26 Feb Winter Slam 2013
Dan Henley, Prince Street UB church (Shippensburg, Pa.)
Winter Slam, held February 8-10, 2013, brought 359 students and youth workers from 15 different churches to western Pennsylvania. There, on the slopes of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands on the western Appalachian Mountain range, they spent three days in a time of winter fun and spiritual renewal.
Sponsored by Big MAC Youth Ministries in conjunction with Huntington University, Winter Slam (formally Big MAC Ski Attack), a weekend winter retreat, has been an annual youth attraction for over 20 years. Various churches, both in and out of UBdom, use it as an outreach and spiritual renewal event.
Located about 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, in Mt. Pleasant, Pa., has served as the venue for three days of worship, fellowship, and the presentation of the Gospel–not to mention skiing, tubing, and snowboarding. For most, the messages during the morning and evening sessions are a highlight in the lives of students.
This year, our times of worship were led by the Indiana-based Christian pop-rock band, “Attaboy.” Their combination of popular worship music and a few of their own original recordings were well received by both students and youth workers. Together, with over 350 voices rising in praise and adoration, these three young men poured both their hearts and their talent into their music and their worship.
The organizers took a different approach this year in regards to the speaker. Rather than bring in one speaker for all four sessions, four different youth pastors affiliated with Big MAC Youth Ministries filled the role of “speaker,” each using their own unique approach to the subject of “Value.” Each message touched on how much God values us and how it makes no difference how non-valuable you think you are, to God you are very important. The speakers also challenged the group about the things they value, and whether or not Christ is high on that list.
One evening as a call to respond to God was given, over 200 students and adults made a literal stand for Jesus, rising to their feet and proclaiming before God and others that they were turning their lives over to Christ, or rededicating their lives to Him. Praise God!