Next week I'll heading out to Camp Living Waters, in Schellsburg, PA, to be part of the leadership team of the annual 'Trinity Youth Conference'. A couple of our youth will be in attendance. Please pray with me that they have a fruitful and inspiring time.
'TYC' is a week-long event for high school youth and college-age young adults. The conference focuses on spiritual and leadership development, discipleship, and evangelism through daily worship, small group activities, and various workshops with topics based on the theme, which this year is “For Such A Time As This” (based upon Esther 4:14).
The conference has been in existence for over 40 years. Originally it was a part of the Synod of the Trinity, but these days is self funded by 'Friends of TYC'. Some of the current leaders first came as campers many moons ago and have stuck with it. One of the longest serving, Rev. Mitch Miller, who is attending for his 21st year, not only met his wife at the camp, but through it's ministry felt a call to full-time Christian service. He now annually drives a van load of teenagers and young adults all the way from Oklahoma so they can experience it!
One of the unique features of the conference is the mixing of college aged young adults with High School participants. The college age folk (who are mostly those who have attended for a number of years) often become marvelous mentors to the younger ones and let them know what college life is really like, in particular in regard to holding onto faith.
A number of pastors, youth ministers, church leaders, lawyers, engineers, top chefs, and others have said that T.Y.C. was the primary place where they grew in faith and developed the leadership skills they use today.
A former participant, now an ordained Minister in the PC(U.S.A.), writes; "Trinity Youth Conference is the place God really started to make sense to me. While at TYC, I started discovering that God isn't just out there, but living right here in community with people who believe Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of their lives and this world. TYC helped to shape my faith. If it wasn't for TYC I don't know where my faith might have gone."
As of writing this year we have 92 participants registered for the conference. My role at the camp has been everything from music leader to preacher. This year I'll be responsible for leading one of the workshops. Leadership is only by invitation of the 'Planning Team', a group of adults and youth who are elected annually by the camp participants.
For me it is a HUGE privilege to be part of the leadership team for another year. The youth and young adults teach me so much about what being a disciple of Jesus Christ is like in today's world. Hopefully I can pass on some thoughts that will enable them to continue along that road!
In my absence, here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian, we will be welcoming to our pulpit Rev. Heather Bobbitt, from Severna Park, MD. I'm told she always brings a good message and I'm hoping folk will turn out to hear her. Wherever we are, may God's blessing be with us all in the midst of these hot summer days!
For some music (and to give a taste of the Trinity Youth Conference) a video from TYC 2013.
Rev. Adrian J. Pratt.