PCM: Winter Retreat

100+ Attendees for Public Campus Ministries Retreat


(Photos: ©Andy Im)

by Andy Im | Feb 22, 2019

The Public Campus Ministries (PCM) department for the Michigan Conference hosts an annual winter retreat at Camp Au Sable. Students attending public institutions of higher learning, their classmates, and young professionals are all invited to this February event.

The purpose of the winter retreat is for our Adventist students and their friends to come away and study the Bible.

Israel Ramos


This year, over 100 registered for the weekend gathering and 31 of them weren't Adventist. Another interesting tidbit—of the attendees, 64% were college students and 36% young professionals—this suggests that young graduates will turn out to spiritual events, given the right ingredients.  

Leeroy and Cori Hernandez brought 16 young people. "At one of our Friday Bible studies, we invited our non-SDAs to the winter retreat. They were super excited!" says Cori. "I think my favorite part of the retreat was our non-SDAs taking the mic during testimony time and stating how they were so blessed to be around such loving people, and the personal conversations they were having about spiritual topics, and to see their Bible loving souls being drawn to decisions via God's word alone." 

This year's theme, But We See Jesus, brought focused attention upon Jesus in the book of Hebrews. Andrews University professor, Dr. Erhard Gallos, was the keynote speaker. While presenting, he didn't tiptoe around his Adventist heritage, but shared openly and transparently about his faith. Gallos challenged listeners to prove all things from the word of God. 

At the retreat, I saw God working in the lives of Adventists and non-Adventists alike through the messages, fellowship, and worship. It was truly inspiring to see the fire they have to learn of Christ and serve Him!

Miranda Lentz


On Sabbath evening, while many students opted for games and activities, a sizeable number gathered around Gallos for deeper insights into the book Hebrews. They were not disappointed, and it was a highlight to see students eagerly learning from Scripture. 

"The biggest blessings of our retreats is to see young people make decisions for Christ, to study His word deeply, and to engage with the Adventist community," says Israel Ramos, director of Public Campus Ministries for the Michigan Conference. "Many of the young people that attend are not from Adventist backgrounds. We treat our winter and fall retreats as evangelistic opportunities to witness to college students who might never have the opportunity to attend a Seventh-day Adventist event."

Listed below are schools and churches that were represented at this year's winter retreat.


Schools Represented:

  • Michigan State University
  • University of Michigan 
  • Lansing Community College
  • Western Michigan University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Grand Rapids Comm College
  • Lake Michigan College
  • Southwestern Michigan College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Wayne County Comm College
  • Northwestern Michigan College

Churches Represented:

  • East Lansing University Church
  • Kentwood SDA 
  • Gobles SDA
  • Charlotte SDA
  • Farmington SDA
  • Oakwood SDA
  • Pioneer Memorial Church
  • Maranatha SDA
  • Lansing Church
  • Campus Hope (U of M)
  • Ann Arbor SDA