Church Youth Groups Get Together to Register for National Youth Conference

The NYC coordinators monitor registrations for National Youth Conference 2014, on the opening evening for online registration: (from left) Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher.

By Lucas Kauffman


Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren youth and advisors were among the groups that got together Jan. 3 for a National Youth Conference (NYC) registration party. The youth at Highland Avenue Church in Elgin, Ill., decided to hold their party so that they would be among the first to register for NYC 2014.

They were just seven of more than 200 people who registered in the first two hours after online registration for NYC opened at 7 p.m. (central time) that Friday evening.

The group of Highland Avenue youth started off the party enjoying a meal of pizza, chips, cookies, cake, and drinks. After watching the YouTube video about how to register online, they split up in three different rooms, sitting at different sets of computers, and went to work.

Nathaniel Bohrer and Elliott Wittmeyer were two of the youth who registered. Bohrer is looking forward to seeing old friends while at NYC, and playing some Ultimate Frisbee. Both Bohrer and Wittmeyer are looking to take away several things from NYC. Bohrer is hoping to create new relationships, and receive a new understanding of how the church works. Wittmeyer is looking to have some fun, while also learning some history about the denomination, and listening to sermons that teach him something.


NYC coordinators hold their own registration party

Photo by Lucas Kauffman
Youth at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren register for NYC during one of Friday evening’s registration parties held at several churches across the country.

While Highland Avenue youth were registering NYC coordinators Katie Cummings, Tim Heishman, and Sarah Neher were having a registration party of their own at the denomination’s General Offices. They were joined by Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, and Sarah Ullom-Minnich, who is on the National Youth Cabinet.

Photo by Lucas KauffmanYouth at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren register for NYC during one of Friday evening’s registration parties held at several churches across the country.

After eating pizza and getting everything ready, they each logged on to a computer to watch the registrations come in. They counted down from 10 seconds, to the official registration opening time. It took five minutes for the first registration to be received. A few minor problems had to be dealt with over the phone. They left the offices a little after 9 p.m.

Heishman says he is looking forward to everything, as an NYC coordinator. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the names come in, and meeting as many people as possible during NYC. I’m excited about all of the speakers, the bands (Mutual Kumquat and Rend Collective Experiment), and especially the worship services. It will be so exciting to see everything come together this July.”

More than 400 register over the weekend

Some of the churches where youth registered for NYC on the first weekend: Wakemans Grove Church of the Brethren in Shenandoah District;  Ambler Church of the Brethren and Little Swatara Church of the Brethren in Atlantic Northeast District; McPherson and Wichita First Churches who teamed up in Western Plains District; Manchester Church of the Brethren  in South Central Indiana District; Gettysburg Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania District; Oak Grove Church of the Brethren in Virlina District; West Charleston Church of the Brethren and Cristo Nuestra Paz who teamed up in Southern Ohio District.

Photo by Lucas Kauffman
An adult advisor looks on as one of the Highland Avenue youth uses the online registration process for NYC 2014

As of Tuesday morning, Jan. 7, 464 people had registered for NYC. That is up from 366 people in about the first four days of online registration for the last NYC in 2010.

Good reasons to go to NYC

There are several reasons why youth should sign up for NYC, according to Heishman. “NYC is a place where you can meet Christ and hear your calling as a follower of Jesus,” he said. “It is often the spiritual highlight for many youth during their high school years.”

Another reason to sign up? Heishman says that NYC will be a blast.

For more information and to register for National Youth Conference, which takes place at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., on July 19-24, go to www.brethren.org/nyc .

— Lucas Kauffman is a senior at Manchester University in N. Manchester, Ind., and a January term intern at the Church of the Brethren News Services office.



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