One of my favorite sections of scripture is Revelation 7, where John the revelator prophecies of a “great multitude that no one can number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne of God” and praising him. At the UNITE retreat, we get a foretaste of what it might be like to be caught up in that unity of praise. Teens from the greater Seattle area of different ages, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds gather together in the snowy woods of the Cascades for 4 days of worship, games, delicious food, and play in the snow.
Each morning and evening we gathered and were led in worship by the UNITE band. Following the band, our speaker for the weekend, Paul Patu of Urban Family Seattle gave us rousing talks about how much God likes us and how much God loves us. It was beautiful to watch teens from all different background learn from each other, and worship alongside each other.
When we weren’t in worship we were most likely outside playing in the snow. We had a snowman building competition, and plenty of free time to go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or snow tubing. Students also loved staying inside and warm by the fire or playing card games with new and old friends.
My favorite part of the whole weekend was watching our Trinity students laugh and joke with each other and others,especially on the last night during the annual skit competition. This year students had to combine a Christmas movie, a popular song, and Psalm 139. The result were hilarious skits such as a remixed version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas with the Disney hit song “We’re All in This Together” mixed in. Our teens had a blast!
Despite the lack of sleep, I’m already looking forward to next years UNITE retreat and watching God again give us a foretaste of the kingdom of God breaking into our world through this amazing weekend in the snowy mountains.
Written by Trinity Youth Ministry Coordinator: Kyle Bradshaw