A Faith-Filled Youth Retreat to Asbury Hills

This post was contributed by Cindy Curtis, Director of Youth Ministries. A recap of the Asbury Hills retreat will also be available in the December edition of our monthly newsletter, The Parish Post. 

From the fall leaves to the beautiful lodge, our Faith-Filled Retreat to Asbury Hills offered more than any of us expected. Having Pastor Megan and the North Hope Youth along with Pastor Brad and our youth made for a great weekend.

We arrived late Friday evening to the sound of the babbling creek and the chill in the air. As we settled into our home for the weekend, we played games, explored and listened to a story before bedtime as we began to embrace our Holy Spirit Power.

Saturday was filled with team building activities on the low ropes course, hiking to the mountain chapel, and free time. We participated in stations centered on the Holy Spirit and had s’mores by the fire pit.

Sunday we worshiped together with song and communion before we departed for home.

Claim Your Super Power

We learned a lot over the course of a weekend about how each of us is empowered by the Holy Spirit to do extraordinary things. Here are a few of our important take aways...

  1. We are in community as Christians with all of our many parts making a supportive whole.
  2. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit to serve as our advocate, our friend, our wise counselor, living water, and eternal flame.
  3. The Holy Spirit has given each of us gifts. We may not know what they are yet. They come to us naturally with little effort, and we will use them to build God’s kingdom.

Get Involved 

Our youth group is open to teens of all ages, and there are many ways in which church/community members can get involved. Please email Cindy to learn more about upcoming activities and volunteer opportunities.

UMW Scholarship Recipiants

The United Methodist Women of St. Andrews Parish UMC established and awarded their first academic scholarship in 2011. Since that time, through continued funding, they have been able to grant numerous awards to deserving young persons. Their very first award (in 2011) was $300; their 2017 awards will total $1,500. 

These awards are made possible by memorials and honorariums, the hard work of the ladies of the UMW and generous donations from congregation members who support various UMW fund raisers.

Applications for this year’s awards were received from March 1st to April 1st and were evaluated by a Scholarship Committee. Payment of each award will occur at the end of the recipient’s successful completion of the fall semester.  

2017 UMW Scholarship Awards

St. Andrews Parish United Methodist Church UMW Scholarship

Congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients, English Laserna and Mary Wagenbrenner!

English will be graduating May 31st, from Academic Magnet High School where she took eight Advanced Placement courses including Biology, Calculus, Literature, US Government and Economics. She plans to attend Clemson University, where she will study Biological Science prior to attending medical school. Recent contemplation has also led her to consider Bioengineering as a potential major leading to medical school and a career in ophthalmology. Her realistic view of the financial needs of such a career path, as well as her outstanding academic qualifications, and an outstanding GPA make her a worthy candidate for the UMW Scholarship.

English will receive a $750 scholarship certificate, payable at the end of the fall 2017 semester.

Mary graduated high school in 2016 and is currently enrolled at the College of Charleston where she is majoring in Early Childhood Education. Her extensive volunteer work with children here at SAPUMC (in the nursery, VBS, etc.) and her experience as a Teacher Cadet in a first grade class at Drayton Hall Elementary School have inspired a career in education. Mary's hard work, passion and dedication make her a worthy candidate for this year’s award.

Mary will also receive a $750 scholarship certificate, payable at the end of the fall 2017 semester.

Congratulations to both of these young ladies! To learn more about this scholarship opportunity and other UMW missions, please see Letha Henry on Sunday mornings or attend a UMW meeting

Holy Clubs and Confirmation

This post was contributed by Youth Director Cindy Curtis and can also be found in the "Focus on Youth" section of this month's newsletter.

I love the coast! As one who grew up near the water, the Lowcountry rivers, salt marshes and beaches are so much a part of who I am. I cannot imagine living anywhere else. I did not realize the wonderful experience I was in for at Epworth by the Sea for our Confirmation retreat. I enjoyed the location so much I felt a little guilty that it was part of my job. To admit that I learned as much as the confirmands was also a huge blessing to me.

What an incredible retreat!

One of the many teaching events planned for us was the participation in Holy Clubs. I liked the name, but had no idea what we were in for. John Wesley originated the concept while he was in college as a way to not only keep himself accountable, but to participate with others so that each person was given support, strength and a place to discuss their faith struggles. He formulated 22 questions for personal reflection, and the group discussed them. For example, am I proud? Do I grumble or complain constantly? Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits? Do I disobey God in anything? (I encourage you to look up all 22) We met as a group both evenings and had our Holy Club time.

Read more about John Wesley's 22 Questions for Personal Reflection at

Confirmation Retreat

The questions led to more questions as we honestly discussed our struggles. The reflections opened our eyes and hearts to God in new and deeper ways. All of the twelve females were in one cabin with one toilet and one shower. The respect for each other, the patience for waiting your turn and taking a very fast shower, allowed us to live the grace that we were learning about. We sang, we worshiped, we attended workshops, we ate great food, we toured the Village at St. Simons, and we had a scavenger hunt in the dark all around the campus that ended at a camp fire. Our group was a model for others by their focus, manners and attention to the speakers and leaders.

As we finish up our confirmation lessons by adding to the information we received at our
retreat, the young people will be well prepared as they contemplate the decision to join the church on April 30. Many thanks to this church, the parents, and the Faith Friends (mentors) for helping to raise responsible faithful youth.