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Discovery Weekend is a spiritual formation retreat for middle school youth that engages high school youth in leadership. Held in the local church, Discovery invites the entire church family to live out the baptismal promise to create a community of love and forgiveness. In this environment, middle school youth will be encouraged to strengthen their faith with foundational Christian teachings and experiences.
Discovery Weekend is for the entire church family. Middle school youth, no matter where they are on their faith journey, are invited to attend. High school youth lead small groups and worship. Parents share gifts of love, presence, and prayer. Youth leaders provide overall leadership, direction, and supervision of the weekend. Church parishioners serve on the Discovery team. Sunday school classes and small groups provide prayer support, meals, and snacks. Clergy help with teaching, provide spiritual guidance, and, with parental involvement, celebrate baptism.
Singing, praising, and worshiping as one body.
Skits, short videos, and meaningful talks about faith and God.
Congregational care and love.
Free time, serious time, and fun time.
Mentoring, small-group sharing, Bible reading, and prayer.
This weekend is about discovering God’s love and sharing in the friendship and forgiveness of Christ, who loves us for who we are and calls us to do the same for one another. As Christ’s church, we can discover the joy of living in God’s love as a body of believers and welcome those outside the church to discover God’s profound love.
This weekend is about encountering the life-giving love of God found in the scriptures and the invitation to live in God’s image. Through scripture, we discover our connection to Jesus and our call to love God and love others.
This manual is about how we experience God’s love in the world around us today. Students will learn to notice God through their individual prayer and spiritual practices, in their relationships with God and with their neighbors, through receiving and offering forgiveness, and through service out in the world.
Rev. Dale Cohen
North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church
'Discovery Weekend is a breath of fresh air for the youth ministry in local churches. I was impressed with the way it invited both spiritual maturity and committed leadership from our older youth as they served. Of course, the younger youth received so much as well.'
High School Leader
'Discovery Weekend was an incredible opportunity and a great learning experience. I got to see the kingdom of God work within all the kids, which showed me how present Christ is throughout our lives and the amount of love and forgiveness that can be found in others.'
Director of Youth Ministry, Destin United Methodist Church
'Discovery Weekend is a curriculum that was formed for middle school students, is led by high school students, and is supported by adults. It is a wonderful mosaic of the body of Christ through a retreat experience at home.'
Age 13, Discovery Weekend Attendee
'Discovery Weekend changed me. I now have a better and stronger relationship with God because of it. Also, it has changed our church because people from all grades got closer together.'
Associate Pastor, Cookeville First United Methodist Church