Posted Jan. 12, 2016
Tick, tick, tick, tick. Can you hear it?
That’s the clock ticking off the minutes before Resurrection 2016 begins Jan. 22 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
For the 31st year in Holston Conference history, throngs of United Methodist youth and others will journey to the Great Smoky Mountains for a weekend of music, message, adventure and friendship. Young people wait all year for this spiritual high, and the Jan. 22-24 agenda promises to be as life-changing as ever.
Soooooo, you ready? We asked organizers what people need to know about Resurrection 2016 – especially the big changes happening this year -- and here’s what they said:
1. Move over
For the first time ever, Resurrection won’t be held in Gatlinburg. This year, the winter retreat moves eight miles north to LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, where everybody will worship and get rowdy in 232,000 square feet on the same weekend. In recent years, Resurrection attendance grew so large, the event had to be scheduled over two January weekends so that everyone could be accommodated.
“This is such a leap of faith we are taking with the move to Pigeon Forge,” said the Rev. Jason Roe, design team member, “and Holston has responded in a positive way with great pre-registration numbers.”
As of Jan. 12, about 10,400 had pre-registered for Resurrection, according to registrar JaNae’ Swanson-Brown. About 540 had registered for the family-oriented coinciding event, Rez Kidz.
The Resurrection crowd will be divided in two sessions, which means this year’s participants will get to worship with a loud crowd of more than 5,000 brothers and sisters. LeConte has seating available for up to 12,000.
2. Spread out
Some participants will miss the cozy, walking-distance charm of Gatlinburg’s hotels and restaurants, but they probably won’t miss the traffic congestion and parking scarcity. The LeConte Center offers plenty of free parking and – bonus! – participants won’t have to wait outside in the cold between sessions as in years past.
“The doors to the building will open one hour prior to the session starting, so no need to come wait before that,” said Laura Lambert McLean, Holston’s youth ministries director. “People will have 30 minutes in an inside line before the doors to the sessions open.”
A map has been prepared to show where the building's entrance is located relative to registration, Resurrection, Rez Kidz, and other attractions.
3. Saturday-night special
The band Bellarive will lead worship with speaker Fred Lynch during the regular sessions, but on Saturday night, a blast from the past will return to the Resurrection stage. Christian music artist Chris Tomlin, who led worship for Resurrection during years 2002-2005, will offer a free concert during evening sessions A and B on Jan. 23.
4. Saturday-morning opportunity
Bring money! Not just for pizza and laser tag, however. Bring money for the traditional Youth Service Fund offering, scheduled for the Saturday-morning sessions.
The YSF offering supports youth ministries in both Holston and overseas and is an opportunity to teach teens about giving, McLean said. At least $10 per person is requested.
5. Plenty of room for more
It’s not too late to join in. In fact, walk-in registrations are warmly welcomed, McLean said. “We are hopeful for some growth.”
If you haven’t pre-registered, print the late registration form from the ResurrectionYouth.com site.Take the form with you to LeConte Center along with the photo release form signed by your pastor, Swanson-Brown said. Space is available in both A and B sessions.
Registration fees at the door are $50 per person for Resurrection and $30 per person for Rez Kidz. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach the onsite Resurrection office, call (865) 256-0773.
See also --
Neither snow nor controversy can keep Resurrection fans away (Jan. 31, 2003)
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.