Winterfest has a long tradition of faith-formation with senior high and college students in our synod! Winterfest returns to a full weekend, scheduled for January 6-8, 2023, when we will celebrate our 30th Anniversary event, which we actually missed during the pandemic years.  Event registration will open in September 2022. Event registration includes participant’s two-night stay, Friday snack, breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. Worship concludes our time together on Sunday morning, and parents who are coming to pick up youth are invited to arrive early enough to join us for worship.
Friday evening features our 30th Anniversary celebration, when junior high youth and families are invited to join our community for a special evening of live music, worship, and or theme kickoff! Look below for how to register both your youth, young adults and advisors for the weekend, and your junior high youth and families for our Friday night celebration.

To register visit:

What to Expect?

Winterfest gathers youth in grades 9-12, college students on winter break, and their congregational advisors for a weekend immersion in Christian community, focused around a central theme. Large group gatherings feature keynote speakers and live music, that introduce the theme, and help inspire youth and young adult attendees to think critically about how the theme intersects their daily lives. Small group conversations allow participants to go deeper, and to explore the ways God may be speaking to them through the theme and the surrounding Christian community. Congregational adviors have opportunity to meet with peers for continuing education, networking and mutual support.

Youth and congregational advisors can look forward to a variety of social activities and games in addition to our faith-formation conversations and teaching. The community feel that has defined Winterfest for generations will also be a prominent part of this year’s event, alongside inspired worship and time for reflection and sharing. In addition, we will once again offer “ELECTIVES” in the afternoon block on Saturday. Youth, young adults AND adult advisors will be able to self-select the elective options they wish to attend, based on their interests.

To register visit:

What’s NEW for 2023?

Friday Night Celebration:
Friday evening will feature live music, worship, and an introduction to our theme, plus a snack and Community Life. What’s NEW is that congregations are encourged to invite middle-school youth and families to attend the Friday night celebration! This is designed to give younger youth a taste of what to expect when they get to Winterfest age, AND it allows parents to get a glimpse of the kind of community and faith formation their youth and young adults experience every year. On our registration page, their is a separate registration option for those who may attend Friday evening ONLY. We ask that parents and younger youth depart the premises on Friday evning at their conveninece, and that only Winterfest participants and congregational advisors stay for the remainer of the event. The Friday evening fee is $20/person.
Saturday Banquet & Anniversary Party:
Yep, a party to celebrate the 30+ years that Winterfest has been a part of the faith fformation of teens from Lower Susquehanna Synod. Our dinner meal will be served banquet-style, and participants are invited to dress ‘up’ for the occassion, if they wish. This is NOT a requirement, of course. Youth may sit with their youth groups or with friends from other groups. We will likely share in dinner-church worship to conclude our meal before moving on to our evening large group event. Watch for further details on Community Life.

Registration Materials

+ Space is LIMITED, and registrations will be accepted on a first-come basis!
+ Event cost for 2023: $225/person ($50 deposit due at time of registration)
+
Register electronically, but don’t forget to send us your rooming assignments by mail, or scan and email to croberts@lss-elca.org  
+ Read about our 2023 theme: ‘Created for…’

Theme: ‘Created for…’

We will be exploring who we are becoming as children of God. Martin Luther writes:

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing,
not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be,
but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road.

There are four subthemes:
Created for Community: Esther
Created for Creation: Eve & Mary
Created for Care: Ruth & Naomi
Created for Communion: Miriam

Rather than one theme scripture, we are using four Biblical stories of powerfully faithful women, that will help set the table for our discussions…the names of those Biblical characters appear above, beside their corresponding sub theme. We will also introduce the stories of modern ‘characters’ that help connect the story of the historic Biblical character with the sub-theme, in an effort to help participants make the connection to their own lives.

Rather than one keynote speaker, there will be up to four clergy, one per session, who will be the Biblical storyteller that will relate the story and lead what we call our ‘Fed by the Word’ section of our large group sessions.

Each sub-theme will have an internal and external teaching component, or what does it mean to me to be created for creation, and what does it mean to those whom I encounter? We all have a role in caring for Creation for example. We also have a role to care for ourselves and to care for one another. It’s more than just ‘being kind’ however, an often overused expression. We will in some ways return to Created for Community on Sunday morning with Created for Communion. More than simply a way to talk about the Sacrament of Holy Communion in the context of worship, this is exploring our understanding of the movement from simply community, to what it means to ‘in communion’ with all the saints, for example.

Download the group forms, and promotional materials, posted below:
WINTERFEST 2023 Registration Info Packet
(detailed information on “how to” register)
WINTERFEST 2023 Group Housing Form (please mail or scan and email completed form)
WINTERFEST 2023 Bulletin Insert
WINTERFEST Youth Covenant
WINTERFEST Adult Covenant
WINTERFEST Medical Form
WINTERFEST Child-Abuse Disclosure Statement
WINTERFEST 2023 Wyndham Advisor Agreement
WINTERFEST 2023 Wyndham Youth AgreementWINTERFEST Electives PDF

To register visit:

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: DECEMBER 5, 2023

Read more about our 2023 theme: ‘Created for…’ below!

Pastor Jay invites youth to a main stage dance competition during the 2022 event
Youth have lots of time to meet new friends and join in community with peers
Pastor Elizabeth leads the community at Winterfest 2022
Congregations gather with their advisors for conversation about the theme
Our home for the weekend is the newly renovated Wyndham Resort on Rte. 30 in Lancaster County
Youth dance at the altar at Winterfest 2012, Lancaster Marriott
Packing meals at Winterfest 2012, Lancaster Marriott
Advisor Chuck B, at Winterfest 2016, Lancaster Host
Winterfest crowd sings along at Winterfest 2016, Lancaster Host
Agape fires up the crowd at Winterfest 2016, Lancaster Host
Hanging with youth group friends at Winterfest 2016, Lancaster Host
Emili S & Emma E, listen in during a 2019 Winterfest elective, Warehouse Hotel
Members of the Winterfest Band take a backstage break at Winterfest 2019, Warehouse Hotel
Community Life fun at Winterfest 2022, Wyndham Resort
Dan hekps lead music as part of the Winterfest alumni band 2022, Wyndham Resort
Freed to reveal what’s behind your mask at Winterfest 2022, Wyndham Resort
Memories are made and friendships deepend at Winterfest 2022, Wyndham Resort

Pastor Taylor Berdahl, Winterfest 2022 Chaplain, strutting her stuff on main stage

Our 2022 event theme, “BeLOVEd”

‘You are a beloved child of God!’ Participants were reminded of God’s promise and of Christ’s challenge to not only receive God’s love but to share that love with others. We explored the scourge of racism and explored ways to overcome it in our home communities and congregations. We discussed the ways we are freed by Christ’s death and resurrection to focus on loving the world and sharing love, grace and forgiveness in the manner of Jesus, rather than selfishly focusing on our own salvation. Event Chaplain, Pastor Taylor Berdahl led an inspiring dinner-church worship Saturday evening, and we had lots of time to connect with friends old and new. We continued to ‘mask’ during the event due to the spike jn COVID infections around the holidaays, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the participants, who cherished the time together with peers , in-person!

(The Lower Susquehanna Synod Office for Faith Formation & Youth Ministry endorses no particular products that may appear in YouTube ads, prior to the playing of a video or song)