Winterfest 16 Poster 8.5″ x 14″ (please print and post)
Winterfest 16 Flyer NEW! 8.5″ x 11″ (please print and post)

What’s NEW for 2016?

threegirls There are significant changes for this year ONLY! Please take a moment to read about the new additions and new schedule for 2016.Winterfest 2016 officially opens at 10:00 AM on SATURDAY, January 2, 2016, in order to allow for families to celebrate the New Year’s holiday together if they wish.

  1. LutheranHANDS has partnered with us to offer a Friday night option, that includes an overnight stay at the Host on Friday, January 1st, and breakfast on Saturday morning.
  2. liamA Silver Anniversary Celebration on Saturday evening will include a formal dinner with special musical guest Agape (David Scherer) performing a mini-concert, a special video history of Winterfest, and a guest speaker. The evening will also include our inflatable game room, dance, and a new lip-sync battle room. You can REGISTER for the Silver Celebration only, if you can make the entire event!
  3. Adult leader tracks return in 2016, led by synod Learning Ministry Team members, offered twice on Saturday and including a lunch meal. See descriptions below.
  4. darrenOur Young Adult ministry is being reinvigorated, under the direction of Darren Hamric, and along with special young adult small groups, we will feature a special evening event on Friday for early arrivals and Saturday night reception room.
  5. Bishop Jim Dunlop will join us for the day on Saturday, and will speak on our theme, “Community,” during the Silver Celebration on Saturday evening.

Winterfest 16 Registration Information Packetbishop jim on rice
Winterfest 16 Group Housing Form
Winterfest 16 Group Registration Form NEW

Registration OPTIONS and details for 2016:

  • Winterfest 2016 ($155.00): Includes the entire Winterfest event, including the Silver Anniversary Celebration on Saturday evening, the Agape mini-concert, inflatable games and all activities, plus lodging Saturday night, Saturday lunch, dinner, and snack, and Sunday breakfast. All small and large group programming included.
  • Winterfest 2016 + LutheranHANDS Pre-event ($215.00*): *same price as 2015: Includes the entire Winterfest event, including the Silver Anniversary Celebration, the Agape mini-concert, inflatable games and all activities, plus lodging Friday & Saturday night(s), Friday evening snack, Saturday breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack, and Sunday breakfast. This option also includes the LutheranHANDS pre-event and activities.
  • Winterfest 2016 Silver Anniversary Celebration ONLY ($40.00): Includes the Silver Anniversary special dinner meal, the Agape mini-concert, the Silver Celebration, and all evening activities on Saturday. If you cannot attend the entire event or are looking for a more affordable option, this may be for you! Please do NOT plan on staying over on Saturday evening, or “crashing” in a friend’s room.                                                                Winterfest Silver Anniversary Schedule : open or print
    Winterfest Silver Anniversary Menu:  open or print

We feel like we have listened to previous evaluations and still provide the same quality event you’ve come to expect at Winterfest. We WILL return to a full weekend event in 2017, when the dates shift to January 6-8, 2017. Please note the special features of this year’s event, including the Silver Anniversary Celebration, the newly invigorated young adults ministry component led by Darren Hamric, the LutheranHANDS Pre-Event, and the Adult Leaders Tracks, offered again this year.

Why Adult Leaders Tracks at a Youth Event?

If you are attending Winterfest as an adult leader, adult tracks are FREE, if you want to come just for the adult tracks, the fee is $25.
There are nearly 150 adults who attend Winterfest on an annual basis. While some have responsibilities for the event management, and some are small group leaders, many come to serve as congregational advisors, who accompany youth and who often tell us that they gain as much from the event as their youth do. In 2013, we began to experiment with special adult learning tracks, to give adults even more opportunity for their own faith formation, and to provide education around how to more faithfully accompany youth in your home congregation setting. This year we are raising the bar even higher! We have invited our synod Learning Ministries Team to offer programming for adults during two of the Saturday small group times.

fitchurchbannerSome of the initial options we are exploring include Pastor Haley Vey Beaman’s Fit Church fitness classes and prayer model. Also Resource Center & Center for Faith Formation Director Marsha Roscoe, leading a discussion on using social media and web resourcing to strengthen your ministry. Chelle Huth, from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG), discusses strategic planning around faith formation in the congregation. We hope to add a few more options and will offer these two adult sessions right before (11:45 AM) and after (2:00 PM) our lunch break (12:45 PM). Adults who are attending the event can opt to participate in any of the Adult Learning Tracks offered, and adult leaders NOT attending Winterfest will be able to participate in both adult learning track times and join us for lunch for a fee of $25.00. 
Register for the Adult Learning Tracks ONLY at:

Adult Learning Track Descriptions:

Social Media Beginner’s Guide Workshop, led by Deacon Marsha Roscoe
Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media!  Learn how to set up social media platforms, share meaningful and engaging ministry content, establish social ministry guidelines, and encourage community. Whether you’re new to social media or looking to better understand how to set up and utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more, you’ll walk away with concrete, hands-on, step-by-step instructions to start building or enhancing your social media presence.
Nurturing Community with Digital Resources, led by Deacon Marsha Roscoe
Digital tools provide opportunities for congregations to open doors before people take a step inside our buildings.  Are we missing the boat on building communities beyond the walls of our churches?  Let’s consider how digital resources nurture meaningful connections and faith-filled relationships.  Looking at the changing media landscape of our culture, we’ll discuss strategies to enrich and extend our ministries using digital resources like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and more.
FIT Church, led by Pastor Haley Vey Beaman
This is a workout! Based on a workout called R.I.P.P.E.D., come prepared to sweat, but also to pray together and enjoy the company of peers while you workout. More that just a workout, Pastor Haley and the community that take her FIT Church Class experience it as a part of their shared ministry. Come learn how being healthy in mind, body and spirit matter.
There’s Not an App for That, led by Chelle Huth
In ministry we often turn to the “newest, latest, greatest ever” idea or resource to build on faith formation. When we do this we often forget to think strategically through our ministry. This workshop will  lift up three tools (at least) to use in thinking theologically and strategically through ministry planning in easy to use, easy  to implement ways.Chelle Huth, Director for Lifelong Learning at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, has also served many years as Director for the Youth Ministry certification course at LTSG. But before that she was a congregational youth leader. She brings this wealth of knowledge and experience to bear and offers it to help you think strategically about faith formation in the post-modern congregational setting.
Implementing the New Child Protection Laws in the Congregational Setting
Join Assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Rob Blezard, as he reviews the implications of the new Pennsylvania state child protection legislation for congregational leaders. He will also review our synod’s new child protection strategy and documents, created to assist congregations as they live into the new laws. Come with questions and concerns.

Winterfest 2016 Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is Winterfest only one night in 2016, and is this a new format going forward?
We opted for one night because the New Year’s holiday falls on Friday, traditionally the first day of Winterfest. We want to honor the fact that some advisors may want to be home with their families, we opted to begin Winterfest on Saturday morning, January 2, 2016, at 10:00 AM. We plan to return to a full weekend format, January 6-8, 2017!
2.  If that is true, why have a Friday night option?
Some congregational leaders, and some young adults came to us and asked if they could come on Friday. We do not believe it is fair for those who wait until Saturday to start any official Winterfest programming before our start time on Saturday. So we partnered with LutheranHANDS, who will offer some Friday evening programming. If you opt for the pre-event, you will get lodging at the Host, a snack and Saturday breakfast, all included in the $215.00 price. Groups arriving on Friday will be able to finish their on-site registration for Winterfest, upon arrival.
3. What can we expect if we register for Friday night’s pre-event?
LutheranHANDS will host this pre-event, and are planning a local service component with a number of area ministries in Lancaster. Groups will participate in large group singing, hear from a speaker and have an option to perform local service on site in the Lancaster Expo Center. After the service activity, the evening will continue with games and fellowship, also in the Expo Center and a snack provided by the hotel. Event fees include a snack, overnight stay, and breakfast on Saturday, along with the LutheranHANDS activity. Participants will also be able to check-in early for the actual Winterfest event.
4. What’s Up with the Silver Celebration, and why would I come just to that?
In today’s church and culture, 25 years is still worth celebrating a ministry like Winterfest that has had an influence in the faith formative lives of thousands of youth and young adults. But beyond the obvious, every year I hear from youth leaders who say, “our youth have basketball tournaments,” or “wrestling” or whatever, and cannot attend the entire event. Well how about coming for the evening? We’ve planned this portion of the event to be an affordable option, that includes a sampling of all things positive about Winterfest, including some worship and teaching, a meal, lots of singing and interaction with peers, plus fellowship and fun! The evening includes a brief time of prayer and worship, with a reflection on our theme, “Community,” by Bishop Jim Dunlop, a plated banquet-style meal, a mini-concert by Agape (David Scherer), video highlights of Winterfest’s past, plus a full evening of activities like the dance, inflatable games in the Expo Center, a Lip Sync Battle room, snacks, a movie, and more. Those who opt to register for the Silver Celebration are welcome to stay for the evening, but must depart by 11:00 PM.

What is Winterfest? A Historic Perspective

Winterfest is our annual synod senior-high and young adult event, for youth in grades 9-12, and young adults up to age 24. Typically held the first weekend of the new year, the event includes large group gatherings with live music, speakers and video, all focused on a central theme. Participants also gather with youth their own age for caring conversation and activities in small groups with leaders trained to help them discuss the event theme and its impact on their daily lives of faith formation. The weekend includes lots of time for fun and socializing, hanging with old friends and meeting new ones, as well as time for worship and prayer.

Each year youth can look forward to traditional small group conversations with peers, but also the interactive learning modules recently added to the afternoon line-up at Winterfest. Youth can also look forward to many of the fun and fellowship activities that make Winterfest memorable, like inflatable games, Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball and basketball in the Host’s spacious Expo Center, a Saturday evening dance, live music and karaoke, snacks and more.
Youth leaders can gather for continuing education, spiritual nurture, and fellowship with their peers.

Downloadable Registration Resources