A number of teens from Presbytery of the James participated in PC(USA)’s youth conference Triennium in July.
The event, which is held at Purdue University in Indiana every three years, attracts teenagers from around the United States and world who are excited about their shared Church.
Hannah, a member at Fairfield, decided to go after her sister attended three years ago.
“It got me away from everyday life, and I got to connect with God,” she said.
Experiencing people, especially guest speakers, from across the globe was meaningful to Hannah.
“They all had different ethnicities and backgrounds, making all of their stories completely different and interesting to learn about,” Hannah shared.
Hannah, as were many of the local youth who attended Triennium with her, is a member of Presbytery of the James’s Youth Council.
Youth Council is composed of high school students who are members of presbytery churches or connected to Camp Hanover.
Sophie (River Road), Joey (Southminster), and Hannah (Fairfield) were among a group of local teens who attended Triennium at Purdue University in July.
The students plan and lead youth retreats as well as practice leadership skills as they learn about themselves, the Church, and the world around them.
As Hannah and students like her have increasingly stressful schedules, youth ministry has become challenging to continue organizing.
However, “it’s incredibly worthwhile to keep supporting young people,” shared Youth, Environmental, and Service Ministries Director Colleen Earp who oversees the Youth Council. “They are watching and learning, and eager to get to work.”
Getting to work was on the agenda for the Youth Council’s first meeting this year in September. They spent time discussing local and global issues they wish to connect with, such the environment, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and anti-racism.
While youth ministry is an ever-changing program area for many of our churches and our presbytery, it remains an important way for the Church to love and support these emerging leaders.
The 2019-2020 Youth Council’s 20 members represent 12 churches: Bott Memorial, Brandermill, Chester, Fairfield, First Virginia Beach, First Richmond, Fredericksburg, Ginter Park, River Road, Southminster, Westminster Richmond, and Reveille UMC.