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The Awakening is created exclusively for high school students. It is for 9th through 12th graders who want to grow spiritually and learn more about the journey of walking with Jesus. During this weekend experience, we explore God’s grace and the basics of Christian thinking in a worshipful setting. Students enjoy talks, discussion, friendship, music and lots of fun! There is a boys Awakening and a girls Awakening every year in January or February.

Featured Events

Girls’ Awakening #53

Lay Director:  Alissa Herbon


Friday, January 31, 2025 - Sunday, February 2, 2025

Boys’ Awakening #54

Lay Director:  Rob Schein


Friday, February 7, 2025 - Sunday, February 9, 2025

About the Awakening

Awakenings are held in Zionsville, Indiana every winter at Zionsville Presbyterian Church. The Awakening is a 54-hour experience starting Friday at noon through Sunday afternoon. Students typically arrange an excused school absence to attend. Guests are called “sleepers” and stay on-site at the church the whole weekend. The group enjoys great food, meaningful talks, worship music and a lot of fun activities.

The Awakening is open to students from any high school or denomination. It is a safe place for teens to explore the Christian faith, whether they are already a committed believer or just want to discuss their questions or doubts. Reservations are required and spaces are allotted on a first-come basis, with preferential access given to juniors and seniors. If space is not available in this year’s Awakening, sleepers are guaranteed a spot in the next year. Please register early.

Kurt and Lynn Strueh serve as Community Lay Directors of the Zionsville Awakening. Each Awakening has it’s own Lay Director that changes year to year.

Sleepers stay on-site

Separate weekends for guys and girls

All meals included / special diets accommodated

Cots and shower facilities


What is the purpose of the Awakening?

The focus of the Awakening is to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to make him known. The objective of the Awakening is to continue the weekend experience by serving Christ in local churches, homes, and school. The purpose of the Awakening is to live a life of grace and to respond to higher levels of Christian discipleship.

What happens on the Awakening?

The Awakening is a 54-hour experience, beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday. For the weekend, students live and study together in a worshipful time of singing, prayer, and discussion. During each of fifteen talks given by laity and clergy, the theme of God’s grace is presented. Students participate in the daily celebration of Holy Communion and examine more fully the presence of Christ in his body of believers. They personally experience his grace through the prayers and acts of a loving, Christian support community.

Who should attend?

This weekend experience is for any 9-12th grader who:

  • wishes to strengthen his/her own spiritual life
  • wants to have a better understanding of grace, prayer, baptism and communion, study, and Christian action
  • strives to live a Christian life that bears fruit for God
  • seeks to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to make Him known

What happens after the Awakening?

One of the most important parts of the Awakening is the follow-up. Although the retreat lasts only a few days, guests are invited to use its lessons for the rest of their lives. After attending the Awakening, they are challenged to:

  1. Strengthen their spiritual lives through study and active church participation.
  2. Strive to become active disciples of Jesus Christ in the world through their church.

To assist in this discipleship, the Awakening offers specific opportunities.

  1. Reunion groups meet weekly to examine goals of spiritual growth and to encourage one another to a life of discipleship.
  2. There will be opportunities to assist in future Awakening weekends through prayer, support, and team involvement.

What should I bring?

Plan on wearing comfortable, modest clothes for the weekend. Sweats, lounge clothes, pajamas and slippers are all great. Layers are always a good idea, as temperatures inside and out can shift. Please leave expensive jewelry and cash at home. You will not need them during the weekend. Cots are provided to sleep on, but bring your own bedding or sleeping bag to go on top. Personal air mattresses are allowed with advance notice for set-up. Please bring your own towel, toiletries, hair dryer, etc. Bring your own Bible if you wish, but know that Bibles are available to all during the weekend.

A detailed packing list will be provided in your final confirmation letter.

"I went into the weekend having no idea what to expect. I have never felt such overwhelming love in my entire life. It was the first time I truly understood God's love for me and I have never been the same."

Awakening sleeper

“I met so many new friends and it helped me start my walk with Jesus.”

Awakening sleeper

“I will continue to grow and look for God every day.”

Awakening sleeper

“The Awakening helped me rekindle my faith and get connected.”

Awakening sleeper

You’re Invited


Join us for a weekend to strengthen and refresh your faith.