As always, the Convention Center in Wildwood, New Jersey, will be “lit” with excitement when IGNITE 2023 opens on Friday, September 29, and hundreds of excited youth and adult leaders–from Eastern PA, Greater New Jersey, New York and other places–fill the vast West Hall auditorium, congregating and vibing to the music. They will come together to celebrate and learn to live out their theme: Belong.
Philly native DJ Ant G will draw them toward to the stage with his diverse, cross-genre mix of music to “evoke joy, fun, infectious dance moves and laughter,” as he describes his art. He’ll DJ for IGNITE on Friday and Saturday nights.
Then North Point Worship, a collective of worship leaders, songwriters, and creative young adults from North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Ga., will elevate the esprit de corps with music that exalts the name and nature of Jesus. Their goal always is to “inspire people to follow Jesus and ultimately join the story of God’s goodness being told from generation to generation.”
And finally, the Rev. Lydia Sohn, a popular, inspirational speaker and writer, will move from the music to her message about the IGNITE 2023 theme, Belong! The Korean American United Methodist writer and mother is the lead pastor of Walnut United Methodist Church in California. A Yale Divinity School graduate, her new book, Here: A Spirituality of Staying in a Culture of Leaving, is due to be published in late 2024.
She may share with her young audience some of her wisdom about spirituality and soul-care, about finding life’s joys and challenges in communion with God and with one another, and about forging and restoring relationships that matter. She will speak to IGNITE attendees four times: Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning.
But the music of IGNITE is will also be full of important, life-affirming messages of hope in God and grace and joy in the love of Jesus Christ. Besides North Point Worship, youth and adults will enjoy a Friday night concert performed by Ripe Creatives. This diverse fellowship of gifted young artists from Philadelphia brings their faith and fire to the stage, erupting in powerful music and provocative poetry to share testimonies of triumphant grace.
Scott Smith, co-founder, manager and mentor of Ripe Creatives, will bring his own gospel-focused spoken word poetry to the stage on Saturday night.
Joining Sohn and North Point on Saturday, September 30, will be Amanda Scrimale-Vazquez, whose heartfelt, encouraging music often explores themes of overcoming hard times. Serving as a worship leader at The Haven Church in Haddon Township, New Jersey, Amanda cherishes the joy of belonging and family love, as a gift from God. Thus, she sings to glorify God and enjoys connecting with live audiences.
In addition to compelling songs and speeches, IGNITE will also offer youth a lively weekend of small group dialogues, games and activities. One of those activities will be Rise Against Hunger, a hands-on mission experience assembling and packing nutritious meals to be sent to people who suffer from hunger and food insecurity.
Adult youth leaders will also dialogue and learn about providing “Pastoral Care for Youth” and “Safer Sanctuaries” for their churches’ youth ministries.
Register youth now for the experience of a lifetime
Churches, parents and youth leaders are urged to register youth now to attend GNJ’s 2023 IGNITE Youth Conference September 29 to October 1 at Wildwood Convention Center. Late pricing in effect now.
Join thousands of youth from GNJ, Eastern PA and other regional conferences at the Wildwoods famous beach and boardwalk venue. Enjoy a transformative, inspirational weekend of making fulfilling faith, fun and friendship connections. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable event. Come be part of a community where you truly Belong. Register your youth by visiting the IGNITE website at www.ignitenj.org.