Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Youth: vital today
Energy was in the air at Annual Conference as the Young People’s Ministry took to the stage. Tyler Tuck, of Shavertown UMC, and Devon Clark, of Lake Winola UMC, kicked off the presentation. They showed a video pertaining to NEXT, a leadership event for college-age students. Both had attended a NEXT rally, and both were inspired to take the NEXT step at home, Clark described his music ministry at his church, and Tuck proposed his campaign to end hunger, which he has put into action near his home, and desires to continue his ministry while at King’s College.
YPM director, Audrey Wilder, showed an exciting video of Grow On district youth rallies. Hannah Carter, of Christ Community UMC in Hummels Wharf, expanded on the topic, delineating the impacts inflicted by Grow On to her personally and on the conference as a whole.
Abby Watson, a member of Oval UMC in Jersey Shore, also spent time in the spotlight, speaking of her first year serving on the Young People’s Ministry Council. Watson addressed the fact that her involvement in YPMC allowed her to visit several churches across the state, meet many new people, and develop a stronger faith in God.
Rachel Heckman, of Wayne UMC in McVeytown, and sporting the honorable title of Dance Queen of the State College Grow On Youth Rally, announced that Bishop Park had been chosen as the all-around Dance King of the Grow On rallies. Sporting his crown, the bishop graciously accepted his title. Then, to project the same level of vigor as the youth, the bishop completed one hundred push-ups! As the crowd cheered, the bishop proceeded to pull dumbbells from his bag. Two hundred arm curls later, everyone was on their feet. The bishop then proudly acknowledged YPM as his Partner in Mission, and declared the fact that together, they would glorify the name of the Lord.
Elizabeth Staley, a member of Wesley UMC in Bloomsburg, along with Daniel McClure of Twelfth Street UMC in Huntingdon, described several conference youth events scheduled for the upcoming year. Taking place in camps, churches, and retreats across the conference, the events will equip and educate youth in the fields of faith, leadership, and mission work.
William Holtz, a member of Immanuel UMC in Glen Rock, educated the audience on the Youth Service Fund, money raised by youth, administered by youth, for youth ministry. At Annual Conference, the YSF hosted several fundraisers, including table bussing, luggage delivery, basket auctions, and a popcorn sale.
Julia Briselli, a thirteen-year-old from Grace UMC in Hummelstown, informed the Conference of the YPM’s activity on various social media sites. Such activities include posting Bible verses on Facebook, trending #SUSYPM on Twitter, and posing selfies (including one with Bishop Park) on Instagram. While many United Methodists enjoy traditional worship services, YPM makes known the fact that being a disciple of Christ can mean using social media and modern technology to practice faith.
The Young People’s Ministry proved that they have a substantial impact on the United Methodist Church. They bring an abundant amount of energy into the church, and continue to remain devoted to Christ in an increasingly antagonistic society. YPM and the youth of the United Methodist churches are passionate, dedicated, vibrant and enthusiastic Disciples of Christ. They are not the future of the church; they are a growing, contributing, vital part of the church today.