Walking into the CHIC store this week, conference participants are confronted with something a little unexpected: before getting to the merchandise, shoppers journey through a photo installation and exhibit featuring the Covenant Kids projects in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, and Sudan. Large images and narrative posters share stories of children in need around the world, and the ways that Covenant Kids is partnering with them and helping to make a tangible difference in their lives. [+]
This morning I attended the Creation focus group, which began with the “creation experience.” The creation story of Genesis 1 was read aloud as beautiful images of sunlight, water, sky, trees, birds, reptiles, animals, and people flashed on screens above us. As God created the earth, over and over again he declares it “good.” But what did God mean by good?

The Hebrew word is tov which in addition to ‘good’ means beautiful and working the way itʼs supposed to. In the beginning, creation was tov, and humans were declared very tov. Everything was as it should be. But somewhere along the way things began to break down. The serpent came along and caused division between Adam and Eve. This division continues today. We have arguments; we place blame on others; we have so much division around race, religion, and gender; war is rampant. Clearly, things are not always tov. [+]

Greetings from Knoxville on Day 3! The students had a blast yesterday engaging in various activities like cave tours, whitewater rafting and Taste of Heaven where they sampled food from many different cultures. During the day they attended workshops that included topics such as forgiveness, environmental justice, sex and dating, global poverty and prayer. We had a powerful night of praise and worship with a hip hop band that the students danced and rocked all night with. Bianca Juarez then brought the gospel message that challenged us to declare who God is to us and to believe him to do the impossible as we live his dream for us. [+]
This morning everyone attended focus groups. We will be attending groups throughout the week with different themes. For my group this morning the theme was Respond. How do we respond to what we learn at CHIC this week? How do we respond to God’s work in the world? How do we respond to injustices in the world? There were several focus groups offered with topics such as evangelism, faith in the locker room, global poverty, mission work, human trafficking, and also a couple of service-oriented options such as rolling bandages for the Congo. Students were invited to respond to what they learned in their focus groups by finishing the statement, “God, I will-.” Here are some student responses: [+]
Our video crew was able to catch some students and staff after Sunday night’s Mainstage for some Living Reflections. Check out some of the reactions and thoughts from the audience after CHIC’s opening service with the CHIC Band and Pastor Harvey Carey. Don’t forget to tune in for our CHIC Morning Show Monday through Thursday mornings at 11/10c. Watch the video now!
CHIC 2012 is in full swing, today being the first full day of events and activities. Last night was an amazing time at Main Stage (where we go each night for incredible worship, inspirational speakers, and a lot of fun!) We learned some new worship songs with the CHIC band, and last night’s speaker Harvey Carey talked to us about finding God. Some of the youth, counselors, and staff here may have had a relationship with God for a very long time. Some here have no idea who God is or what a relationship with him looks like. Some of us may know God but are wondering where he in this season of life, or perhaps we’ve wandered off ourselves. Wherever we are in our spiritual journey, Carey reminded us that each of us are here for a reason. [+]
Greetings from Knoxville on Day 2! CHIC is in full swing! We kicked it off with a rockin welcome party full of kids, music, food, games, spray paint, pool party and sunshine. The students have settled into their dorm rooms and are finding their way around the University of Tennessee’s campus. We polished Sunday night off with a powerful word from the Lord delivered by Harvey Carey that encouraged students to love the uniqueness that God gave them and reminded them that God desires to be found by them. Students then headed back to their dorms to process the message and get some much needed rest. [+]
I’m Dominique Gilliard and I’ll being serving as the “Long Road to Justice” (LR2J) coordinator for CHIC 2012. As a team, we hope that these experiences will foster new attentiveness and knowledge concerning both the injustices that are so pervasive within the world and God’s movement toward correcting these social fractures. We are prayerful that these new insights will enliven the Word of God for students and cause them to respond to these injustices in light of Scripture – acting with compassion, mercy, and justice (CMJ) regarding the societal ills that will be addressed throughout CHIC. The LR2J team is seeking to encourage students by helping them envision themselves individually, as well as the body of Christ corporately, as essential components of societal revitalization. As a planning team, our mission has been to assist in opening the eyes of youth to the necessity for justice and its connectivity to their broader understanding of Christianity and ultimately their own spirituality. From this we hope to catalyze youth into becoming actively involved in issues of CMJ within their own context. [+]
This spring, a large group of North Park students and staff committed to volunteering at CHIC, and Friday evening all the planning and preparation got 38 of us on a bus headed to Tennessee.

The overnight bus trip included movie watching, snack eating, and a little bit of sleep. A stop north of Indianapolis introduced us to our first “Mobile Chapel,” a ministry focused on bringing church to the truck driving and transport industry. At the helm of the trip was David, an excellent bus driver who made such great time on the road that the team arrived in Tennessee before we could even get into a building on campus at UT (necessitating a very early morning breakfast stop at IHOP). [+]

The pursuit of justice is a long, hard, and wearisome sojourn, but it’s one that Scripture undoubtedly calls us all to. This summer at CHIC the Long Road to Justice Team (LR2J) will be leading us all into a deeper exploration of the injustices that occur around us daily. We will be highlighting the issues that surround global education with the hopes to give us the “eyes to see” and the “ears to hear” that Scripture speaks of. Ultimately, we’ll be doing this to cultivate deeper knowledge concerning how we can appropriately practice social responsibility of the issues that surround us. [+]
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.

Remember that one? It’s not only true about marketing a product, it is equally true about your experience at CHIC 2012. The very first event you encounter will definitely rock your world! It’s the “Welcome Party.” Both words are true. It is a place for you to be welcomed to CHIC 2012. You matter. You are important to CHIC 2012. You are welcome at CHIC! The second word is “party” (got that one right!). It is probably the most massive party experience you have seen in ages. [+]

This message is shared with you by Tim Ciccone, the Excursion and On-Site Coordinator of CHIC. Tim serves as the High School Pastor at Hillcrest Covenant Church and  is the author of In Transit. Follow more of Tim’s thoughts at Relational Youth Ministry.

Dear CHICSTERS and CHIC Leaders – We are so glad that you are coming to CHIC 2012! You are about to be a part of an epic week that will be exciting, surprising, fun, and deeply spiritual and we ARE SO GLAD you are coming! [+]

In this guest post, Margo shares her thoughts on the power of sponsorship and the opportunities CHIC provides students. Margo is a member of DeerGrove Covenant Church in Palatine, Illinois and a student attendee of CHIC 2009.

We need world changers. We need multiple generations of young people with bright dreams and a steady determination, men and women who will be moved by the miracles Christ is able to perform in their lives. CHIC(Covenant High in Christ) is a convention for senior high students where as a denomination we are able to give thoughtful tools, loving people and unforgettable experiences that will lead these students closer to God. [+]

In this guest post, Jim Eaton shares his thoughts on helping youth get to CHIC. Jim is the Director of Student Ministries at Countryside Covenant Church in McPherson, Kansas. Jim also serves as the CHIC Liaison for the Midwest Conference.

“I recently spoke with a youth worker in Iowa who had a great fund-raising idea for CHIC 2012.  He figures out how many miles it is from his church to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He then divides the total cost for his group to attend CHIC by the miles to figure out what the cost per mile is. With this number, he invites the church to ‘sponsor-a-mile’ or multiple miles. Each mile being between $7-$8, most people sponsor many miles and they get to CHIC pretty quick!”

What’s your best CHIC fundraising idea?

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