Exit 456 retreat encourages tweens to DO more, LOVE more, SERVE more, SHARE more and GIVE more

April 04, 2017

This year’s Exit 456 was a record-breaking event as more than 370 tweens and adult volunteers gathered at Sumatanga on March 17-18 for the sixth year of this Conference sponsored retreat designed to aid local churches in their ministry to tweens (3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students).

Groups from 28 churches in North Alabama plus one church in the Alabama-West Florida Conference participated in the 24 hour high energy event.

Highlights of the weekend included

  • worship led by the band "In Like Ben" from Gadsden, Alabama
  • talks from Andy Yarnell, Associate Pastor at Southside UMC;,Kristi Edwards, Youth Director at Pell City First,; Jeff Moore, Youth Director at Helena UMC; Skip Bondur, Director of Outreach of REVOLT Ministries;  and Linda Holland, Director of Connectional Ministries and Leadership Development for the North Alabama Conference
  • small group discussions
  • entertainment by 6th Day Creatures whose goal is to entertain people of all ages with amazing animals
  • Holy Communion

This year's theme was “MORE.” The focus was how as children of God we can all DO more, LOVE more, SERVE more, SHARE more and GIVE more.

Participants also raised $250 for the Church of the Reconciler through a communion offering.

“The EXIT 456 team works together all year praying for the event and preparing. We have already begun the work for 2018. It will be held the weekend of March 9-10, 2018 at Camp Sumatanga,” Exit 456 Director Mike Arnold explains. “The theme IDENTITY has been chosen. We will discover that our identity isn’t what others tell us—it’s what God has determined it to be. Mark your calendar, invite friends and let's make this the biggest EXIT event ever!

Exit 456 is an annual retreat sponsored by the North Alabama Conference. It can serve as a retreat for a confirmation class or simply as a tween retreat. The worship and teaching times are designed so that 4th-6th graders can attend for three years and enjoy a new, exciting experience each year.

If you would like to serve on the EXIT team or help during the event please contact Director Mike Arnold at 1tweenleader@gmail.com for more information.

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