Youth invited to spiritual retreats at Lake Junaluska

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell | Jul 02, 2014
Photo by: Donated SPECIAL SPEAKER — Shane Claiborne will be the final speaker during the July 17-20 session.

Lake Junaluska is abuzz with youth and vigor this summer, thanks to the 2014 Youth Events, which draws hundreds of youth from across the Southeast to participate in small groups, Bible studies, workshops, service projects and to hear internationally-known speakers, such as Shane Claiborne, founder of The Simple Way.

Each week will feature a morning and evening session that will reflect this year’s theme, “One Bread, One Body,” (Romans 12:5) by focusing on being the body of Christ through service, worship and community.  Events are led by a team of college students, guest speakers and worship bands, with afternoons free for groups to plan rafting trips, enjoy the swimming pool or boats at Lake Junaluska, or participate in a service program. The program is geared toward sixth through 12th graders. This year’s service project is Stop Hunger Now, where youth groups can choose to help package 50,000 meals for hungry people around the world.

“Lake Junaluska has offered spiritual formation retreats for more than 100 years,”

said Jennifer Martin, director of program ministries at Lake Junaluska.  “The mountains of North Carolina are the perfect place for young people to grow closer to God.”

Sessions are:

— July 6-10: Tim Reaves, speaker; Second Hand City, worship leaders

— July 10-13: Steve Cheyney, speaker; Forgotten City, worship leaders

— July 13-17: Celia Whitler, speaker and worship leader

— July 17-20: Shane Claiborne, speaker; Ciona Rouse, speaker; Second Hand City, worship leaders

The final session will feature Claiborne, whose letter to non-believers, “What if Jesus Meant All That Stuff?,” was included in "Esquire Magazine’s Best and Brightest Essays of 2009." He also founded The Simple Way, a faith community in inner-city Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. Claiborne writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice and Jesus.

Packages include dinner on the first night through breakfast on the last day, housing, and program.  Three night event packages are $238 per person and four night event packages are $309 per person.  For those making their own housing and food arrangements, the cost is $100 per person for weekends and $115 per person for weeks.

For more information, visit, or call 800-222-4930 for reservations. For more programming information, contact Jennifer McSwain Martin or 454-6716.