In Ecclesiastes 3:1 Solomon wisely wrote ‘There is a time for everything; and a season for every activity under the heavens’. The very nature of this wisdom assumes a beginning and a conclusion. We as people are accustomed to beginnings and endings. We see them happen often in life. Done right we can celebrate both the beginning and the conclusion of seasons, events, relationships and more.
We write to inform you that the decision has been made to conclude the No Apologies event that the Cherish Center has sponsored for nearly 20 years. Diminished participation in planning and attendance, cultural shifts away from large one-night events and several other factors led us to believe that the season for the No Apologies event should come to an end. Though sad to conclude we want to celebrate the message and the many people who helped plan, execute, sponsor, volunteer at, pray for and support No Apologies through the years.
No Apologies served as a prevention program for the Cherish House. The Cherish House is a maternity home for women facing unplanned pregnancy in Spirit Lake. The Cherish House, as a service of the Cherish Center, is still in full operation and is daily impacting women and their children. The No Apologies event served to educate, equip, and inspire young people to choose to follow God’s plan for purity and make wise decisions about romantic relationships.
No Apologies was planned by a volunteer group of youth pastors and community members in conjunction with the Cherish Center office. The first No Apologies was planned for the party room at the Spirit Lake Pizza Ranch in the early 2000’s. To the planners surprise enough people showed up to fill not only the room but the restaurant!
While the core message remained the same; the yearly event looked different from in both the location and programming. In the early years there were separate nights for parents, tweens and teens. The Okoboji High School auditorium, and later gymnasium, were home to the teen event for a handful of years before the event was moved to the Clay County Regional Events Center. In the busiest years of No Apologies there were school assemblies and satellite locations that viewed the live event online.
Bands, drama teams, artists, illusionists, and comedians were brought in to create an atmosphere to attract students and prepare them for the message. Widely known speakers, with a variety of styles, spoke at No Apologies through the years. Students who attended the event multiple years have memories of the different way’s speakers presented the message of purity.
While the No Apologies event is concluding we still passionately believe in the message. It is a message that young people need to hear. God loves them and cares about their purity and their relationships. God has a plan for young relationships to follow but extends grace, compassion, and forgiveness when other choices are made. God cares about every aspect of our lives. God is for us and not against us.
Thank you to everyone who made the years of No Apologies possible.
On behalf of the Cherish Center,
The No Apologies Planning Team