Friday, April 30, 2004

Youth meet at Bridgewater Roundtable and Manchester RYC.

Church of the Brethren youth were at Bridgewater (Va.) and Manchester (Ind.) Colleges for regional youth conferences in March and April.

Nearly 265 youth and advisors gathered at Bridgewater March 26-28 for Roundtable, the annual Southeastern Regional Youth Conference. Roundtable 2004 was led by keynote speaker Jeff Carter, pastor of Manassas (Va.) Church of the Brethren, and entertainer and musician Joseph Helfrich. Participants explored the theme, "The Next Chapter...A Future with Hope."

Roundtable has undergone significant changes in recent years, reported Jonathan Emmons, 2003-04 president of the Interdistrict Youth Cabinet. For the second year, it included a Friday night concert and small groups, which provided opportunities for meeting new people and processing the keynote speaker's message. Roundtable 2004 marked the 60th occurrence of the event.

About 115 youth and advisors met at Manchester April 17-18. It marked the first year that the midwestern regional youth conference shifted from a Friday evening through Sunday format, to a 24-hour event beginning Saturday morning. Another new feature was a Saturday night "RYC Cafe" where youth shared a variety of talents in music, acting, and comedy.

Worship remained at the heart of the event with three celebrations focusing on the national youth theme, "Seeking, Thirsting, Longing." Christy Waltersdorff, pastor of York Center Church of the Brethren in Lombard, Ill., and Jeremy Ashworth, pastor of Lincolnshire Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Ind., spoke at two of the services. The third service featured three youth--Nick Kauffman from Indiana, Jonathan Keeney from Illinois, and Colleen Hamilton from Michigan--sharing their reflections on the theme. Each service ended with a creative expression of commitment, inviting participants to scoop up sand, pour water, and light candles. The conference also included Manchester College Peace Week activities, ten workshops, and a gathering for high school seniors.

Source: Newsline 4/30/2004

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