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PHILOSOPHY OF SUMMER TRIPS
Here at Bellingham Covenant Church, we believe in giving you, our students, hands-on experiences with your faith.  This looks like weekly community gatherings, monthly service projects, retreats, and summer trips.  Our summer trips are intended to get you out of the building and into new environments—places where you can experience your relationship with Christ in new and unexpected ways.  As a church, we are blessed to be able to take these kinds of trips and over the next two years, we will have one
in-country experience and one international experience: 

  • 2018-The Summer Sojourn (an in-country Service & Adventure Trip)
  • 2019-International Mission/Service Trip (Location TBD)

The overall purpose of each summer trip is to explore how Christ is working throughout our entire world—and to invite you to join this redemptive work!  This summer (2018) is our Service & Adventure Trip…The Summer Sojourn!

WHAT IS THE SUMMER SOJOURN
The simplest way to describe the Summer Sojourn is this: it's a spiritual road trip.  As the name implies, the event is a journey full of adventure, service, and growth!  

DATES OF THE SUMMER SOJOURN
The Summer Sojourn will be July 28 - August 1

COST OF THE SUMMER SOJOURN
This Summer Sojourn will cost $400 per student.  

Please note: there will be a $100.00 deposit due with registration and a 50.00 payment due on the 1st of every month beginning May 1st.  The final payment will be mid July.

We never want money to be the reason someone doesn’t participate in a trip.  We have scholarships available for those who need assistance.  Please contact Jeff G for more details

WHAT ELSE CAN I TELL YOU?
Here are a few basics about the Summer Sojourn to get us started:

EXPERIENCES
There will be three primary experiences you will encounter: spiritual practices, service to those in need, and adventure!

TRAVEL
Our primary mode of transportation will be vans and/or RVs

LODGING
Camping in tents and hammocks!

THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR TEAM
One of the most significant elements of this trip will be the group of students God calls to be a part of The Summer Sojourn.  We hope and pray that YOU will be on the team!  Signing up for this trip means that you are willing to be part of a team of peers who desires to grow in their relationship with God and each other.  To that end, you have  responsibilities to help the entire team achieve some goals along the way: 

A SPIRITUAL GOAL
You will agree to spend time each week reading your Bible, working your way through a team devotional, journaling, and praying for other team members.  “Accountability partners” will be established for encouragement.  Also, you may have the opportunity to share your “testimony” with others, or you may be asked to pray out loud for specific things (safety in travel, thanks for meals, prayer for people, etc.)

A FINANCIAL GOAL
You will agree to be at a team-fundraiser and make monthly payments on time (unless other arrangements have been made).

A TEAM GOAL
You agree to be at each of our two team meetings—one on Sunday, June 10 the other on Sunday, July 1.  Each meeting runs from 11:00-1:00.  If you do need to miss a meeting, here is what you need to do: Email Jeff G. with a brief written explanation and a parent approval at least one week in advance and coordinate with a teammate who will collect any papers and handouts.

A RELATIONAL GOAL
You will agree to treat other members of our team in a respectful manner.  We will not tolerate “behind the back” conversations (gossip), under your breath comments, or anything that causes other team members to feel excluded.  We will allow positive and kind words of affirmation and any act of inclusion! 

 

The Summer Sojourn has the potential to become a significant and formative event in your life! 

 

MINIMIZING DISTRACTIONS ON THE JOURNEY
Growing in our relationships with one another is an important aspect of The Summer Sojourn. We want to provide an intentional break from daily things that might distract us from what God us doing all around us. We will be intentional about being present with the people on the trip with us because we live in a culture where we quickly and easily retreat into our own secluded world of cell phones, social media, video games, books, music, and more.  This is why cell phones and other things that distract us will not be allowed during certain times of our trip.  

APPLICATION PROCESS
This year, we’re going to ask for two things for our summer trip application:

  1. Student Registration Form with a $100.00 Deposit (Due ASAP)
  2. A one page reflection on your faith—typed.  This will be due one month after you turn in your registration form.  If you are not a Christian, that’s OK!  Simply speak to where you are currently at with God and faith…even if its doubt and disagreement.  Please include some of the following in your reflection:
  • How did your faith journey begin?  
  • If you’ve been on a previous trip, how did it challenge or encourage you on your journey?
  • Where are you at now with your faith/what are you learning? 
    Please feel free to use applicable scriptures that encourage you.  
  • Why do you want to go on this trip?  What do you hope to learn about God and yourself?  
  • Also include: What makes you anxious about this trip? What makes you excited?  

THE IMPORTANCE OF PARENTS
Obviously, a summer trip like this would be impossible without the support of the your family.  Yes, parents are the key financial driver for these kinds of experiences, but parents are also the key spiritual leaders for these trips too.  Parents, while you may not be able to go on the actual trip, you have a significant role in helping your son/daughter prepare for this significant milestone in their spiritual journey.  My challenge for families is to have regular “check-in” times where you can ask your child how they are feeling about the upcoming trip or even to have a time of prayer and scripture study.  This can be as casual as scheduling a “Starbucks date” with your child or as formal as having a specific family devotional time complete with Bible study and prayer.  I’d suggest once or twice a month if possible—I think that you’ll come to enjoy these times.  

 

By saying yes to this trip, you are also saying yes to a deeper level of spiritual accountability in your growing relationship with Christ!  

 

This Summer Sojourn is one of the most important events we do all year and I pray that it would have a long lasting impact in your life.  This trip is much more than the one-week we spend together…so let’s partner together to make this the best experience ever!

Thanks for your support and involvement in The Summer Sojourn 2018!

Jeff G.