The bus pulled out of the Elizabethtown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren parking lot at 5 a.m. last Sunday, bound for National Youth Conference. There were 30 youth, 9 advisors, and 1 bus driver aboard, representing the Elizabethtown, Mt. Wilson, and Madison Avenue congregations. Together they took several days to drive across the country, making stops in Chicago, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Colorado Springs, before reaching Fort Collins just in time for NYC.
Jon Brenneman, pastor of the Mt. Wilson congregation, said that one of the highlights of the trip was visiting a Hutterite Community in South Dakota. “The students liked seeing Anabaptism at work–simplicity lived out.”
Luke Stroyer, one of the youth, added that when they stopped in the badlands, he and some friends witnessed a heard of mountain goats running over the rocks. “It was awesome.”
Another group that road-tripped to NYC was a large one from the Virlina District. “It has been quite the trip,” laughed Tim Harvey, pastor of Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Va. The 113 Virlina youth piled into three buses last Tuesday and took four nights to trek across the country, stopping several places along the way.
“Mount Rushmore was really big,” said Josh Grubb, a youth from the Central congregation. “The whole trip has been fun–nice and spacious on the bus.”
Andy Buckwalter is another church leader, and one with a unique call of pastoring the youth of two congregations: York First and Bermudian, both in Pennsylvania. For the special occasion of NYC, he combined the two small groups into one larger group of 20 youth and 5 advisors. Together, in their matching bright blue shirts, they all flew to Fort Collins on Saturday, arriving in time for the opening picnic.
“It was a plane full of Brethren!” said Kayla Miller, one of the youth as she told about discovering even more NYC-bound youth at the airport. “This trip had already brought us closer together.”
— Mandy Garcia is a member of the NYC News Team, and serves on the staff of the Church of the Brethren in donor communications.
NYC News Team: Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services. Eddie Edmonds, Tribune editor. Photography: Glenn Riegel, Nevin Dulabaum. Writers: Frank Ramirez, Mandy Garcia. Question of the Day: Britnee Harbaugh, Maddie Dulabaum. Web and app support: Don Knieriem, Russ Otto.