Well, here we are...2024 is almost here! We have made it through almost all of 2023...actually we made it through a lot of years before 2023 too, but that's beside the point. By now you've probably figured out how this whole calendar thing works: after one year ends, another begins. It's fairly repetitive. And if you're not careful, you can miss the excitement of it all.
As you have sat and pondered the significance of another year, you may have thought to yourself: "Hmmm, how can I start this year off in a really awesome way that I will never forget?" An all-you-can-eat donut party? A trip to Home Depot to buy materials for stilts and then walk on them every day at school?
Well, those are ideas. But we think we have a better one. We're not saying your ideas are bad. But this one really is great. Here it is: Winterfest. Yep, 3 days, tons of great experiences, worship, and real ways to live out your faith. It's going to be amazing.
It's January 12-14. It's in Fort Worth. Students from Texas and all surrounding states will be joining us for a great weekend of spiritual growth, worship, and fun. It's even worth changing any other plans you have because it is that awesome. We hope you'll come.
Winterfest will have great speakers, times of worship, friends, faith, a service project, time to focus on what's really important, and a lot more. The speakers will use real-life stories, drama, music, and scripture to help us better understand God's will for our lives. We really hope you will come. Come and learn. Come and worship. Come and grow in faith.
Here are the main details about Winterfest:
Who: High School Students
When: January 12-14. We'll leave as early as we can on Friday and return around 2:30pm on Sunday. (See more details about Friday below)
Cost: $50 or $60, depending on when you sign-up. You will also need money for two fast-food meals. (The money for our fast-food meals will likely be for supper on Saturday and lunch on Sunday. Just bring that money with you when you come to Winterfest.) Don't miss Winterfest for financial reasons. Financial help is available.
Sign-Up Deadline: The sign-up deadline is Wed, 1/3 ($50) or Sun, 1/7 ($60). You can sign-up soon, but please try to sign-up by the deadline. Yes, that's right, do not sign-up late. We know it seems like fun to sign-up late, and since we're nice people we always try to find a spot for late sign-ups...and we always will...but signing up late can make it really tough on transportation and food and late fees when we get the Winterfest tickets.
You can click here to sign-up or click the link under the info below: WINTERFEST 2024 SIGN-UP FORM
Okay, now that the big details are out of the way, here
are some more things you might want to know:
-Departing on Friday, January 12:
In order to help us get to Winterfest as early as possible on the evening it
starts, we will try to meet immediately after school is out and get on the
road as soon as possible. In previous years we have brought buses to high
schools or met at a central location. Depending on everyone's ability to get
to the church or a central location, or how many people are at your school,
we will plan to do something similar this year. Let us know where you
could leave from when you sign up.
We'll be staying at a church in Arlington. You'll need a sleeping bag, and if you
want a sleeping pad or air mattress, you can bring one. We suggest it.
All of your meals, except two fast-foot meals, are covered with your registration fee.
For those who do not like fast-food, we will have some packages of snails and clam
juice available in the bus. Also, you're welcome to bring extra money if you
want to buy books, shirts, etc., during the weekend. Sometimes they have some vendors at Winterfest.
-Cell phone info:
Cell phones will need to be checked in when we depart for Winterfest. We may distribute them a few times during the weekend. Earbuds, video games, laptops, tablets, kindles/nooks, etc., should not be brought on this trip. As always, you can borrow a phone anytime you need to in order to call your parents. Your parents can also call you anytime on Monty or Heather's phones. This is not a "no phone" trip in order to keep you from your parents, but rather to help all of us be engaged with the weekend and with those around us.
This is a trip intended to help us grow closer to God. Please know this
before you sign-up. If you are planning to bring anything illegal or anything
you shouldn't bring, please wait for another trip. Also, if you're going to be
annoying or rude or say unkind things about other people, wait for
-Friends or guests:
Friends are always welcome to come to Winterfest. If you have a friend
you would like to invite, just have them fill out the sign-up form as well. If
we need to talk to their parents about any of the details or answer any
questions for them, let us know.
If you are a parent and can join us, click here to see what needs we have: https://amchurch.ccbchurch.com/need_detail.php?need_id=782
DO NOT miss Winterfest for financial reasons. If you need a full or partial scholarship in order to go to Winterfest, just let us know in the "questions or comments" area of the sign-up form.
-Packing List and Travel Info:
On the Monday before we leave, we'll send you travel info and a packing list. If you have any questions before then, let us know.
-New Location for Winterfest This Year
In the past Winterfest has always been in Arlington, but this year it will be in Forth Worth. That's really not too big of a deal. Fort Worth is right next to Arlington on a map. Here's the reason: Arlington is a busy place. And the Arlington Convention Center is in the same area as Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor, the Dallas Cowboys and the 2023 World Champion Texas Rangers. After the new Cowboys stadium was built, the new Rangers stadium was built and a few other things including some large restaurants and a new convention hotel, the old Convention Center is no longer available for conventions and events such as Winterfest. As much as we hate to see our Winterfest venue for the past 20 years go away, (and the room where Monty graduated high school) we think the new Winterfest venue will be great. It is an auditorium instead of an exhibit hall, and will be more conducive to worship and having groups.
-You Might Not Be Aware:
Police found two local kids yesterday playing with a battery and some
fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.
Here's how to sign-up:
All sign-ups will be online. A link to the sign-up form is below. You
can pay online or you can pay cash or check. If you pay by cash or
check (checks payable to our church) you can put it in the Youth Box
in The Refinery. Please let us know if you have any problems signing
up or with anything else. (Except don't let us know you have problems making your pet
fish eat. If he/she doesn't eat, there is nothing we can do about it. Sorry!)
This video is one Jeff made just for our youth group after Winterfest was over last year. It will give you a good idea of some of the things we learned during Winterfest 2023. Enjoy!