friday per month in the basement of TCPC. These parties are just a way to (a: long-term goal) get our students to begin thinking about reaching out to non-Christians, which is our focus whenever we talk about it and more directly, and giving them a concrete means of association; and to (b: immediate goal) get high school students in the door who might otherwise never step foot into a church. All these parties will come to a culmination on Good Friday, April 18, when we will have an all out Gospel presentation and time for prayer and response, after which we will address how to proceed depending entirely on our convictions from the response. This will remain an “organic” and (Lord willing!) spirit-led “experiment,” keeping the three of us well out of our comfort zone. Prayers appreciated!
  • Ridge Haven PCA Retreat Center: It was out of this relationship that we decided to combine our groups for the Winter Retreat. One of the upshots for us is that we are getting rates otherwise only available to the PCA and thus are staying at a beautiful retreat center that would otherwise be way out of our price range. Also, it will break up dynamic to have other students, which, along with certain activities we have planned, we hope will allow for kids to see themselves outside their normal roles within the group, creating both a freedom and vulnerability that we are praying God will use as space for him to work! It will also mean that Zach, Jonathan, and I will share the preaching load, allowing kids to hear from new voices. And I can assure you that both Jonathan and Zach are phenomenal preachers! We have high expectations for what God will do!
  • 1. Pray from Ephesians 3:16-21 – that God would do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine in the hearts and lives of the students and leaders.
  • 3. Pray for God to use the disorientation and vulnerability of a new group dynamic to work in new ways among our students.
  • 2. Pray for protection as we travel.
Additional Info (and annual forms, if needed)
  • 1. We are NOT going skiing this year. There are tons of activities at this 900 acre retreat center (including snow tubing) (and driving a myriad of high school students back and forth each day during a retreat is a bit of a nightmare anyway. It is better that we have a consolidated place to have fun and fellowship).
  • 2I have only reserved 50 spots by way of deposit. It is possible that I can get more if I know in due time, but it is no guarantee, especially if it is late. So please let me know at your earliest convenience–by way of deposit–if your kid(s) will be going. Last minute, day, week additions may not be possible for this trip.
    • If I may emphasize a logistical concern regarding the timeliness of registration–as you know, our church does not have vans or a bus, so arranging transportation is difficult for late registrations, especially when about half of our registrations for virtually every event are what I would consider late (within two weeks). Please, as soon as your kid(s) have decided to attend, turn in your registration forms that next Sunday or Wednesday.
  • 3. Scholarships are available on a need basis, so please don’t let money be what prevents your kid(s) from going. That is WHY we go through the pain of fundraising each year!
  • 4. Medical Consent / Release Form for those who have not turned these in this year. Note: On the Medical Release, please put “Jeremy Spainhour” as the person to whom medical information can be released (not your own names).

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