Today at NYC – July 26, 2022

Glimpses of National Youth Conference

Youth at worship in Moby Arena. Photo by Donna Parcell

“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 The NYC Facebook page, with brief videos from worship and other events, is at NYC on Instagram is at The NYC news index page is at

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.

Naomi Kraenbring. Photo by Glenn Riegel
Jeffrey Copp and Quinera Bumgardner perform the Brethren history rap. Photo by Laura Brown

“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

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.

Tyler Goss and Chelsea Skillen. Photos by Glenn Riegel
Jacob Crouse introduces the 2022 theme song to the NYC staff in a pre-conference gathering. Photo by Glenn Riegel

“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.

NYC offerings

$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.

Glimpses of some of the activities at NYC 2022

Youth workers cheer for people wearing their masks as they enter worship. Photo by Jan Fischer Bachman
NYCers enjoy the worship music. Photo by Laura Brown
People gather for worship as lights play on the floor of Moby Arena. Photo by Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford
Youth helping to lead worship. Photo by Glenn Riegel
A view of the congregation in worship. Photo by Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford
An NYC tradition continues, as youth join arms in community during worship. Photo by Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford
Legos are available in the lobby of Moby Arena for expressions of prayer before and after worship. Photo by Chris Brumbaugh-Cayford
Workshops continue each afternoon. Shown here: Samuel Sarpiya, a former moderator of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, leads a workshop on “Developing Racial Equity in Our Polarized World.” Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford
Hiking groups go up into the Rocky Mountains each afternoon. Photo by Donna Parcell
Youth enjoy being in the mountains. Photo by Laura Brown
Ken Medema in concert. Photo by Glenn Riegel
Youth have an opportunity to share their stories with Ken Medema. Photo by Glenn Riegel
The beauty of the Rockies. A photo of Gem Lake by Laura Brown
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