By Julia Briselli and Lidiya Louder, Young People’s Ministry Council
Youth 2015 challenged participants to go from standing still in their faith to moving on to perfection. Speakers like Sam Yun, the morning Bible study leader, encouraged us to take a journey from “Here to There” in our faith, and at each Bible study session and worship service we felt inspired to take that journey.
The first day, Sam Yun discussed the purpose and importance of communion, and that night during worship service we got to experience communion ourselves. Whether it was your first time taking communion, or a normal occurrence, it was a touching experience for all who partook in it. The next day Sam Yun went more in depth into the story of the Good Samaritan and empowered us to be like the Samaritan. To us, being a good Samaritan means that you are putting another person’s life ahead of your own. On the last day the Bible study was about baptism, how it is not only the beginning of our new life in Christ, but also the death of our past self. That night during worship, a girl was baptized on stage, surrounded by members of her church. It was amazing how so many tears were shed by people who didn’t even know the girl being baptized.
Everyone at Youth 2015 renewed their covenant with God and each other to support one another on our faith journey. We were invited to remember our own baptisms by placing one of our hands in a bowl of water and thinking back to when we ourselves made the commitment to God. It was wonderful to see so many people reliving the moment when they chose to give their lives to God.But Bible study and worship service were not the only places that you could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that you must sing your praises to the Lord, and Youth 2015 definitely had no shortage of music. Music was in the air at the Marriott World Center. From Trace Bundy, fan-dubbed the “Acoustic Ninja” for his astounding guitar playing ability, to Propaganda, a Christian Rapper who’s songs tell a story, there was something for everyone. Worship music by the Wayne Kerr Band and late night concerts enabled many opportunities to sing your praises to the Lord.
But what really made Youth 2015 an experience unlike any other? The people. Youth could meet others their own age who share their love of God, and that is something hard to find outside of your own hometown church. From making friends during workshops, at the pool, during dinner, and even in the elevator, Youth 2015 was a very social event. For youth in middle and high school, meeting people from different states across the U.S. with lives so different from your own is an amazing experience. Y15 was just that. People with different backgrounds, opinions, and lifestyles all together in one room because of their love of God. That is something you cannot get anywhere else.
So is it disappointing that there will not be another youth event for four more years? Yes, but it will allow for a new group of youth to experience this event, and there isn’t anything more I could ask for. Youth 2015 made us more passionate about our faith and made us want to devote our lives to the Lord. The best way to describe what Youth 2015 taught is this short song lyric: “Like the fire lights up the sky, only Christ can satisfy.” We hope that everyone who went to Youth 2015 will work to put what they learned to action and encourage others from the Susquehanna Conference and beyond to be a part of Youth 2019.