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 1: Rev. Clay Brantley
Clay Brantley was born in Lake Charles, La., and raised as a Presbyterian. He attended summer camps and Synod Youth Workshop. Clay attended Texas A&M University where he received a degree in Agriculture Economics and a surprising call into ministry. After a summer as a counselor at Feliciana Retreat Center, he entered Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Throughout his college and seminary years, Clay discovered a love for Mo-Ranch that continued to deepen over these many years.
Clay graduated from Austin Seminary 1986 with a Master of Divinity. His first church was First Presbyterian Church, Malvern, Arkansas where he met and married his wife Crysta. Since moving to Texas in 1990, Clay has served Trinity Presbyterian, Sherman; First Presbyterian Church, McKinney; First Presbyterian Church, Garland; First Presbyterian Church, Whitesboro; and Trinity Presbyterian Church, Denton. For twelve years in a row, Clay led a church retreat at Mo-Ranch. He is currently a director at the Retreat House Spiritual Center in Richardson.
In the summer of 2015 Clay heard a call to step outside of parish ministry into a deeper exploration of life with Jesus Christ. This has led him into many mystical, “Wild Mustang,” life-giving experiences. He loves to share stories and insights and experiences of life and invite others into their own stories of Christ. He has been the keynote speaker at Synod Youth Workshop, Grace Presbytery SHYC and Youth Quakes, spent many weeks at summer camps and led several adult retreats and conferences. What a joy it is for him to be coming to Mo for Junior High Jubilee.
JHJ 2: Rev. Keatan King, Associate Pastor, St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston.
Since 2013, Keatan King has served as associate pastor at St. Philip Church in Houston. She is a native of Austin and a life-long Presbyterian. Keatan serves as a Trustee of the Board of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Keatan graduated summa cum laude from Austin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and cultural anthropology. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa while at Austin College. She earned a Master of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, where she received the Field Education Award.
Her ministry at St. Philip includes pastoral care, preaching, leading worship and teaching. Keatan focuses on ministry with youth and young adults, as she seeks to accompany young people as they experience the transformative love of Jesus Christ in their lives.
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.
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. Directions to Mo.