We’re planning everyone’s favorite time of year ... STATE YOUTH CONVENTION! 2018 is full of many changes and it is going to be amazing! We look forward to seeing you and your group there. Pastor Jim Lyon, our weekend speaker, will bring the Word to us with power and energy. We will be guided in worship and praise by John Tibbs his and friends during the weekend also. As we get closer to the date, there will be more surprises to reveal!
It is very important to read ALL information concerning the convention, hotel registration, parking, and meals because so much is new this year.
Matt Stone, Tori Eckman, Connie Graham, Jenny Salas, Jessica Staton, Dan Steenbergh, Heidi Steenbergh, Alexandra Weeks, Caleb Weeks, and William Jones
Rev. Jim Lyon
Jim Lyon grew up in Seattle, where he served as an Associate and then Senior Pastor of the Fairview Church (1977-1991). In 1991, he moved to Anderson, Indiana, to become Senior Pastor of the Madison Park Church of God. After 22 years at Madison Park, he accepted the invitation to become General Director of Church of God Ministries, providing leadership for the Church of God in the United States and Canada (and networking with the church in 84 other countries).
Lyon studied at Seattle Pacific University and the University of Washington Law School, before taking a post in Seattle with Northwest Airlines. Always fascinated by politics and the public interest, he has worked in many civic and church-related fields, including representing northwest Seattle as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives.
But, it is the Christian ministry that ultimately owned his heart. It is the conviction that Jesus is at work in the world, redeeming and transforming us, that has molded his life and vocation more than any other.
Lyon and his wife, Maureen, married in 1978 and have four sons and five grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, jogging, traveling, and Haagen Dazs. He loves politics, current events, and biographies. When asked about his Achilles’ heel, he is certain to reply, “chocolate ice cream.”
Growing up in the Midwest, John Tibbs has built his success the old-school way: by playing shows, writing great songs, and truly caring about those he meets along the way.
In 2016, John released his debut full-length, Dead Man Walking, to great critical acclaim. Following the success of this debut record which garnered a Top-20 AC (Christian) single and a Dove Award nomination in the Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year category, John released his follow up, Heartland, to continued great critical acclaim.
In 3 years, John has toured more than 500 dates all over the U.S. amidst these releases as well as co-penning songs with writers and artists like Dave Barnes, Matt Maher, Michael Farren, and Paul Mabury. Be on the lookout, as he does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
John currently resides in Nashville with his wife, Emily and their dog, Lady. For more information on John Tibbs, with tour dates and social media links, visit John Tibbs Music.
We will all be leaving the Amway and driving approximately 10 minutes to 3 Mile Project, our recreation site for the afternoon. (1:00-4:00; 3050 Walkent Dr. NW, Grand Rapids). The former warehouse now contains sports courts, theatres, a skate park, a reball arena, video games, table games, and a café. We will be eating lunch upon arrival. (This is part of the convention registration). Check out more about 3 Mile Project at 3mp.org
Adult leaders - collect the lanyards and hotel key cards before entering recreation. These can easily be misplaced when playing and difficult to retrieve!
2018 SYC Convention Schedule
Friday - November 23
Hotel Registration- Main Lobby, Amway Grand Plaza
Convention Registration- West Concourse 2nd. Floor
Counselor Meeting- Pearl Room- West Concourse- 2nd Floor
Session 1- Ambassador Ballroom
Group Devotions- on your own and all in rooms
Saturday - November 24
Breakfast - on your own
Session 2- Worship- Ambassador Ballroom
Adult and Student Break-Outs; Adults and Students with separate leaders
Early Bird price (now through Oct. 25) $65.00/$40 deposit Regular (Oct. 26 through November 9) $75.00/$50 deposit
PayPal will be available with a $3 per person convenience charge. Checks may be sent with registrations at no additional cost. All final payments made upon arrival must be done by check. We are unable to process credit cards on sight.
Register online when sending a check or register using PayPal. T-shirt orders are included with your online registration or PayPal. Checks are payable and mailed to the Church of God in Michigan, 4212 Alpha Street, Lansing, Michigan 48910. An email confirmation, amount still owed, and last minute notes will be emailed to you at least one week prior to the convention. The balance owed for the convention is due at this time with checks made payable to Church of God in Michigan, (no cash, please). Credit cards cannot be processed for convention fees due.
Churches are responsible for booking their own hotel rooms. Our group rate is $109/room plus a 9% occupancy tax. You may have a total room occupancy of four (Room Types: 1 King or 2 Queens Room).
The Amway Grand Plaza has setup and needs this registration form. The form contains registration, credit card authorization, and the tax exempt form. This must be received by the hotel on or before November 9, 2018 to receive the group rate. Reservations received after this date will be accepted on rooms available and subject to regular hotel rates.
Reservations must be accompanied by the church's credit card, check, or money order made payable to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. This credit card is required at hotel check-in on Friday. Personal cards or checks are not accepted. The amount of deposit required equals the value of the first night’s accommodation, including tax. Unless direct billing has been approved, guests are required to present a valid credit card upon registration. If a credit card is not presented upon check-in, a $25.00 refundable deposit is required on all cash and check paying guests.
You will be checking in for the convention and receiving materials at our desk in the West Concourse on the 2nd floor. Hotel check-in is in the Main Lobby. Please have ONE leader go to each check- in area, not the entire group.
In order to honor our hotel contract, we must meet our minimum room guarantee of contracted rooms. For this reason, if your group would choose to stay at a hotel other than the Amway, there will be a $75.00 fee added to each individual’s convention registration fee.
Grand Rapids Parking
Self-Parking in the hotel lot or in near-by out-door lots will be on the average of $29.00 per day per vehicle. Bus parking will range around $75.00 per day off site (approximately 3-4 blocks from the Amway). More options and maps will be provided later on this web site.
Partner with Another Group
If you would like to partner with another group leader to plan for the convention, get questions answered, or even travel together- please contact Matt Stone, Youth Convention Task Force Chair, at 616 232-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org and he will be excited to team you with another leader in this process!
Resources are limited for student scholarships, but we would like to assist if possible. Scholarships are designed for students with a financial need and nominated by a youth leader. Congregations that are chosen will be awarded individual scholarships of $40.00 that can be used for the initial registration fee. Churches desiring consideration should email Matt Stone at email@example.com, no later than October 1, 2018. Notifications will be made by October 15, 2018.
Mandatory Counselor Meeting
We need at least one adult from every church to meet Friday evening at 7:30. Important information and opportunities will be discussed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many adult leaders do we need to bring?
A: Please have approximately one adult for every five youth of the same sex.
Q: What if we need information during the convention?
A: At check- in you will be given the cell number of your Hotel floor host, a SYC Task Force
Member, who will be able to help and can be also identified by their unique staff shirts!
Q: Will our youth need extra spending money for the weekend?
A: Food money for meals will be pre-determined by churches. There are pop machines available and there will be optional artist merchandise for sale.
Q: What if I have more students or adults to add after our initial registration?
A: You may register more through November 9. Rates vary according to the date that you are registering and can be done by going to the state church website – firstname.lastname@example.org and registering additional persons by pay pal or check. Questions can be referred to Connie Graham at 989 835-9262 or
email@example.com. Final rooming lists must be received by the hotel on or before the cut-off date of November 9, 2018 in order to be eligible for the group rate. Any reservations received after this date will be accepted on a space available basis and may be subject to regular hotel rates. (MUCH higher!)
Q: Do I need Medical Permission Forms?
A: Yes, you are responsible for securing medical forms for your youth and keeping them
with you for the weekend. We will supply directions to the nearest hospital in case of
Please discuss proper hotel behavior with students prior to attending- especially for a venue such as the Amway. Using the elevators correctly is a must! Also, shoes MUST be worn in the hallways and to the pool, as well as a cover-up.
Chaperones must be with youth at all times on Saturday during the free time and are responsible for supervision. NO youth should walk alone around Grand Rapids without adults! Adults, you are responsible for the discipline of your own group! Everyone must be in his or her own rooms by 11:00 P.M. Counselors are responsible for quiet time being respected each night. The hotel will be housing guests other than those with the SYC.
Many youth have difficulty with dressing modestly. Please provide Biblical truths behind these suggestions. Everyone: No gang/drug/alcohol memorabilia displayed anywhere. Girls: Shorts must be as long or longer than fingertips when holding arms at side. Shirts should bear no back, belly, or cleavage. No spaghetti strap tank tops- must be two fingers width. Guys: Keep pants where they belong. No Sagging! Remind students and adults to bring appropriate clothing for the recreational activities We are depending on each Youth Ministry to enforce this policy for their individual group!
The Youth Convention Task Force Also Asks:
Keep the facilities in great condition-this provides a positive Christian witness to the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and their employees.
Devote time to discuss behavior, expectations, and guidelines with your group prior to arriving.
Be alert to youth who are responding to service messages. Be ready to talk and pray with them during the weekend. Most of all have fun with your group and others! Get to know and appreciate our wonderful students and leaders from Michigan.
Groups will need to eat prior to the Friday night service. There will be NO pizza party this year due to a late night event. Groups are welcome to bring their own snacks to have in their rooms or share during group devotion time.
Saturday & Sunday breakfasts- these can be eaten at area restaurants. But, a great suggestion is for groups to bring food items for continental breakfasts together in the rooms. Kids love fruit, pop tarts, donuts, bagels, etc. Please note- there are NO refrigerators in the rooms.
Saturday Noon-a pizza lunch with other items will be provided when we arrive at 3 Mile Project. This is part of everyone’s registration cost.
Saturday evening dinner- Groups will budget for this meal and choose a location. Restaurant options and address will be made available for Grand Rapids-near the Amway, and also near 3 Mile Project.