Four attend Covenant High in ChristPublished 10:44pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Three Dowagiac Union High School students will travel south to Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday to take part in an international high school convention with a Christian focus.
Every three years, thousands of high school students from around the world gather for Covenant High in Christ (CHIC). The convention, which began in 1956, grew exponentially over the decades, welcoming students with an interest in learning, worshiping and understanding their faith. Now, with the last few conventions overtaking the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, thousands of students, with their chaperones, fellowship together over major Christian recording artists, speakers, workshops and downtime, such as white water rafting. DUHS students Anna Luthringer, Sarah Long and Easton Preston, along with Anna’s mother, Debbie, as chaperone, will attend CHIC for the first time.
“Getting ready to attend was a big process,” Debbie said. “Initial payments had to be made and there’s a timeline for everything.”
The group raised nearly $3,000 to pay for the expenses of the trip. Debbie said that at $775 per person, they held fundraisers and received support from fellow church members at Federated Covenant Church, 202 Center St. in Dowagiac.
“It’s an all-inclusive trip, so everything will be ready when we get there,” Debbie Luthringer said. “Outside of our fundraisers, I would have private donors just come up and slip me money to go toward our expenses; everyone has been really supportive.”
The group also received a $500 scholarship and $1,000 donation from the women’s fellowship in the church.
Now that the trip is days away, the women said they are eager and excited to see what the convention holds.
“This is the first time going for all of us,” Debbie said. “There’s a lot we don’t know, and I think the excitement comes from that.”
For Anna, Long and Preston, they hope to come back after the weeklong event with ideas and inspiration for the community.
“I hope for our youth group, we’ll get new ideas and find new ways for worship and spread it,” Anna said.
Preston agreed, saying she wanted to come back with an idea of how to gain more community members and incorporate different groups of people outside the church’s walls.
“I want to find a way to get youth here and then keep them here,” Preston said. “It would be great to get a community-wide youth group.”
Long said she hopes to get some insight from the speakers.
“I’d like gain some knowledge and then bring it back to the community,” Long said.
Debbie said, however, that with so much left to speculation right before the convention, she hopes that the girls will be surprised.
“I don’t think any of us have a clue what the impact will be,” Debbie said.
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