Monday at NYC – ‘Struggle’

Photo by Nevin Dulabaum
Ted Swartz, one of the day’s presenters at NYC 2014, with the day’s theme banner, “Struggle.”

Scripture themes

“Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ‘Let me go, for the day is breaking.’ But Jacob said, ‘I will not let you go, unless you bless me’” (Genesis 32:24-26).

“‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean’” (Acts 11:8, New Living Translation).


Photo by Glenn Riegel
Kathy Escobar giving the evening message

Quotable quotes

“We need you to be ambassadors of peace so we can change the world.”
— Kathy Escobar, preaching for the evening worship service. She is co-pastor of the Refuge mission center and Christian community in North Denver. She said about her ministry: “The Refuge is dedicated to being a safe place for struggle. At the Refuge everyone is safe but no one is comfortable.”

“We’re giving up time to help other people out.”
— Youth helping sort clothes at the Arc Thrift Store in Loveland, one of the service project locations for the day.

“Last night’s speaker really got through to the kids. We talked about it in our rooms last night, and in small groups today.”
— Adult advisor, talking about the message of Rodger Nishioka, who impressed her youth group.

“This new logo makes me look like a superhero.”
— Overheard at the Brethren colleges booth as a Manchester University alum received a free t-shirt emblazoned with the school’s new logo.

“You can never have too much cowbell!”
— Virginia Meadows as fellow band member Jacob Crouse was handed the cowbell for the singing of “N’nung Yeh Dah.”

Photo by Glenn Riegel
Ted Swartz of Ted & Co. (left) hams it up with musician Ken Medema onstage at last year’s National Youth Conference (NYC). Both have provided inspirational leadership at previous Church of the Brethren events including Annual Conferences, NYCs, and National Older Adult Conferences.

“You don’t grow or change without conflict. Wrestling with God sounds good, but it hurts. And God is not afraid of our pain, our grief, our anger. He wants our wrestling. When you wrestle with God you are touching something holy. You may come out of it with a limp. You may come out of it with a new name. So keep wrestling. Keep wrestling.”
— Mennonite dramatist and actor Ted Swartz, speaking about his personal struggle after his theatrical partner Lee Eshelman took his own life.


Photo by Nevin Dulabaum
Youth brought canned and boxed food for an offering during worship. The food was donated to the Larimer County Food Bank.

NYC by the numbers

92: Number of people whose attendance at NYC this year was made possible with help from the NYC Scholarship Fund

$6,359.10: Received in the Sunday evening offering for the Haiti Medical Project

650: Number of people scheduled to take the buses to hike in the mountains today

1,039: Downloads of the NYC app. More numbers from the app: 356 photos uploaded, 185 text posts, 2,789 likes!

2,390: NYC registrations, including youth, adult advisors, volunteers, and staff


T-shirt update

Today the National Youth Cabinet wore pink “Free hugs” t-shirts. Editor’s favorite shirt sighting so far: “Keep Calm and Be Brethren,” worn by a couple of youth groups from Ohio. Runner up: two youth wearing “Bro 1″ and Bro 2″ shirts at registration on Saturday.


Photo by Nevin Dulabaum
NYC coordinator Tim Heishman wears the National Youth Cabinet’s signature pink “Free Hugs” t-shirt.

The day’s schedule

The morning worship presenter was Ted Swartz of Ted & Co., a Mennonite comedy troupe. The preacher for the evening was Kathy Escobar, co-pastor of the Refuge mission center and Christian community in North Denver. The Monday morning offering collected canned food for the Larimer County Food Bank to help meet the needs of people in Fort Collins and the surrounding area. The Monday evening offering benefited the NYC Scholarship Fund for international and intercultural youth. Morning devotions are being led each day by Nancy and Irv Heishman, with a focus on prayer. Workshops are offered each afternoon on a wide variety of topics. Monday saw the first of three afternoons offering opportunities to hike in the mountains and take part in service projects. A performance of Ted Swartz’s most recent production, “Laughter as Sacred Space,” rounded out the day, along with several other late night activities including an Open Mic with youth signing up to perform, a remembrance service for those who who have lost loved ones, and board games in one of the dormitory lounges.

Question of the day: What distractions can keep you from following God’s call?  

Naperville, Ill.
“I think social media. I really get distracted by Tumblr. People put their opinions on there and it annoys me.”


New Enterprise, Pa.

“The distractions are technology, and other places I could be rather than here.”


Dayton, Va.

“My phone–I like social networks. Instagram in particular. I have like 235 posts.”


Grand Rapids, Mi.

“Phones, specifically the constancy of Facebook.”


Lancaster, Pa.

“Let me see…. So, school wise let’s say drama. And terminology can get you off the track of what God wants.”


Brunswick, Md.
“Social mediums and any sort of anxieties you have. I have anxieties”


Far far away in a Germany long long ago
“Being 335 years old there are challenges with that sometimes. I mean, just standing up, you know”


NYC 2014 News Team: Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of News Services. Eddie Edmonds, NYC 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.

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