We hope you all are having a great summer. It’s been quite a busy few months. We held our first training event in Honduras, Central America at the end of May. We had more than 500 in attendance and trained over 350 youth leaders. Currently we are in camp and convention season. We attended Kentucky’s senior camp in early June. The week ended with several being filled with the Holy Spirit, in addition to salvation experiences. We also attended the Idaho-Oregon-Utah (IOU) and Georgia conventions. The youth in the IOU region are hungry for God and we look forward to great things from them. Georgia’s youth program was awesome. The youth are vibrant and excited about what God is doing in their lives and churches. They also had a great camp season with over 200 saved and more than 150 filled. Trevor also had an opportunity to minister at the Western Canada youth camp where God’s grace and power visited the youth mightily. We are finally back in the office after almost 3 weeks on the road visiting the Eastern Canada National convention and ministering at both the Nebraska and Southeast Spanish youth camps.

Most of your churches by now, should have received a poster for the conference and in many cases, a reminder call regarding the upcoming deadlines from our office assistant, Olga Santos. So, we are dedicating most of this update to the Youth Conference which is about two months away. Thanks to everyone who registered early. We trust everyone else will register before the September 1st deadline. As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns.

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UPDATES

Register early and save! General registration is open for the Omega Youth Conference which will be held on October 9-11, 2009 in Sevierville, TN (close to Pigeon Forge) at the wonderful Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort. This year’s conference features Ricardo Sanchez (Jentzen Franklin’s worship leader), Warren Barfield, J.J. Hairston + Youthful Praise, and Spanish sensation Roccio Crooke. You can register on-line or download your application form in English or Spanish at www.operationomega.org. Forms are also available in French by e-mail. Don’t hesitate to contact the Youth Ministries office with your questions at (423) 559-5304 or youthministries@cogop.org. Register early and save!

CONFERENCE T-SHIRT CONTEST. This year we are challenging each youth group to a T-shirt contest. We’ll e-mail you the new Operation Omega logo (when we receive your group registration) for you to design your own local church group t-shirt. Everyone in the group will wear the same T-shirt to the opening service on Friday night and sit together. Judges will choose the best T-shirt design for the top prize! E-mail us at youthministries@cogop.org to get the logo.

YOUTH GROUP COMMERCIALS. Get featured on the Big Screen during conference. We’re looking for video clips, slideshows, testimonies from camps, conventions, retreats, outreach and fellowship events, etc. to use as commercials during the Omega Conference. Each submission should be no more than 20 seconds long. These can be sent to youthministries@cogop.org by September 15th please.

CONFERENCE TRAVEL TIPS. There is more than one way to get to youth conference!
Fly – the closest airport is Knoxville Airport (TYS). Shuttle service will be provided to and from the airport at an affordable cost. Contact the Youth Ministries office to reserve your space.
Bus – If your youth group is too small to charter your own bus, consider partnering with area youth groups to fill a bus. Bus trips are great!
Van – Rent a 15-passenger van and ask/hire a responsible adult from your congregation to drive the youth to and from the conference.
Car pool – Just a few of you? Try car pooling! Don’t forget to chip in your share of the gas!

CONFERENCE FUNDRAISING IDEAS. How are your fundraising plans going? If you need a few more ideas to help get your entire group to conference, we’ve attached some to help you on your way. Some can be used right away, others require a little advanced planning. It’s not too late (or early) to raise funds!

More News …

YOUTH HARVEST TRAINING – JANUARY 14-17, 2010 ~ ELIZABETHTOWN, KENTUCKY
This intensive training will bring together leadership from all levels of youth and camping ministry. That’s right, all levels including senior pastors, youth pastors/leaders/directors, camp directors, cabin leaders, board directors, student leaders, etc. We are encouraging leadership teams to attend. There is no limit to the amount of participants per church or state/region. Registration materials will be available September 1st.

HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP. We are pleased to announce the Heritage Scholarship. The essay is open to students ages 13-18 from around the world. Applications are available and can be submitted in English, Spanish and French. Please email us for Spanish or French applications.

Keeping YOU in the know,

Trevor & Aileen Reid