Student Ministries Spring Retreat April 25-26

The Student Ministries spring retreat has been moved up a week to Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 at the Sycamore Center.

The spring retreat is open to all middle school and high school students. The group will meet at the Sycamore Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 25, for a lock-in retreat. 

The reason for the date change is due to a scheduling conflict at Kids Against Hunger, the site of the group's weekend service project.

The theme for this year's retreat is "Tolerantly Intolerant - Speaking the Truth in Love." (Ephesians 4:15) According to Student Ministry Coordinator Kyle Helder, the definition of tolerance is changing. This might be weird to some, but it's changing.

"Tolerance is no longer 'the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with,' but it has transformed into you cannot disagree with someone who has different belief than you," Helder said. "This has come to be through the flawed concept that truth is relative or 'what may be true for you is not true for me.' But this is not the life that Jesus lived. Jesus spoke the truth in love in all situations. There is no way that Jesus would have been able to eat with prostitutes and tax collectors if He would have came in and said, 'You're dumb, you're dumb, and you couldn't be more wrong.' This does not mean that Jesus was passive and let people believe they were right when they were wrong, but He spoke the truth in a way that brought people into His love and forgiveness and did not simply berate them."

Throughout the weekend, students will hear about how Jesus spoke the truth in love as well as practice some scenarios that they might encounter where they will get the opportunity to do just that. In addition to the study material, there will be plenty of games, food runs, movies and a midnight worship service. The retreat will culminate Saturday morning, April 26, with a service project at Kids Against Hunger.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., the group will go to Kids Against Hunger, located in the Avera building on 33rd Street and Minnesota Ave., to make food bags and pack boxes. As part of this activity, students' parents and members of the congregation are asked to participate in order to help build relationships with the students.

Helder said there are a maximum of 40 spots for packing food, but a couple more people could help fill boxes and do other things. He is hopeful that the group would be comprised of approximately 20 students and 20 adults. Parents are encouraged to come be a part of the spring retreat to come so they can serve alongside their child at Kids Against Hunger. The students would then be dismissed when the service project is complete at 11:30 a.m.

There is no cost for the students to attend the retreat. However, because Kids Against Hunger does the bulk of its fundraising through its food packing program, adults will cost $20 per person to help pay for supplies.

Students are encouraged to sign up to bring snacks, treats and drinks to share with the group.

In addition, there is a need for adult leaders during the retreat. Helder said there are two shifts which would need extra adults. The shifts are from 7-11:30 p.m. on Friday and 8-11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Students and adults alike are asked to complete the registration forms below. For more information contact Helder at 605-271-3456 or email him at