Winterfest 2009 is in the books! We had a really good time again this year. We had a group of 66 of us and the entire group was really well behaved as usual. The conference focused on Loving God and Loving Others. The winterfest guys presented it as elementary living and used a science theme to reinforce the points. The science part was really interesting and the teens seemed to like it. And on the elemental theme, they gave us L1 to remember to love God first and L2 to remind us to love people because God loves us.
And although this exact point wasn’t made in these exact words at Winterfest, I want to remind you that God loves you not because you are lovable. (you may or may not be) He loves you because His very nature is love. He can’t help but love you. When we’re challenged to love people as God loves us, we have to keep this fact in mind: that we need to love people not because they are or aren’t lovable but because it has become our nature to love. If it isn’t your nature to love, it’s time for you to begin the journey to make it so by God’s power.
I’m not planning to give any kind of review of the youth conference, which was attended by about 13,000 of us. I thought it was great to be there again this year. If you were there, then please feel free to leave comments with your thoughts on the conference. I just wanted to use this post to list some of the people who were there to perform, present or speak. I also wanted to leave some ‘thank you’ lines for people.
Performers / Presentors / Speakers
Real Girls – this is a ministry developed by some sisters who want to challenge girls to be real; to be a consistent person no matter what the situation. They did a brief presentation but I think it seems like a really powerful message they present. Take some time to visit their site. Their motto is ‘Hate Fake, Love Real.’
Taylor Mason– a good comedian, ventriloquist and musician. I’ve seen him a few times and really enjoy him. I think some of his innuendos are off-color but not enough to offset his effectiveness. He’s one of the best Christian acts out there for humor. Plus this year he added an Obama puppet, which was hilarious! Visit his site from here but make sure to look him up on You Tube also.
Decemberadio – I didn’t go to the concert but the teens that did seemed to like the group and its music. Joey Armstrong bought one of their albums so talk to him if you wanna hear more about their music.
Loose Change to Loosen Chains – This is an organization that helps to free slaves in our modern world. It was began by Zach Hunter who considers himself a modern day abolitionist, which is extra cool since he began the organization five years ago when he was 12. Zach still is the main spokesperson for the group.
Some Special Thanks To…
Dudley Chancey for his key role in driving Winterfest from dreams, planning and implementation. And also for a lot of help he is to our group and our trip each year.
Jeff Walling, Greg Anderson, Johnn Markham and all the other movers and shakes that make Winterfest happen each year.
The Chaperones for FaithQuest that make our trip possible. They are the heart of the influence on the teens and they make our efforts successful. This year the chaperones included: Jonathan Arnold, Nikki Arnold, BA Barlow, Laura Barlow, Kedra Burris, Luke Burris, Allison Canada, Matthew Canada, Kami Coy, Brent Fields, Ryan Fields, Joe Hedrick, Matina Hobson, Beth Parsley, Curt Parsley, Lou Ann Rader, Lindsay Slone, Chris Taflinger, Rose Warren, Carolyn Wilkins, and Troy Young.
An extra special thanks goes to Lindsay Slone for special work around the office and also to Matthew Canada and Lester Burris who helped with travel planning. Curt Parsley gets the award for doing a bang up job for bringing up the rear of the caravan and Brent Fields gets a nod for being a great quarter master for our luggage and trailer. Laura Barlow gets an honorable mention for birthing B.A. Barlow for our entertainment.
David Tyler ‘Dookie’ Morris gets a mention also for entertaining our van on the trip and for drawing on his belly to turn his belly button into a catfish.
Luke Burris for driving the college delegation over from Lipscomb along with Nikki, Kami and Joe.
Rebecca Burris and Riley Day for being my clothes pin buddies!
Our church family for faithfully and lovingly investing money, time and prayers into our trip.
Charlie Anderson for heading up the Winterfest breakfast with Matthew Canada as assistant chef and Suzanne Patton, Paula Trevithick, Noble & Phylis Mundy and Ralph Warren as the kitchen crew.
And my lovely wife, Michelle Spear, for loving God enough to let me live out youth ministry constantly and for participating in the lives of teens with me.