REACH Conference

Our towns, schools, and even churches are full of young people being taught by society that the world is just a place to exist until the end of their days.  They are spending those days without hope or any sense of true purpose — completely unaware that ultimate hope through the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is freely available!  Shouldn’t someone tell them?  We think so!

The purpose of REACH Conference is to help middle- and high-school students to know who Jesus Christ is and what he has done for them.  We want students to grow deeper in their faith with Jesus Christ, beginning to grasp what this relationship we have with Jesus involves.  Lastly, we want students to own their faith enough to understand the need and the urgency of the Gospel and to be able to share it with others.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”  — Acts 1:8

“One Church, Serving One God, Reaching the World for Christ.” 

How Does It Work?

REACH Conference operates a bit like a weekend retreat — except you don’t have to leave town!  You’ll be assigned to a host home from Providence Baptist Church with other students of their same age and gender.  At these homes you’ll engage in Bible-based discussions facilitated by leaders within the church and community; down-time goofing off with your peers; some home-cooked meals; and perhaps even a little bit of sleep at night!  Groups then come together at Providence for large-group worship (featuring live and exciting music) and Bible study sessions.

Choosing to stay overnight in a host home is strongly encouraged but is optional, and students can still participate in the weekend even if they do not feel comfortable staying in a host home.  Also, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we will be monitoring the recommendations of local health leaders.  If at any point we need to adjust the event and cancel the host home aspect of the weekend, we will do so out of the safety and best interest of all participating.

COVID Safety and Protocols

Because of the nature of the weekend with students being around each other, staying in Host Homes, and the nature of teenagers, we want to keep everyone who participates safe. To ensure that everyone enters the weekend safely, we are asking all participants and event staff to provide a negative COVID test, within 48 hours of the start of REACH Conference, to participate in the weekend. Tests can be an “at-home” test, a rapid test, or a PCR test. 

We know this may seem extreme, but we want to do our best effort to insure that those participating will not unknowingly show up positive and spread COVID to others, especially since students will be staying together overnight. We really appreciate your support and help keeping everyone safe. Failure to comply with these protocols will result in your student not being able to participate in the weekend. 


2021 Conference Theme:  “Mathetes” (disciple)

Followers of Jesus are called “disciples”.  But what does a disciple of Jesus really look like?  How do you become a disciple of Jesus?  What does it mean when Jesus says, “Follow me”?  How does the Bible describe the way a follower of Jesus should act or think? How is the Biblical description of a disciple different than what we think as casual/cultural Christians?  Was Jesus serious when he said that his followers would have to suffer?  How does Jesus commission his disciples?  What would you look like if you were a true disciple of Jesus?  We will be trying to answer these questions (and more) as we spend our time together this weekend!

Schedule

Friday, March 11

6:00pm – Check in/Dinner
7:00pm – Large Group 1
8:45pm – Games
9:15pm – Dismissal to Host Homes
10:00pm – Small Group 

Midnight – Go to Bed!

Saturday, March 12

7:30am – Breakfast (Host Home)
8:30am – Small Group 2
10:00am – Large Group 2 
11:00am – Breakout 
11:45am – Lunch 
12:30pm – Depart for Mission Project
4:00pm – Free Time at Host Homes
6:00pm – Dinner in FLC
7:00pm – Large Group 3
8:45pm – Games
9:15pm – Dismissal to Host Homes
10:00pm – Small Group 3 

Midnight – Go to Bed!

Sunday, March 13

9:00am – Grow Groups
10:30am – Worship Service
11:45am – Lunch in FLC
12:30pm – Hot Seat

1:30pm – Dismissal 

Mission Project:  Samaritan’s Feet

Over 30 years ago, a young Nigerian boy, Manny Ohonme, received his first pair of shoes at the age of nine.  It changed his life and now he wants give others that same opportunity for change and impact.  Samaritan’s Feet wants to inspire hope through the gift of shoes, the act of washing feet, and encouragement to those who need it most.  Since its founding in 2003, Samaritan’s Feet and its partners have distributed over 8.5 million pairs of shoes in 108 countries and over 450 U.S. cities.*

We will be spending a few hours volunteering in Samaritan’s Feet Warehouse to help them literally take the gospel of Jesus around the world through the gift of a pair of shoes.  Each participant will need to have a Samaritan’s Feet Waiver Form filled out before we leave Saturday afternoon. (You can find this waiver by clicking the “Download Forms” button on this page).

*Taken from https://www.samaritansfeet.org/about-us/

What to Bring

Here is what you need to bring for REACH Conference!

  • Bible
  • pen and paper
  • clothes
  • sleeping bag and pillow
  • toiletries/washcloth/towel
  • notarized PBC Medical Form (see below)
  • completed Samaritan’s Feet Waiver Form (see below)
  • snacks and a 2-liter drink to share
  • … and an excited and positive attitude, expecting God to do great things this weekend!

Registration

Registration fees for this year’s conference have been set at $50.  At a price that low, what’s keeping you from registering online right now?! Registration deadline is Wednesday, March 9th

Below you can download all of the necessary forms for the weekend. The first is a conference schedule detailing the event and locations. Second is a Medical Release Form.  We require that students participating in off-campus activities have an annual Medical Release Form filed with the Church Office.  This form provides important medical information and serves to protect both your student and the church in the unlikely event of an emergency medical situation.  If the student is under 18 years of age, this form must be notarized.  Third is a volunteer waiver that each person must fill out for Samaritan’s Feet (see below) for our mission project Saturday afternoon. 

Volunteer Opportunities

Parents, would you like to be a part of this weekend?  We need your help!  If you would like to volunteer to help, please sign up online.  We will need help with the following things:

  • registration Friday night
  • meal preparation and service on Friday and Saturday
  • general support flexing each session to fill in wherever needed.

If you have any questions about volunteering, please email Evan at evansmith@pbcharrisburg.org.

Operation Christmas Child

The Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child (OCC) project is a mission outreach which supplies Christmas gifts in shoeboxes to children who might not otherwise receive gifts for Christmas.  The OCC website states that since 1993, more than 168 million boys and girls in over 160 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.  Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Providence Baptist Church supports the Operation Christmas Child project in a number of ways.  First, members and guests of Providence are encouraged to participate by filling shoeboxes for the project and returning them to the church on the designated collection day (which we call “Shoebox Sunday”).  Secondly, Providence serves as a local collection center for shoebox donations from all around the Harrisburg area, providing volunteer staffers for the collection and distribution center delivery work.  Finally, we take a group of up to 50 volunteers to the Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center in Charlotte to prepare and pack donated shoeboxes for distribution.

Will you partner with us as we spead the Gospel of Jesus to children around the world one shoebox at a time?

(For instructions on how to pack a shoebox, see the OCC website’s “How to Pack a Shoebox” page.)

2021 Operation Christmas Child Schedule

  • Sunday, November 14, in the morning worship service — Shoebox Sunday (Providence collection)
  • November 15 – 22 — Providence collection center* open during these times:
    • Monday, November 15, 10am – 2pm
    • Tuesday, November 16, 5:30pm – 8pm
    • Wednesday, November 17, 10am – 1pm
    • Thursday, November 18, 5:30pm – 8pm
    • Friday, November 19, 5:30pm – 8pm
    • Saturday, November 20, 10am – Noon
    • Sunday, November 21, 2pm – 5pm
    • Monday, November 22, 10am – 2pm
  • Tuesday, December 7 — Group trip to serve in the Charlotte Distribution Center*
If you’d like to volunteer to assist with the Providence collection center or to serve at the Charlotte Distribution Center with our group, please contact the church office or register on the sign-up sheets located on the church office bulletin board.

Christmas Eve Service

December 24, 2021 at 6:00pm

The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time for everyone, where our calendars are filled with events and must-do tasks of both the invited and the obligatory variety.  It’s easy, amidst the chaos of this time of year, to forget exactly what — or Who — Christmas is all about.

We at Providence Baptist Church would like to encourage you to set aside time for worship this holiday season, and we invite you to join us on Christmas Eve for precisely that purpose.  That evening, we’ll celebrate together the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with a time of musical worship and a reflection.  Come dressed as you are or as you wish, whether your evening schedule is wide open or you’re squeezing some corporate worship in between Christmas parties.  Most of all, come ready to experience God and worship Him freely.

Cast members needed! Sign up today to help with this year’s production!

December 1–4, 2021

Thu, Fri * Tours depart from 6:30–8:30pm
Sat, Sun * Tours depart from 6:00–8:30pm

 

Step back in time, and journey through the village of Bethlehem as it might have appeared 2000 years ago.  Meet residents of the village, learn about their trades, customs, and family life, and experience with them the oppression of Roman rule and the joyous hope of the promised Messiah!

This interactive walking tour of our Bethlehem village is Providence Baptist Church’s “Christmas card” to Harrisburg and the surrounding areas.  Each year, over a hundred volunteers work to create an engaging experience for visitors, who travel from near and far to experience this tradition each December.  The guided tour through the village lasts about 45 minutes, arriving at a new stop every three minutes on average.  Travelers are encouraged to respectfully interact with the village residents, asking questions they may have about their trade or customs.  Upon completion of the tour, visitors can warm up in Providence’s Family Life Center with apple cider, hot chocolate, and cookies!

Consider spending an evening with your family in Bethlehem this December!

 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much does it cost to attend this event?
Your journey through Bethlehem village and the refreshments that await you at journey’s end are free of charge!

How long does it take to tour the village?
On average, guests spend about 45 minutes in the village.

What should I wear?
The village is located outdoors on a section of land near the back of the Providence Baptist Church property. As such, it is susceptible to both to the historically chilly temperatures of early December evenings and to other weather elements during and in advance of the event. We recommend that you dress in layers appropriate to the outdoor temperature. Also, you’ll be guided through the village on an unpaved surface which could be wet or muddy, so bring appropriate footwear, too.

Is the event wheelchair-accessible?
Unfortunately, due to the natural terrain of the village and low lighting, we strongly advise against the use of wheelchairs, and we are no longer offering the golf-cart ride-through option that we’ve offered in years past. The rest of the Providence facilities — including the Family Life Center where post-tour refreshments are offered — are wheelchair-accessible.  

Can I make a reservation for a tour time?
We are considering for 2021 offering advanced registration (with a modest, non-refundable donation which will go toward a local charitable organization), while still allowing walk-up guests to enjoy the experience on a first-come, first-served basis. We make every effort possible to maintain a steady flow of visitors through the village, but due to the popularity of the event most travelers will have to wait a short while before entering.

Can my group enjoy the tour together?
Absolutely!  The tour is often best experienced when in the company of friends and family, and many in the Harrisburg area enjoy this event annually with their church small groups, extended families, and other social circles.  Out of consideration for others, we simply ask that all the members of your group arrive and enter the tour queue at the same time. Also, due to the nature of the tour, very large groups may to be divided into smaller ones (of around 10-12 guests) to avoid diminishing the experience for your group and others.