Trip Blog

D-Tour Update – Boundless Community

After a late night last night we were back at it again this morning to eat breakfast and get prepared for our service activity. Our service project was about 35 minutes away. Once we arrived at the service site the volunteers explained to us the project we would be working on. Our task for the day was to help build and stain a fence that was outside one of the buildings. We immediately got to work and were able to knock out the whole fence quick and efficiently.
 
 
After staining all morning we were getting hungry so we ordered Zaxby’s. We catered chicken tenders, salad, fries and cookies. After lunch we headed back to the retreat site where we were given over 2 hours of free time. In the free time people did various activities such as swimming, pickle ball, shopping, running, sleeping and socializing with others. After free time we made a quick transition into preparing for a fancy dinner. Everyone took time to get ready, we ate together and finished with great photos with the beautiful lake view.
 
 
Following dinner we changed clothes, met with our prayer partners, had s’mores and sung songs around the campfire and enjoyed our last night together. To wrap up a wonderful day we broke off into family groups. In these family groups we shared highlights, surprises and were very supportive with our prayers and words of affirmations about one another. We closed the night all 32 of us together talking, giggling and sharing our adventures we had together this week.
 
 
This trip was definitely one to remember. Please wish us safe travels as we make our journey back tomorrow!
 
~Brooke Strobel


D-Tour Update – Boundless Promise

Hello Epiphany,

Pt. 1 Wednesday, July 27th was Dollywood! Started off early with breakfast and headed to the bus. An hour and half drive and we had arrived. Mystery mine, thunderhead, Tennessee tornado, lightening rod, and many more fun rides. Some of the best cinnamon bread you will ever have here. Couple hours later we were all able to go see coat of many colors show at the Heart song Theatre.(Dolly’s story) After a long day and a couple hours later it was sadly time to go. One the highlights of today was the energy going around! Our matching epiphany shirts received so many compliments designed by herself Erin Haligowski. Super grateful for all the enthusiasm and excitement for today. Can’t wait for an even more exciting day tomorrow!

Good Evening Epiphany,

Pt 2. As we thought we were going to be safely sound asleep things didn’t go as planned. Making a sharp turn around a corner the bus got wedged on a mountain road. All of us hopped out to get to safety before anything bad had happened. While kids were stranded on the side of the road adults did a great job taking charge of everything. Big shoutout to Prince of Peace Loveland church to lending us rides to get home. Now heading home safely and ready for bed. Props to all the adults to being strong, supportive, hard workers, and devoted to helping all each other out!

-Aly West



D-Tour Update – Boundless Resilience

Hello once again! Today was a fun day, we started the day with breakfast, and then a service project. We cleaned up classrooms for a multicultural center and got to see all the wonderful kids participating in their summer program.

After that, we headed to ziplining where several of us conquered our fear of zipping! The ziplining was really fun and I am glad everyone got to go after it got cancelled yesterday. Then, we headed back to the lake for some free time. Many of us chose to swim, some decided to sleep. We headed to dinner next, and then to worship with Prince of Peace Lutheran Church from Loveland, and we met so many great people our age.

 

We spent time with our prayer partners and had time for devotions after. It was a shorter day today, but a fun one. We can’t wait for the adventure at Dollywood tomorrow!
 
~Eryn Barrett


D-Tour Update – Boundless Forgiveness

Up and at em’ at 7:30 AM. Bad news strikes, found out we were not going to be doing a service project at the homeless shelter. ‘Twas breakfast was indeed not that tasteful.  Shortly after got redeemed by visiting downtown Asheville for the morning, followed by a tasteful lunch at a cute retro restaurant. After that, we packed our bags and was on our way to zip-lining. As we were getting ready, doing the very much fun training before zip lining, disaster strikes again, lighting hits and we are unable to zip line. Then, on the sad bus ride back to Mountain View Lodge, we discovered that we were going to get some much-needed free time! People did various activities ranging from swimming to pickle balling to kayaking and even finding a fish friend! Hour and a half rolls on by, then we are on our way to eat some yummy dinner (thankfully it was better than breakfast). After dinner time we had some time with God to pray and praying with prayer partners and group devotional time. Then as nighttime came around, we got time to hangout with Prince of Peace with a fun game of Gaga ball and a nice cozy night around the campfire.
 
~Katie McCafferty


D-Tour Update – Boundless Creation

Hey Ephinany!

 

Welcome back for an update on day three. Today we had a early wakeup so we could pack up and stay on schedule. We got up packed up all of our belongings and cleaned the church in order to load the bus for North Carolina. Once all the luggage was loaded we headed over to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church for there 8:30 am service. The service was youth lead and was an amazing opportunity for the students to volunteer and lead. Following service, we attended a brunch that was brought in by members of St. Andrew’s. They provided us a variety of breakfast casseroles, muffins, and fruit. After service and brunch with the congregation we loaded the bus to start our 5 hour adventure down to the retreat center in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. After about 2 hours into our adventure to North Carolina we stopped at Buc-ee’s where we were given 45 minutes to look around and get food. After a quick stop we continued til we got to Lake Junaluska. Once at the retreat site we checked in, settled in our rooms and then met up for a great section of bible songs and evening devotions. After devotions we finished the night with delicious hot Dominos pizza and time with our family groups. Be sure to keep following along to see what the rest of the week has in store!

 

-Brooke Strobel
 
 


D-Tour Update – Boundless Invitation

Hello Epiphany!

Day two started with breakfast then we were off to the streets of Nashville! The adventure began with the what lifts you mural downtown. Quick stop to the flower truck and down to the Ryman Auditorium. Where we experienced the place that Elvis and many other famous stars were born. Walking around the 95 degree heat weather to cool off and stop at the ACME feed and seed for lunch, games and music. With all the sweat piling up it was time to hit the showers at the YMCA. Back on the bus we go to meet up with other ELCA members for dinner. Super fortunate we were still able to connect with people after the trip getting canceled. To top it off we also watched past guest speakers at the Houston gathering in 2018. Pajamas, evening devotions and off to bed. Can’t wait to see what other adventures are planned!
 
 
-Aly West
 
Be sure to catch the Livestream of our Joint youth worship service on Sunday, July 24 at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Franklin, TN at 9:30am EST/8:30am CST on the St. Andrew’s YouTube Channel


D-Tour Update – Boundless Calling

Hello Epiphany congregation! Welcome to our first D-tour update! The day started today at 8 am with all of us gathering at the Far Hills campus to load up the bus, and by 8:30 we were on the road. We stopped for lunch around 12:15 and spread out to places like Culver’s, McDonald’s, and KFC. Later we stopped by the Opryland Hotel and toured the historic building itself. Next, we headed to Centennial Park to get some fresh air and view the Parthenon replica. We saw many animals (turtles, squirrels, and ducks) that were used to being fed so they were quite friendly. After walking around in the 100 degree heat for about an hour, we boarded the bus once again and headed for dinner. Then, when we were done with dinner, disaster struck. Well, not that dramatic maybe, but the belt on the engine of our bus broke and it was rendered out of service. The church we are staying at tonight graciously  sent a few guys to come and load us and our stuff up and made multiple trips between where we stopped for dinner and the church. Luckily, the locations were only a few minutes apart. While we were making those trips, God sent us a wonderful couple who noticed our broken bus and offered to help us transport luggage, and they too were added to the caravan. Now we’re all settling down and ready for bed, and we can’t wait for tomorrow’s adventure.
 


2022 D-Tour Welcome

Who is getting so pumped for the 2022 Discipleship Tour? Nervous? Hesitant?

However you are feeling now, remember that we are all in this together, as a Christian community. We will be smelling smells, serving others, worshiping, and so much more. The heart of this trip is the opportunity to grow in faith and experience the love of Christ through one another, the people we will serve, and everyone we encounter. We have been given the gift of grace through Jesus Christ, which empowers us to let the Spirit move in us as we proclaim the love of Christ through our words and actions.

Have any questions or worries? Talk with Erin or any other adult trip leader! Feel free to text Erin at 937-266-7052, just be respectful of sleepy time and quiet hours. We ALL need rest for this great adventure!

Get ready to experience the boundlessness of God!




Quick Trip Facts:

 
Dates: Friday, July 22 – Friday, July 29, 2022
 
Two nights and one day in Nashville, Tennessee followed by five nights at Lake Junaluska conference and retreat center in western North Carolina. Service opportunities by day, free time for connecting, some opportunities for fun and adventure, and worship and devotions each evening.
 
Lodging: Lake Junaluska Mountain View Lodge
Transportation: Chartered Bus and/or Rental Vans
Approximate Cost: $250 deposit, up to $250 final payment – financial assistance available
Who can go?: Students currently in grades 8-12
 
Students who were already registered for the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering are automatically transferred to this trip. If you are no longer able to attend, please contact Erin Haligowski as soon as possible. Students interested in joining us in this new adventure should register online using the form below by March 13.
 
What is the D-Tour all about?
Loving Jesus
Students will spend some time each day in worship and faith formation. Group worship, Bible study, and time with God will be part of the daily rhythm on this trip.
Serving Others
Participants spend part of their time in Asheville the surrounding areas serving at community organizations. We love Jesus by serving others. 
Growing Together
During the evenings participants will share meals, play games, relax, and gather each night for service reflection and meaningful worship. We are a community yearning for time together, and this trip will fulfill that longing.

Music, Adventure & Connection

We are looking forward to spending two nights and one full day in Nashville before our week away with the mountains and waters of Lake Junaluska, enjoying all of God’s creation! 

Students and adults from Epiphany will also have the opportunity to build relationships with students from Prince of Peace Lutheran in Loveland and share in worship and learning with them.