It's Friday, it must be Cincinnati. I'm here for one of the three National Youth Workers Conventions put on by Youth Specialties.
The Rector of all Lewes, in his wisdom, decided it was time for me to take up work with the Youth Group at St. Peter's, Lewes. SPY is a wonderful group of young people. Click on the two videos on the left - on mission trip 2009 and on young episcopalians - for a look see.
We have a new Diocesan Youth Minister, Teri Valente, who is doing a wonderful job getting youth ministry people in the diocese to do some common training and skill development. She said we should all come to one of these youth worker conventions. So here we are: six of us from this small diocese. Pretty good showing!
There is a fair amount of ratchet up hype in this sort of meeting, but in amongst the normal foolishness of such gatherings there are also useful conversations about doing youth ministry. This event is no denominationally based, not deliberately ecumenical. It is mostly just folks trying to work with and for young people in a church context.
The YS conference is now run as a subset of the wider interests of Zondervan, itself a subset of HarperCollins. It may be split off as a non-profit company, but for now it is in the "event business." I am working to be attentive to the theological stance of the conference as a whole.
And, of course, there is the rector's gamble that even an ol' dog can learn new tricks, or better yet new ways to be a source of encouragement to young people in their faith and lives. We will see. I will be interested to see how close I get to being the oldest participant in the conference. I suspect I'm right up there. Ah, but the heart is full and the day calls!
Don't dismiss the evangelical fervor of these gatherings, and the potential for them to draw the young people you're with closer to Christ. The theology will likely not appeal to your more nuanced palate, but I have seen great things come from kids who attended these gatherings. It is also a vivid demonstration that being on fire for Christ need not be a lonely pursuit at their ages.ReplyDelete
And David Crowder puts on a good show.
God bless you and all gathered at the NYW Convention, Mark. Our youth are the future of the church. I do believe that you're an old dog who can learn.ReplyDelete