U.S. and Canadian Conferences encourage participation among young adults
By Karla Braun and Connie Faber
To encourage attendance among young adults, the U.S. and Canadian national conferences waived the Celebration 2010 registration fee for a limited number of participants and offered opportunities outside regular conference activities.
Ten Canadians and two Americans—Joanna Chappa from La Grulla, Texas, and Michelle Ferguson from Fresno, Calif.,—attended the “young leaders track” facilitated by Canadian conference leadership development staff person Cam Priebe.
The goals of the young leaders track, says Priebe, were to create opportunity for meaningful involvement for these delegates, to provide network opportunities and workshops for self-assessment and to connect young leaders with the work and workers of the conference. A highlight was “watching them dive in to the full opportunity of networking…and just in general, being curious about what they could learn from others,” said Priebe.
For U.S. participants, the registration costs for the RIM consultation as well as the binational gatherings and national convention were covered. The Canadian Conference covered the registration fee and offered travel bursaries; the Canadian Board of Faith and Life covered RIM registration. To qualify, a post-high school adult under age 28 had to be a member at an MB church or enrolled in an MB academic institution and be recommended by an MB pastor/leader or professor.
At the MBBS-ACTS campus in Langley, BC, Priebe hosted two extracurricular sessions for the young leaders outside of regular convention activities Wednesday and Friday, providing a meal, some leadership building exercises, networking opportunities and a forum to debrief the experience.
“It's events like Celebration 2010 and opportunities such as the young leaders portion that encourages me that I will not be alone tomorrow—there are passionate young people seeking after our Lord and his mission,” said Chappa.