The program includes two or three nights of lodging, meals and evening worship. During the day, youth can choose to ski or do a mission project in the local community.
Last year marked the first year mission work was offered as part of the Winter Youth Retreats, and more than 100 youth volunteered at places such as Canton Community Kitchen, Haywood Christian Ministry and Second Blessings Thrift Shop/Open Doors Ministries.
“It’s heartening to watch youth live out their faith by serving in the community. They serve with such a giving spirit and a desire to put their beliefs into action,” said Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska.
The theme for this year’s winter events, “Be Fearless,” is inspired by Psalms 118:6 —
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
“The world can feel like a scary place, especially for youth,” Johnson said. “I want them to know that with the Lord on their side, they are freed from fear and freed to live into who they were created to be.”
Speakers and bands from across the Southeast will explore the theme in their messages. Mark Oestreicher, author and contributor to more than 60 books including “Youth Ministry 3.0,” will speak during the Presidents Day event. Oestreicher, who launched the Youth Cartel in 2010, provides coaching and consulting to adults who minister to youth. He worked for Youth Specialties for 11 years and for eight of those years he served as president.
Lowell McNaney, the founding pastor of Crossroads Church in Concord, North Carolina and recipient of the Harry Denman Evangelism Award debuts at Lake Junaluska Youth Retreats in January.
Returning speakers and bands include Andy Lambert, Jimmy Atkins, Charlie Conder, The Advice and Stephanie Hand.
The three-night events over New Year’s Eve weekend, Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and Presidents Day weekend include special entertainment such as comedian John Felts and illusionist Joshua Lozoff. Two night events begin at just $186/person and three-night events start at $249/person.
More information about speakers, bands and entertainers is available online at www.lakejunaluska.com/winteryouth. Groups that register before October 30 will receive free sling bags for their youth groups. To register, call 800-222-4930 or visit www.lakejunaluska.com/winteryouth.
Groups are also welcome to come to Lake Junaluska for a ski package, which includes lodging at Lake Junaluska and skiing at Cataloochee or Wolf Ridge Ski Area. For more information about ski packages, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/ski-groups.
Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.
- December 29 – January 1 New Year’s Weekend: Andy Lambert (Speaker) and Jimmy Atkins (Worship Band)
- January 18–21 Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend: Lowell McNaney (Speaker), The Advice (Worship Band)
- January 25–27: Charlie Conder (Speaker) and The Advice (Worship Band)
- February 8–10: Stephanie Hand (Speaker) and Zachariah Suggs (Worship Band)
- February 15–18: Presidents Day Weekend: Mark Oestreicher (Speaker) and Cameron Moore (Worship Band)