This past weekend I had the awesome priviledge of volunteering at the Chosen Youth Conference in Sault Ste. Mario, Ontario Canada. This is the first time we’ve taken Chosen on the road and the 4th conference we’ve put on. The theme of this conference was the Remnant~teaching our youth what it means to be God’s Remnant, the few remaining, standing up for Him.
The host church, Bible Fellowship, is an old, renovated ski lodge, set in the woods of Sault Ste. Marie, and as soon as we arrived, we could feel the peace and the Holy Spirit there.
The pastor and his wife are amazing people and have an awesome team of volunteers. We met really great people with a huge heart to serve, and serve they did. The conference went very smoothly, and the reason is because of the Pastor and his team. If you live in the SSM area, you should give Bible Fellowship a visit. The hospitality and love goes above and beyond.
There were about 300 youth and young adults in attendance, including youth leaders and youth pastors. They opened the conference with “This Little Light of Mine” being sung a cappella, and students entering the darkened auditorium with candles. The student’s lined up on the stage, and as recorded voices described some of the major issues our youth are dealing with, one by one they blew out their candle and left the stage area. As the last one exited the stage, the Chosen Band started playing Praise and Worship music.
The MC was Drew Spanding of the Big Ticket Festival, and was also a speaker at this conference. He delivered a very powerful message on sex and marriage and that God invented it and wants us to have sex within the boundaries of marriage. We then gave all the teens a book about sex and dating and took up a love offering to help cover the cost of the books.
The day continued on with powerful messages by James Scheer and awesome music by the Andy Stefanic Band and Sargeant Avenue. About 100 students rededicated their lives or gave their lives to the Lord for the first time after one of James’ messages.
The conference also included some jokes, funny stories and a skit. During James’ message about having a heart, a “nurse” pushing a “dead patient” on a gurney ran out and upon examination it was determined the patient had no guts and Pastor James pulled out a string of guts (linked sausage). He instructed the nurse to take the patient back and put her guts back in. A few minutes later the nurse and the patient returned to James because she put the guts back in but she was still not moving or talking. Upon further examination, it was discovered that the patient had no heart as James pulled out from under the sheet a heart (a real cow heart, cut in half~it was huge and gross but the kids loved it!).
The Chosen Youth Conference will again be in SSM at Bible Fellowship in October of 2009. We will be announcing ticket prices and further information on the web. Then we will be in Gaylord, Michigan November 6 & 7, 2009 and the theme is Living the Dream.
If you are in the SSM or Gaylord areas and have youth or are a youth leader or pastor, be sure to check out the Chosen Youth Conference.
You can follow Chosen on Twitter as well as join our group on Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you if you attended Chosen in Sault Ste. Marie, any of the other conferences or plan on attending either of the conferences in the fall.