New to the Great Lakes Gathering in 2020 are Faith Tracks! Each learning and activity-based Faith Track will be facilitated by a team of experienced mentors and provide an opportunity to connect faith and life around a specific topic of interest throughout the entire Great Lakes Gathering.  Each participant will have the opportunity to select their Faith Track.  Once selected, a participant is locked in to the Faith Track topic they chose for the entire event.  If multiple topics interest participants, it’s likely that other Faith Tracks will be available at future Great Lakes Gathering events, although we do reserve the right to add new topics and take away old ones.  Faith Track selections for the 2020 Great Lakes Gathering will be made on-site  the morning of February 8th, 2020 before morning worship. There will be limited space in each faith track, so have your high school students review the list below prior to the event and have a back-up in mind in case their first choice fills quickly.

Young adult participants and adult leaders will also have an opportunity to engage in intentional learning through a faith track addressing relevant topics to each group.

Faith Tracks for High School Participants Include:

Faith & Jesus
Have you ever wondered, “Who is this Jesus guy and why does he matter in my life?” If so, you’re not alone. There’s more to experience about Jesus than Christmas presents and Easter eggs. The way Jesus moves through world, the things he does throughout his life, and the words he speaks are extremely relevant to what is happening in our lives today. In the Bible Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Choose the Faith & Jesus track to explore your own answer to that question as you encounter Jesus in a new way.

Faith & Service
Serving others is a natural way to express our faith into the world. When we humble ourselves and walk alongside people who are vulnerable, it’s hard not to feel the presence of God in our midst. But what’s causing these vulnerabilities to exist? How might we work not only to meet the immediate needs of our neighbors, but to also dismantle the ways these needs are created? Choose the Faith & Service track to explore our role in creating a better world, and to put your faith in action serving our neighbors.

Faith & Worship
How do we express our love for God in community? Have you ever wanted to help create a worship experience does things differently? Maybe you have musical talents, perform spoken word poetry, love creating dramas, enjoy dance, have a passion for creating interactive prayer experiences, or enjoy being a behind-the-scenes person supporting a larger effort. Choose the Faith & Worship track to share these and other gifts as you co-create and facilitate our closing worship experience at this year’s Great Lakes Gathering.

Faith & Peer Ministry
Peer Ministry training is a method of leadership development that focuses on developing real life, face-to-face, heart-to-heart, person-to-person people skills. The training focuses on our role as leaders, how we ask questions, how we listen, and how the Holy Spirit is active in our lives. Choose Faith & Peer Ministry to go on the journey of Peer Ministry training, and to apply those skills in real time throughout the Great Lakes Gathering with your peers.

Faith & Justice
While some people live in comfort and abundance, others live in agony and scarcity. We need to be honest that the world we live in often operates in opposition to Christ’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves. Our history, our policies, and our institutions have (intentionally and unintentionally) created systems that have and continue to oppress our neighbors. Choose Faith & Justice to enter into a space of tension and courageous conversation as we explore together how to find our voice, dismantle the priorities of the world, and faithfully reassert God’s life-giving and loving nature.

Faith & Science
Do you ever wrestle with, or geek out about how faith and science fit together? How can an event like the “Big Bang” be described without discussing the possibility of God’s role in the creation of the universe? How can we explain that plants breathe carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, while human beings breathe oxygen and produce carbon dioxide without seeing evidence of God in the intricacies of that balance? Is it a coincidence that the gravitational constant of the universe that holds all things in balance is referred to in the scientific community as “big G”? Choose Faith & Science to dig deeper into how faith and the physical world intersect.