A few weekends ago, Emerge [18-25 year olds] held their annual Unplugged weekend, a three-day opportunity to slow down, have fun, and focus on God. Students spent this weekend unplugging from school, work, and the busyness of life to connect more deeply with God and others, while enjoying the coziness of fires and home-cooked meals.

This year, over 40 Emerge students and leaders took park in the weekend event. Of those, two people attended who had never before been involved with Emerge. Both individuals took the first step of going on this weekend getaway. That’s a big step – going on a 3-day adventure with a bunch of strangers! Thankfully, it paid off. Both made new friends and lasting connections. And both were so happy they made that huge first step. Throughout the weekend, they shared how thankful they were for Emerge and how open the group was to making them feel welcomed. Joey Swearingen, Emerge director, said it was great to see the change in these two individuals. “It makes all the work of pulling off an event like this worth it,” he said.