Glimpses of National Youth Conference
“Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful” (Colossians 2:7b, 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
Tuesday morning worship, July 26, 2022
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom…. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble” (Matthew 5:10 and 12, The Message).
“We are blessed, not by the good things that happen but the opportunities…. It’s an opportunity to allow God to take the lead, an opportunity to let God have more space…to let God shine through us. When we are out of alignment with the world’s expectations, that’s when we are blessed…. Being blessed is also a choice, a choice to look toward Jesus.”
— Naomi Kraenbring speaking on the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. She is an adjunct professor of religious studies at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and a doctoral student at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. She is a 2019 graduate of Bethany Theological Seminary.
“As the decades keep on moving,
We find God goes right on proving
That we’re strongest when we see us
Try to do the work of Jesus.”
— A snippet from “Brethren history in three minutes (more or less),” a rap performed by NYCers Quinera Bumgardner from Stone Church of the Brethren in Huntingdon, Pa., and Jeffrey Copp from Columbia City (Ind.) Church of the Brethren. It was written by Walt Wiltschek, one of the worship coordinators for NYC 2022 and executive minister of Illinois and Wisconsin District. Find the full text at www.brethren.org/news/2022/brethren-history-in-three-minutes-more-or-less.
Tuesday evening worship, July 26, 2022
“Everyone, then, who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on rock” (Matthew 7:24-25).
“The Sermon on the Mount summarized in two words: Level up…. Many of us have yet to tap into our full potential, but Jesus is calling us to level up… When working on our relationships with others, Jesus is calling us to level up…. When it comes to our relationship to God, we’ve got to level up…. Jesus is saying we’ve got to work on ourselves and check ourselves before judging others…. Sometimes we forget to extend grace to ourselves…that same grace and kindness that we show to others… Let’s put in the hard work and level up. Let’s level up!”
— Sibling team Chelsea Skillen and Tyler Goss speaking on the main message of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, comparing Jesus’ call to discipleship to the way characters in video games and superhero movies develop or “level up” into their full potential. Skillen has been newly named as director of Brethren Volunteer Service, to begin this fall. Goss is assistant director of student programs at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va. The two have spoken at many Church of the Brethren conferences including previous NYCs, National Junior High Conference, and Annual Conference.
“God, your love is foundational.
We turn our eyes to you–
Our ally for justice and truth,
A beacon of righteousness–
We live our lives for you.
We lift up our lives to you.”
— The chorus of the NYC 2022 theme song, “Your Love Is Foundational,” written by Jacob Crouse who also is serving as NYC music coordinator and director of the NYC band. He is a music leader at Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren and is active with the Dunker Punks podcast, along with writing and recording music. He works in audiovisual engineering for the American College of Cardiology.
$2,451.75 received in the offering for school kits, to be distributed through Church World Service and the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
$1,950.06 received in the NYC scholarship offering to help youth be able to attend National Youth Conference.