KNOXVILLE, TN (July 13, 2015) — This weekend thousands of high school students descended upon the University of Tennessee campus, filling up dorms and spilling into area hotels for CHIC 2015, the Covenant’s triennial youth conference.
Although the temperatures top 90 degrees and many students arrived weary from long bus rides, the energy throughout the campus is palpable. The conference kicked off yesterday with a welcome party that included a do-it-yourself spray-painted wall, a rock climbing wall, beach volleyball, tie-dye your own t-shirt, swimming in the Olympic-sized pool, and tons of athletic events.
Sunday evening concluded with the Mainstage event—the only time each day when all CHIC participants gather in one place. Last night’s speaker was Ben Stuart, who leads Breakaway Ministries, a weekly Bible study on the campus of Texas A&M University. Stuart introduced the week’s theme of Shift, saying that we first recognize that God is the one who does the shifting. All evening sessions are livestreamed at chic2015.org. Mainstage services begin at 8:00 EST on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and at 7:00 on Tuesday.
When Kris Causton, creative resource pastor at Excelsior (Minnesota) Covenant Church, gave the benediction she called out, “If you’ve been set free, say your name.” Students responded tentatively at first, and she repeated the call. On the third refrain, the stadium boomed with thousands of voices shouting out the names of children of God, called and freed by Jesus Christ.
Covenant students began gathering together for Covenant High Congress in 1956—and now the event, renamed Covenant High in Christ, has grown to become the denomination’s largest gathering.