Youth to gather in Denver for next National Youth Convention
NYC news story
The National Youth Convention (NYC) planning team has announced the dates, location and theme of the 2015 gathering of U.S. Mennonite Brethren high school students and sponsors, as well as a pre-convention sponsors-only event in 2014.
NYC, convened every four years, will be held April 9-12, 2015, at Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver and Colorado Convention Center. The planning team is also hosting a Youth Leader Summit March 28-30, 2014, onsite in Denver.
The purpose of the summit is for youth leaders to familiarize themselves with what teens and sponsors will experience at the convention, to brainstorm ideas and offer input regarding how this convention and future conventions can be improved, to connect with other youth workers and to grow deeper in their love of God through teaching and worship.
To encourage every church to send a representative to the summit, there will be no registration fee for the first person from each church to register for the Youth Leader Summit. The per-person cost for additional church representatives is $150; food and travel is not included. Registration for the Youth Leader Summit will begin in late fall of 2013 and will be online at www.named2015.com.
The theme of NYC 2015 is “Named,” from Matt. 16:13-16. In this passage Jesus asks Simon Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answers, “You’re the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Upon his thoughtful reflection and declaration of Jesus' identity, Peter is given a new name, a name that captures the essence of his identity and mission.
“Our desire is that students will reflect deeply on who Jesus is and in doing so, grapple with our identity as individuals, churches and as a conference,” says the NYC planning team in a recent press release. “The theme, Named, will be infused in every aspect of the convention.”
NYC organizers hope to address with high school participants the importance of finding one’s identity in Jesus Christ. “Stupid. Ugly. Jerk. Fat. Jock. Loser. Labeling—sometimes when you are called something often enough you start to lose your self-esteem; even how you identify yourself,” says the planning team in their promotional material. “Although a believer’s identity is found in Christ, today’s youth culture falls under the constant pressure of losing sight of that.”
The NYC planning team’s vision for USMB youth is to “deeply connect students to God and one another by engaging the gospel in our everyday lives.”
The planning team consists of Kyle Goings and Jeral Gross from the Central District; Jarod Richardson and Russ Claassen from the Southern District; Keith Warkentin and Matt Ford from the Pacific District; Chris Eidse from the North Carolina District; and Joanna Chapa from the Latin American District.
More about the convention will be available online at www.named2015.com; the full website will be online by the end of August. The planning team will use the website for promotion, registration and updates. Join the movement on Facebook or Twitter by searching “named 2015” or #named2015.
PHOTO 1: Input sessions at the 2011 National Youth Convention held in San Antonio, Texas, focused on times of worship and messages provided by two guest speakers.
PHOTO 2: 2015 Planning Team members pose for a lighthearted photo while at their most recent meeting. Back row: Jared Richardson, Matt Ford, Kyle Goings. Front row: Keith Warkentin, Jeral Gross, Russ Classen, Chris Eidse and Joanne Chapa.