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MUUUCE 2017 helps students learn who ‘Jesus Is’

The Most Unbelievable, Ultimate, Urban Camping Experience is the Northwest Conference’s annual middle school summer blow out. From Aug. 3-5, 625 middle school students and their leaders from 42 Covenant churches gathered at Crossroads Church in Woodbury, MN, for fun, worship, middle-school-focused teaching and small group discussions.

When students arrived on Thursday afternoon, they were greeted by a massive Welcome Party that was a middle schooler’s dream. It included lots of giant inflatable games, a GAGA ball pit, hair painting, mini-donuts, sno-cones and popcorn. After the worship session that evening, students headed to the Big Thrill Factory where they could ride go karts, climb high ropes, spend time in the arcade, jump on trampolines or let loose with laser tag.

Friday morning kicked off with another great worship session featuring Ben Kerns talking about the theme, “Jesus Is.” Ben is a long-time Covenant youth pastor from Marin, CA. He’s a speaker, author and blogger at www.averageyouthministry.com. Worship was led by James Howard and the worship team from Crossroads. That afternoon, after downing 152 pizzas, the students loaded on the bus and headed to Valley Fair. The day finished up with another worship gathering where the students raised $1,882 for Covenant Kids Congo. A final service took place Saturday morning before they headed home.

Lauren from River Falls observed about the three days, “It’s fun and exciting. You get to connect with people and learn about Jesus.”

Hannah from Vista Covenant Church, said, “My favorite part was the church. The music was powerful. I learned that God loves us just the way we are.”

One middle schooler exclaimed, “I haven’t been on my phone all day!” And another mused, “You don’t sleep; you eat.”

Phil Tolbert, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry at Dawson Covenant Church, said, “It’s a great experience for our middle school kids to break away from their normal lives and to meet God where they’re at.”

Anna Cornell, Pastor of Student & Family Ministries at Bloomington Covenant, remarked, “This is the first time our kids have been part of a larger church experience. It’s like a mini-CHIC. They get to experience the Covenant as a whole.”

MUUUCE is led by a team of paid and volunteer leaders at Crossroads Church. This group meets all year to design an event that will help middle schoolers understand that they are deeply loved by God, and that church is a place where you can have fun. The Crossroads team again did a fantastic job designing and hosting the event, with a team of 198 volunteers working different shifts to make it run seamlessly.