A little over a year ago in 2018, two juniors at Troy University saw the need for new students to have a way to build community, get connected to a local body, and grow in Jesus. After a random Publix run-in and a message on Instagram--two girls who didn't know each other met up and starting working on what is now called The Living Stones Retreat. Months of planning, so many prayers, counsel from trusted pastors, and lots of work, the bones of the retreat were formed. The first leadership meeting was in a tiny apartment where people who loved Jesus came to learn about the idea of this retreat. After that, interviews for the rest of staff were held. In the kitchen of a church, students told their testimonies, shared what the Lord had been teaching them, and expressed why they believed in this idea. After that the counselors and crew were prayerfully chosen. In the following weeks they gathered in prayer and in community waiting for summer when this would all come alive. 11 churches and ministries partnered with us our first year. 66 students registered. The Gospel was shared. Love was poured out. Community was formed. Churches came together in unity. And God was glorified.
That's our story.
The name of our retreat comes from 1 Peter 2:4-5
"As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." What a wonderful picture of salvation! We were dead like stones, worthless. But because of God's great love and sacrifice we are precious to Him. Chosen to be loved and can now cry out like living stones to bring glory to our heavenly Father.
what it is
The Living Stones is a 3 day, 2 night retreat housed at local churches in Troy, Alabama. Students can expect to begin building a foundation for their christian walk at Troy University. Throughout the couple days, students will attend worship times, large sessions with speakers from local churches and ministries, and smaller topic based sessions. Students will have the opportunity to spend time with their family groups, who will spur each other on in their walks with the Lord, dive deep into scripture, and build christian community! A main goal of the retreat is to plug students into community in the form of friends, and a church. There will be a ministry fair where our partnered churches and campus ministries will be there for students to ask questions, get to know them, and grab info. This will be a weekend of growth, fun, and friends!
what we believe
1. We believe that there is one God eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-3; Psalm 139; Matthew 28:19
2. We believe that the Bible is God’s very words, His written revelation to man and that it is fully inspired, authoritative, and without error in the original manuscripts. It is our standard and rule for all decisions of life.
2 Timothy 3:16-17; Isaiah 40:8
3. We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, death on the cross to provide for our redemption, bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven, present ministry of intercession for us, and His return to earth in power and glory.
2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-11
4. We believe that there is salvation in no name other than the name of Jesus.
5. We believe that all who receive Christ by faith are baptized in a death like His and born again into new life in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and become children of God.
1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3; John 1:12
6. We believe that all followers of Christ are called to fulfill the Great Commission.
7. We believe that Heaven and Hell are real and eternal realities.
Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 25:31-41
8. We believe that man was created in the image of God, but because of sin, was alienated from God. That alienation can be removed through God’s grace alone by faith alone in Jesus Christ, apart from works. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, there are none who do good, not even one.
Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 3:12, 23