Sitting in Worship last week at Triennium I was inspired by the 5000 Presbyterian Youth signing as one, cheering, engaging, and being a part of worship. Was it your traditional worship? No. It was definitely Presbyterian with order of worship, preaching and many other elements, but it was definitely and uniquely engaging for youth.
You had to be there - I guess that is true. But when I put that together with the youth I met at the exhibit hall who were curious and willing to chat who told me "oh, where from different places and we met in small group and now we are, like, best friends!" It engaged me deeply with what Triennium does in one short week.
Triennium brings youth who share one thing - Presbyterian faith (not just PCUSA - there are Cumberland Presbyterians and others too) together for a week of faith experiences that are individual, small group, and corporate. They leave feeling like they belong. Like "the Church" is theirs and they are equal and valued members of that church. They have a "place in the choir" if you like.
Wow. Here is our Church, our PCUSA that we love, doing something moving and meaningful for a generation seeking to find their place and their way in this new way. To a generation hungry for spiritual connection and a church with integrity. Here is a generation finding that for a week on the campus of Purdue University in Indiana.
I will refrain from comparing the experience to the summer camp experience just because of the shear size of the event, the resources involved, the national scope of the event, and the unique experience that it is in our denomination (not even Montreat Youth Conferences or the Massanetta Bible Conferences can hold a candle to the number of youth gathered in one place.)
Right on PCUSA! Right on Gina Yeager-Buckley (Associate for Youth at General Assembly Mission Council who works to pull this event together with the help of many others)! right on other staff and volunteers! Right on youth work crew! And right on all you advisors and youth who made this week and full participation a priority. Right on.