2019 theme—Don’t Be Afraid, Y’all!
Age Group: for those who have completed 6th-8th grade
Scripture: Luke 2:10
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.”
During Jr. High Jubilee, youth who have completed 6th through 8th grade come together to be inspired to grow in their faith by learning and living the words and deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hundreds of youth participants will gather together in the Hill Country for an unforgettable Mo-Ranch experience that’s filled with new friends, spiritual enrichment, worship, study and recreation. Activities and recreation will include everything from taking a challenge on the Mo ropes course, dancing, games, energizers, vespers and popsicle parties, to aquathons, sports, evening movies, swimming in the beautiful Guadalupe, singing God’s praises and more!
Here’s what you can expect to be part of each day at JHJ: Keynote and worship sessions The keynote speaker will gather youth for inspiring messages each morning that will be focused on the conference’s theme and scripture verse. In the evening, the conference’s worship leader will delve into the conference theme again for scripture, prayer and song. Energizers Energizers are a beloved Mo-Ranch tradition that involves pairing fun music with high energy and simple movements that everyone can be sure to enjoy! Small groups Small groups are guided by adult leaders who build a safe and welcoming community for youth to have honest discussions with one another about keynote topics and their journey of faith. These groups are selected at random to allow an opportunity to meet and form friendships with youth across the Synod of the Sun and beyond. Home groups Home groups are the groups you traveled with from your home church! Each night, home groups will return to their lodging and recap the day together. It’s an excellent way get to know each other and strengthen the bond between you and your church’s youth. Vespers Vespers is the traditional word for evening worship marked by music and prayer. Mo-Ranch vespers incorporate reflective prayer, soft music and quiet time for internal conversations with God underneath a starry Hill Country night sky.
- To provide an opportunity for participants to experience God’s loving kindness and carry this to the world
- To realize that God has a mission for us every day
- To help all participants fully understand the love of Christ and how to live a life of love as a Christian
- To build community
JHJ keynote session I: The Rev. Katy Walters Originally a native of North Texas, The Rev. Katy Walters currently resides in New Braunfels where she serves as the associate pastor of Christian education at New Braunfels Presbyterian Church. She is a graduate of Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where she received a bachelor’s of arts in music and then went on to earn her master of divinity and master of arts in practical theology with a focus in Christian education from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Katy has over 12 years of experience working primarily with children and youth, serving churches across the South and working with the Girl Scouts of America. Katy loves learning something new every day and recently discovered she likes many things that begin with the letter “C,” including: coffee, Christ, children, churches, conferences (like youth ones!) crafts, cards, cats (especially one named Milo), comedies and collecting coffee cups. Her favorite energizer move is the Beyoncé move found in the “Wavin’ Flag” energizer, but she also really loves the firework’s ooohs and ahhhs. Katy loves lock-ins with Disney movies, always requests bumper lanes while bowling and seeks to sing something every day. She also daily tries to love like Jesus loves.
JHJ keynote session II: The Rev. Christopher Lee The Rev. Christopher Lee is the associate pastor for discipleship and play for Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson, Texas. He was born in Charlotte and was raised in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Chris is married to his college sweetheart, Brandy, and they have two beautiful daughters, Erin and Jordyn. He is a graduate, cum laude, of Johnson C. Smith University earning a bachelor of arts degree in communications with a concentration in public relations. In 2012, he earned a master of divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary, and he recently received his certification in executive leadership (CEL) from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to God’s call to Canyon Creek, he served as the associate pastor at Avondale Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Prior to ordination, Chris served as the director of youth ministry at three other churches in the Charlotte area. Chris’s passion for outreach and community engagement is clear in his involvement with local schools, non-profit organizations and community agencies at various levels. He has been a part of, and facilitated many, discussions and panels in the community that deal with issues such as spiritual empowerment, community development and social justice. Chris believes that God has called him to live out a ministry that seeks to engage with Christ as Christ is working in culture, unafraid and unashamed in welcoming strangers, engaging in theological discourse and embracing the tough questions that culture, life and scripture present.
Cost and Housing
Conference participants will be housed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be asked for your preference for group/dorm housing and we will do our best to honor that preference. In order to get best use of the housing facilities we have available, please note your group may be housed with other youth groups in dorm/group housing.
You will need a ratio of 1:5; 1 adult sponsor per 5 youth. Adult sponsors must also register and pay for the conference. The number of adult sponsors must correspond to the gender numbers in the group they are bringing. 5 boys and 3 girls would mean at least 1 male and 1 female sponsor. Sponsors are not allowed to stay in the same room as youth participants.
Dorm/group housing: $470
Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration & Cancellation Policy
Registration for youth conferences is by group only on a first-come basis.
A deposit of $75 per person is accepted until 45 days prior to the conference. The balance of all fees will be due 45 days prior to the start of the event or upon registration if within 45 days.
A complete/revised list of participants must be provided 30 days prior to the start of the conference. Initial housing assignments will be conditional upon numbers/gender ratios remaining constant. Male for female or female for male substitutions are not guaranteed.
Full refund less $75 administrative fee per person will be made if cancellation is received more than 30 days prior to the conference. There are generally no refunds for cancellations received after 30 days prior to the start of the event nor any applying of the deposit toward other charges or future deposits.
Scholarships are available! Click here to learn more.
Arrival & Departure
Arrive and check-in between 4 and 6 p.m. on the day the conference begins. One sponsor per group should check-in their group. Youth will wait for their group leader in a designated area. Groups will be able to move into their housing facilities no earlier than 4 p.m. Conferences begin with dinner at 6 p.m. and end mid-morning on the day of departure.
You will need a ratio of 1:5; 1 adult sponsor per 5 youth. Adult sponsors must also register and pay for the conference. The number of adult sponsors must correspond to the gender numbers in the group they are bringing. 5 boys and 3 girls would mean at least 1 male and 1 female sponsor. Sponsors are not housed in the same room as youth participants.
While we recognize clothing is one way young people express themselves, we expect them to do so in ways that honor themselves as well as the kind of community we are building during our youth conferences. We ask participants (both youth and adult sponsors) to dress comfortably for the weather, but also modestly. Please refrain from wearing clothing:
- that is too revealing like: short shorts, bikinis, strapless tops or dresses, shirts that allow for a bare midriff, pants worn below the waist line
- that advertises alcohol or tobacco products
- that contains language demeaning or ridiculing someone’s gender, sexuality or ethnic origin
For recreation events, all participants are expected to wear shirts. Participants out of line with dress standards will be asked to change clothes or put on an over-layer that provides adequate coverage.
Youth will be asked to take a swim check at the pool during the check-in period. For easy access, youth should remember to pack swimsuits on top. Swimmer and non-swimmer wristbands will be issued to all participants. All youth participants must take the swim check even if they are 18 years of age. Participants not wishing to take the swim check must go to the pool to be given a non-swimmer wristband. Wristbands provide guest identification to our staff and act as meal tickets in the dining hall, and must be worn by guests at all times. Please note Mo-Ranch’s appropriate dress standards when packing swim suits.
Stuff to Bring
Water bottles! Bible, casual clothes, closed-toe shoes for ropes course, swim suit (swim trunks for males, no bikinis for females. “Tankinis” are acceptable so long as no midriff is showing), swim towel, river shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, flashlight, toiletries, notebook, spending money and a camera.
Electronic devices include, but are not limited to: cell phones, tablets, mp3 players and handheld games. The use of personal electronic devices affect not only the person using the device but others around them. Using an electronic device for activities unrelated to the conference can be disruptive and disrespectful. Mo-Ranch encourages groups to leave personal electronics at home. We ask that any electronic devices brought to the conference be kept on silent or turned off during all scheduled events (keynote, small group, worship, vespers, etc.) Distracting personal electronics may be collected by conference staff and turned in to a sponsor. Mo-Ranch or its representatives will not assume responsibility for devices that are lost, stolen, damaged and/or confiscated.
Mo-Ranch is 90 miles one-way, or a 2-hour drive from the nearest airport (SAT), allow 3 hours travel/check-in time for departures. We recommend generally scheduling arriving flights before 3 p.m. and departing flights after 3 p.m. to be sure you do not miss any of your event.
If you are in need of shuttle service to Mo-Ranch, call Kars for Hire in Kerrville at (830) 890-8200 at least 15 days in advance to arrange transportation from San Antonio International Airport.