Glimpses of National Youth Conference
“You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him” (Colossians 2:6, CEV).
How to follow NYC: Photo albums of each day are at www.brethren.org/photos/national-youth-conference-2022. The NYC Facebook page, with brief videos from worship and other events, is at www.facebook.com/churchofthebrethrennyc. NYC on Instagram is at www.instagram.com/cobnyc2022. The NYC news index page is at www.brethren.org/news/coverage/national-youth-conference-2022
Monday morning worship, July 25
“’Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:36-37, NRSVue).
“The ones who are least expected to help can create the most impact…. Part of having a strong faith foundation is pushing past society’s expectations…. If we are truly following the words of Jesus, we would step up and help those in need.”
— Kara Bidgood Enders of Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren in Harrisburg, Pa., the first of the three youth speakers for worship. She is a rising senior in high school and hopes to become an elementary school teacher. She spoke on the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.
“But he [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And waking up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Be silent! Be still!’” (Mark 4:38-39a, NRSVue).
“As I healed and recovered…Jesus was with me.”
— Hannah Smith of Brownsville (Md.) Church of the Brethren, the second of the three youth speakers this morning. She is a rising sophomore at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College majoring in Sociology and Japanese. She spoke on the story of Jesus and his disciples out in a boat during a storm, from Mark 4, relating that story to personal storms and the healing power we may receive in Christ.
“We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5, NRSVue).
“I have seen the cruelty and hate in this world…. It may be hard to see how our love for others may make an impact…. The important part is that we do it…. Wouldn’t you rather take the chance that our kindness makes an impact on someone, rather than not try at all?”
— Anna Schweitzer of Cedar Grove (Ohio) Church of the Brethren, the third of the three youth bringing messages in the morning service. She is a rising senior in high school in Indiana, where she is involved in choir and theater. She spoke on the story of Jesus healing the blind man at the Pool of Siloam in John 9.
“My greatest realization–
Perfection is an illusion,
but nothing is more real than love.”
— Audri Svay, theopoet in residence and a Church of the Brethren pastor, sharing a poem about herself and encouraging the youth to share their own stories and to listen to others’ stories. These lines are from her poem “Hello.”
Monday evening worship, July 25
“Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him” (John 13:5, NRSVue)
“Jesus is asking us to serve from below. He’s calling us to take this beautiful demonstration of his service and turn the world right side up…. You are generation Jesus.”
— Jody Romero preaching on the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. He and his wife, Vanessa, are church planters, are involved in ministry with youth, and have been leading Restoration Los Angeles, a Church of the Brethren congregation in East Los Angeles, Calif., for nearly 12 years.
“All the feet around God’s son…
Ready for the journey….
Here’s the big surprise:
They’re coming down to join
God on their knees.
I bet you’re going to have sore knees….
— From a song created onstage by Ken Medema, responding to the morning’s messages. Blind from birth, Medema is a Christian singer and songwriter whose improvisational storytelling through music has inspired many at previous National Youth Conferences and also at the Church of the Brethren’s Annual Conference and National Older Adult Conference.
“The cloth in your hand symbolizes the towel Jesus used to wash the disciples’ feet. What was on that towel after he was finished? Water, of course; some dirt, certainly! Dirt from everywhere, dirt that tells the story of where we’ve been and the paths that brought us here. Paths of joy and sorrow, beauty and pain.”
— Audri Svay, a pastor and NYC theopoet in residence, introducing the small squares of cloth that were handed out, to be returned at the doors at the end of the service for use again later in the week.