Glimpses of the closing day of National Youth Conference 2022

Closing worship at NYC 2022. Photo by Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford

The 2022 National Youth Conference (NYC) ended with closing worship on the morning of Thursday, July 28. Here are some glimpses of the day:

“Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some’” (John 21:4-6a, NRSVue).

“I want you to notice emptiness, because sometimes the Holy Spirit uses emptiness to create . . . a holy hunger for something more…. The point is Jesus at work in the emptiness, and now asking them to go fill the emptiness of others…. Notice the emptiness around you…and go to meet your neighbors at their point of emptiness, and for heaven’s sake give this world something better to believe in…. Don’t wait for a better messenger, don’t wait for a better time, don’t wait for a better church, just go!”

— Jeremy Ashworth, pastor of Circle of Peace Church of the Brethren in Peoria, Ariz., preaching the closing sermon on John 21. This story, which takes place after the resurrection, finds Jesus on the beach, encouraging his disciples to try the other side of the boat when their nets are empty after a long night of fishing. The story culminates with his command: “Feed my sheep.”

Jeremy Ashworth. Photo by Glenn Riegel
A skit during the closing worship service acted out the story from John 21, in which Peter leaps from the fishing boat to swim to shore to meet Jesus. Photo by Glenn Riegel

NYC final numbers:

580 youth

224 adult advisors

97 NYC staff including denominational staff and volunteers

154 congregations represented

4 countries represented: Canada, the Dominican Republic, Spain, and the United States

25 states and the District of Columbia represented: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

444 diapers assembled out of old T-shirts, in a service project for Diapers for Haiti

3,102 school kits assembled, with sponsorship from Brethren Disaster Ministries. The kits will be distributed through Church World Service and the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.

$2,521.75 received in an offering for the school kits

$1,949.56 received in an offering for the NYC scholarship fund

— The NYC 2022 press team contributed to this coverage: Glenn Riegel, lead photographer; Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford, young adult photographer; Jan Fischer Bachman, website producer; Russ Otto, media support; Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, news director. Donna Parcell and Laura Brown also contributed photographs. Go to for more coverage of National Youth Conference.

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