CONNECT is a life-changing week of intense interaction with God and each other, as leaders from across Europe gather to learn and grow. The goal of Connect is to encourage and equip those involved in student ministry, from the committed student volunteer to long-term workers, so that we can share the message of the gospel more effectively within the European university environment and our own unique local contexts. The week will include worship & prayer, seminars, workshops, evening meetings, sports & games, and time to build relationships in small groups.

Topics will include:

  • How to strategically plan ministry for the school year
  • Spiritual disciplines - learn about tools to help you grow spiritually
  • How to lead a small group
  • How to lead others into worship - even if you're not a musician
  • How do we approach the different cultures on our campuses?
  • Christianity, the Arts, and Culture
  • Ministry as a single and rockin' it!
  • Balancing ministry and family
 

Seminars

Reaching Today's Student

Moderator: John Koeshall Jr. with various instructors

**Recommended course for first time attendees.**

The purpose of this class is to present the primary method of Christ in order to change our university campuses. The goal of this course is how to apply the biblical principles of discipleship, which Jesus modeled with His disciples, to your own individual contexts and campuses. 

You will have the opportunity to receive input from various individuals who are currently applying these principles in their respective university campus contexts while you learn how to apply them to your specific campus setting.

Compassion without Compromise: A Christian Response to Homosexuality

Instructor: Linda Seiler, MA

  • Are people born gay? What does science say? 
  • Is transformation possible?
  • How do "gay Christians" conclude that the Bible condones homosexuality? 
  • Does gender matter?
  • How can we help Christians who struggle with same-sex attractions? 
  • How can we reach gay-identified family/friends who think Christians hate them?

Find answers to these questions and more during this seminar based on Linda’s master’s thesis research (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary) and her own 11-year journey out of same-sex attractions and transgender identity. Attendees are encouraged to read Linda’s master’s thesis “Compassion without Compromise: A Christian Response to Homosexuality,” which is available for free download at www.lindaseiler.com/academic-papers.html

Catching Fire

Instructors: Mark and Dalene Good

When the daily demands of life suck the oxygen from our spiritual sensitivity… when difficult seasons douse the flame of our faith...when we long for more than status quo spiritual maintenance – the Holy Spirit invites us to draw near and reignite our spiritual passion. Misunderstanding and uncomfortable past experiences can hinder us from pursuing the "forgotten God", the Counselor and Guide Jesus gave to shape and walk with us. Journey with us this week as we:  1) discover the Holy Spirit's pivotal role, 2) learn to partner with Him in prayer and in seeing practical evidences of His power, and 3) allow Him to renew and saturate us. "Every once in a while, God brings us to a crossroads...we either go toward a useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest..." – Oswald Chambers

The Good News and the Secular Student

Instructors: Drs. John and Anita Koeshall

You are a sinner! Good news? Why is it that students don’t respond to a Gospel that says their sins are forgiven? What does it mean for our communities, our personal lives, and our proclamation? 

As Christians we are called to announce Good News to the world, but those who are hearing it may not think it is very good at all. What is the Good News for the secular university student? We will begin with a Biblical exploration of the message we have for the world, and then study “Gospel” through the lens of Culture: fear, shame and guilt.

 
 

Location

Venue

Hirschluch is a Lutheran church camp in the middle of the woods roughly an hour southeast of Berlin. Spread out over a broad area are individual houses with bedrooms, seminar rooms, and kitchenettes, and in between are play areas for kids and woods to explore. It's a great place to enjoy sunny weather, nature, and conversations with old and new friends alike. For more information, see the Hirschluch website.

Travel information

By Car

The address when using Google maps: 

Hirschluch 1, 15859 Storkow (Mark)

The address when using Apple maps:

Reichenwalder Straße 113, 15859 Storkow, Germany

Flying and Public Transportation

There are two airports in Berlin: Schönefeld (SXF) and Tegel (TXL) airports. Hirschluch campground is easily accessible from both airports by public transportation. SFC will provide shuttles from the Storkow(Mark) train station to the campground. If necessary, Bus 435 will take you from the Strokow train station to the campground.

For public transportation information from your arrival point in Germany to the Storkow train station, click here

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can come to the conference?

CONNECT is for all those involved in reaching students in the university context in Europe. This means short or long­-term workers, student leaders, church volunteers, and others who have a passion to reach students with the good news of Jesus Christ. We believe that as we share our knowledge and resources and encourage one another, we will be more effective in reaching students with the message of Jesus in our diverse local environments.

How can I pay?

You are able to pay using Paypal or by bank transfer. We prefer you use a bank transfer as that has lower costs associated with processing the payment, however, we offer Paypal as an option if this works best for you. Please note: Registration is not complete until payment is received in full. Prices for Connect increase on 1 July 2017 by €25. Registration closes on 15 July 2017.

Can I come for part of the time?

CONNECT is designed to give in­-depth training, with opportunities for building relationship with God and others through the various activities, services, small groups, and workshops. Participants are STRONGLY encouraged to make plans to attend ALL of CONNECT because team­-building and small­ group dynamics depend on full participation on this interaction. 

Can I arrive early?

Due to the limited availability of rooms, early arrival is limited to invited staff for Friday only. If you must arrive early we recommend staying in Berlin and then arriving at the campground for on-site registration on Saturday afternoon. Connect begins with the evening meal at 18:00.

What is the daily schedule?

Here is a tentative daily schedule:
8:00 - 8:50 ­ Breakfast
9:00 - 9:20 ­ Morning gathering
9:30 ­- 
12:00 ­ Seminar
12:00 ­- 13:00 ­ Lunch
13:00 ­- 14:45 ­ Free Time
14:45 ­- 15:00 ­ Coffee & Cookies
15:00 ­- 16:30 ­ Small Groups/Staff Meeting
16:30 - 18:00 ­ Workshops
18:00 ­- 19:00 ­ Dinner
19:30 ­- 21:00 ­ Evening Service

Can I sign up for more than one seminar?

Sorry, no. Participants follow their selected seminar every morning for 6 days, resulting in 10+ hours of in­-depth instruction and guided interaction.

How do I sign up for workshops?

There will be descriptions and sign­-up sheets for the workshops during on-site registration.

What is the lodging situation like?

CONNECT is held at a summer camp location with various buildings scattered around the campus. Some of the rooms have their own bathroom facility, but many others share bathroom and showers on the hall. 

Can I room with my friend(s)?

Yes, you may mention the name of your preferred roommate in the comments section of the registration form. We will try our best to accommodate you, but please understand that there may be other circumstances that limit our ability to honor every request.

How will the meals work?

The meals are buffet-style at breakfast and dinner, and are family-style (i.e. each table gets a specific portion of food) at noon.

Is there wifi?

Yes. Every building has wifi which you can order for a fee. You pay for a data package. For example, you purchase a 500mb data package, and when that runs out you have to purchase another.

Is there a snack bar, café, store or opportunities to buy food and other supplies while at the conference?

The conference center does sell some snacks. There will also be organized trips to the store during free time.

Is there an ATM at the conference center?

No, so please come with some cash in hand. There will also be organized trips to a nearby ATM during free time.

What types of things should I bring?

Please bring a Bible, notebook, and pen (or their electronic equivalent). Dress is casual. Bring house shoes to wear inside the buildings. You may want to prepare for rainy weather and cool temperatures at night. Don’t forget appropriate clothing for sports and swimming, if desired. There is also a laundry service available for a small fee.

Do I need to bring sheets or towels?

You may bring your own towels and single­-sized bedding or rent these from the facility for a small fee.

Will there be translation into other languages?

Yes! Please note in your registration that you would like translation and the language you prefer. Headsets provide translation for the main meetings, with personal translators filling in in other situations. Worship will branch into different languages as well. While English is a common European trade medium, it’s unifying to gather together and hear God worshipped in every language!

Will there be any free time?

Yes! Afternoon free time is an opportunity to join in organized sports (i.e. ultimate frisbee, football, etc) or individual/family activities (swimming location is down the road for an extra fee, walks, brief trips to the village, resting, etc). (Parents, please note there is no childcare provided during free time.)