Over 40 students and more than a dozen adults participated in Christ Redeemer Church’s Summer Youth Retreat at the Kull Youth Center in Ocean City, New Jersey from June 28th through July 3rd.
Each morning was spent in small group discussions. Afternoons included free time to enjoy the beach and boardwalk. In the evenings, Pastor Don Willeman, Kevin Schwartz and Chris Audino shared messages about encountering Jesus in the storm of ourselves.
A few participants shared their thoughts about the week with the congregation the following Sunday.
“In Ocean City we talked about the security that’s in the Heavenly Father. We discussed “encountering Jesus in the storm of ourselves,” and that restoration from this only happens in and through the lord. Spoken about was the fact that “only when Jesus is master can we master ourselves.” In self- righteousness we are “unexceptionable” but God was so gracious to us that he allowed us to be in relationship with the only one who is utterly “exceptional”, his son Jesus, our savior. I’m thankful for the leaders while in our small groups allowed us to be vulnerable and spoke truth to us, but also when beside them everything was always accompanied by laughter.”
~Brooke Falzarano, senior
“As usual, it was tons of fun going on the boardwalk, dancing, and swimming as well as focusing on this year’s topic of “Encountering Jesus in the Storm of Ourselves.” It was a wake-up call for me to know that God has expectations and we do not and cannot meet them. I struggled with the idea that we are not perfect; we fixate on ourselves and others, and we have the wrong kind of love for the wrong kinds of things. One of my favorites lines from this trip was “The righteousness God demands from us is the same righteousness he gives us .” I love this quote because is shows that Jesus has fulfilled the expectations of us through him.”
~Sarah Ball, freshman
“In our small groups, I got to be a co-leader with Kevin Schwartz. This was a great opportunity to ask questions, instead of giving answers, and the answer I heard from others in the groups really made me think. Our time was powerful for helping us find out where we really are with Jesus. I loved seeing how everyone opened up more and more to each other each day!”
~Walker Tuttle, senior
“What stood out to me most was Chris Audino’s talk about the Beatitudes. God sets out expectations for us that we cannot meet… I learned that I don’t have to achieve a level of perfection for God to love me – he by his grace saved me. That is the fantastic news that stood out to me this week; that is what I learned in Ocean City, and I cannot wait to go back next year!
~Rachel Seale, sophomore
You can listen to their complete reflections here.
Click on any photo in the gallery below to see a larger version.