National Junior High Conference 2015
Elizabethtown College - Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
June 19 – 21, 2015
National Junior High Conference is for youth who have completed 6-8 grades and their advisors.
Living the Change: Our Offering to God
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
-Romans 12: 1-2, The Message
Sing, laugh, worship, make friends from all over the country, and spend time with God!
Friday Night Worship: Lauren Seganos
A member of Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, PA, Lauren Seganos is studying to be a minister at Andover Newton Theological School outside of Boston. As part of her education, she is currently serving as a Seminarian at The Memorial Church of Harvard University. Lauren loves learning and talking about how being followers of Jesus the peacemaker can make us more open and loving towards the diversity of God's world: people, places, and all creation. Recently Lauren took a class in which she traveled to Southeast Asia to learn about both Christianity and Buddhism in Burma. Part of the trip included a 3 day silent retreat in a Buddhist meditation center, where she practiced living peacefully with the big lizard that decided to hang out in her room
Saturday Morning Worship: Steve Schweitzer
Steve Schweitzer is Academic Dean and professor at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana. He teaches courses in Old Testament, especially the ever-exciting book of Chronicles, and a new course on Science Fiction and Theology. In his teaching and preaching, Steve asks questions about culture and how we can engage in productive, creative, and theologically helpful ways a world around us that is asking questions about meaning and what really matters. He enjoys spending time with his family, especially his three kids, who are active in soccer, basketball, plays, choirs, dance, and gymnastics. He has taught Junior High Sunday School, been a youth sponsor at an inner-city church, and co-lead trips to National Youth Conference and two Workcamps
Saturday Evening Worship: Amy Gall Ritchie
Amy Gall Ritchie works with students at Bethany Theological Seminary. She has been a pastor in the Church of the Brethren, and is also a spiritual director. Amy has been a part of the Church of the Brethren her whole life and has made great friends through church camp, Manchester College, BVS, Bethany Seminary, and NYC. "We didn't have Jr High Conference when I was young, so I'm glad I get to enjoy it now!" She loves to sing and preach, laugh and hang out with friends drinking coffee. Amy always believes that what you have to say matters, and that if Indiana had an ocean she would live right next to it.
Sunday Morning Worship: Eric Bishop
Eric Bishop lives in Southern California and is a member of the La Verne Church of the Brethren. He has been a youth Sunday School teacher, youth advisor, and national work camp leader. Currently, he is moderator of the Pacific Southwest District, which includes churches in California and Arizona. He is a graduate of the University of La Verne and works as a vice president of student services for a community college. He has traveled to 37 states and five different countries. He lives with his wife and 5-year old daughter whom he likes to spend time with at Disneyland and watching animated movies. "This photo shows me at work talking to fifth graders and inspiring them to believe in themselves and education. That’s one way the spirit of God is lived out everyday."
Also: We will be celebrating communion as a part of worship during the event. Advisors, please be aware of this and prepare your youth as you feel necessary.
Invitation to Offering Participation:
Offering of yourselves as gifts of God
During the conference any and all participants who are able are encouraged to take photos with friends, to illustrate experiencing God in your daily living as an offering to God. Running, praying, talking, crafting, playing… you name it! Our hope is to display as many photos as we can during each worship service in a slideshow for participants to enjoy and ponder.
Saturday we will be collecting an offering of change:
Come to conference bringing coins ready to collect for Children’s Disaster Services! We are excited that the youth can contribute in a way that is symbolic of taking their everyday offerings of themselves and placing it before God. It is our hope that this is especially meaningful knowing that this offering will be directly helping other young persons through a program of the Church of the Brethren.
Learn more about the mission of Children’s Disaster Services.
Friday evening we are looking forward to an engaging, uplifting, and original combination of our ministry and juggling show by Chris Ivey!
Saturday evening’s activity will be a carnival – complete with fun booths full of games, snacks, and youth activities. Come prepared to laugh and be silly with the rest of us as we play and have fun together!
Questions? Contact Kristen Hoffman, NJHC coordinator, in the Youth/Young Adult Ministry Office at 847-429-4389 or firstname.lastname@example.org