Celebration celebrates 25

The third weekend in November, Lycoming Christian Church, 20 Chapel Hill Road in Linden, will host its 25th “Celebration” for youth coming from near and far.

The overnight gathering, Nov. 15 and 16, will bring in young people in grades six through 12 and their sponsors for a night and day of talks and music to challenge and strengthen their faith, said organizer Robert Williams.

“When we started this in 1989, we wanted to connect Christian young people, we felt a desire to be able to let them come together and know there’s other Christians out there. The motive on our part is to get people to unite in Christian fellowship,” Williams said.

Lycoming Christian always brings in nationally known speakers and musicians for the weekend. This year, father and son team Joey and Josiah Potter, of Georgia, will give talks and play music for the attendees.

The elder Potter is national missions director with the Fellowship of Christian Artists and Josiah is a recording artist who has opened for acts such as Jars of Clay, Krystal Myers and Thousand Foot Krutch.

“The sponsors will get three hours with Joey Potter, when they can ask him questions and he can help them with ideas for the challenges of working with junior and senior high youth,” Williams said. “Josiah will be leading a workshop on how to stay strong in your faith for the youth.”

A number of other workshops will be available, given by youth leaders from a variety of groups. On Saturday afternoon, the youth will go to Lycoming Valley Intermediate School for a recreation session based on games from the challenge game show “Minute to Win It.” There also will be several worship sessions and a turkey and all the trimmings banquet on Saturday evening.

More than 150 youth have attended in recent years, and Williams said he hopes with the later date, more than 200 will be able to come this year – usually Celebration weekend competes with band competitions and district football games.

Youth coming from more than 25 minutes or so away will be put up in the homes of Lycoming Christian congregation members.

Over the years, the event has had an effect on the lives of those who attended, bringing youth to Jesus and bringing them together in fellowship, Williams said.

“We had one girl one year who went home and her mother had just attempted to commit suicide. She was able to help her mother realize there was more to live for,” he said.

“We’ve had different kids who have made bonds, formed bands, gone on to camps, gone on mission trips together after they’ve left Celebration,” Williams said.

The deadline to register is Nov. 5. The cost for youth is $45, which includes three meals, and $40 for sponsors, with an at-the-door cost of $50. More information is available by calling the church office at 322-9940 or visiting thecelebration.ws.