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"Planting Peace: How the Youth Trip to Montreat Transformed and Inspired Growth"


The 2024 Montreat Youth Conference was an unforgettable experience! Our theme, “Planting Peace,” resonated deeply with everyone. Our days began with a keynote, led by Reverend Dawn Hyde, that introduced our theme of the day and scripture. Following the keynote, we attended different groups, where we got the opportunity to meet youth and leaders from other churches, while exploring the scripture and daily theme more deeply. Our day ended with worship each day, led by Reverend Gail Henderson-Belsito. Personally, my favorite part of each day was our back-home group after worship. During back-home group, the youth and adults of FPC of Milledgeville came together to share what we experienced and learned that day. I loved hearing from our amazing youth about how they can apply what they learned to their lives.

 

Through our theme of “Planting Peace,” we first explored the question, “What is peace?” Once peace was defined, we learned about the work it takes to plant peace. Day three consisted of us learning about the importance of pruning plants, and how God helps us prune. On day four, we learned about the importance of “persisting” and planting peace “No Matter What!”. We explored how we should plant peace, even if we will not see the fruit of our labor and even if we do not think it will make a difference. Our final day, we discussed “partying” and how it is important to invite everyone to our “party” to celebrate the harvest of our hard work.

 

While we had long days growing in our faith and relationship with God, we also had some free time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and Montreat’s campus. There was time each afternoon for hiking, boating on Lake Susan, rock hopping, and ice-cream at the Huckleberry. On Wednesday, we had a free afternoon, which allowed for the FPC youth to visit Black Mountain, eat a BBQ meal, and enjoy our time together. We also enjoyed more fellowship with each other on our way home by stopping at Chimney Rock to mine gems, rock hop, and eat lunch together.

 

The 2024 Montreat Youth Conference was truly a wonderful experience that we will carry with us for the rest of our lives! We would like to thank everyone at First Presbyterian Church of Milledgeville for all their support during our fundraisers and generous gift donations that helped to make this experience happen. Thank you all!

~Laurie Peebles, chaperone and Youth Group Leader


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