Friday, September 29, 2006

Coming and Seeing at NYC

The National Youth Conference (NYC) trip to Colorado began early on July 21, in the Church parking lots at Naperville and Peoria. The two buses converged at Dixon, picking up the rest of the Illinois/Wisconsin District group, and the journey was on.

107 senior high youth and advisors registered for the district bus trip (including nine Pennsylvanians that rode with us). Other district members traveled by other means to serve on staff at NYC. Sixteen congregations were represented.

On the way buses stopped in Omaha, Neb. The evening included a vespers service in a large ditch next to our motel. An early start the next morning took us across the long stretch of Nebraska. We stopped for lunch in Ogalalla before cruising on to Fort Collins for the main event at Colorado State University.

What an event it was! Twice-daily high-octane worship services, workshops, small groups, service projects, hiking, concerts, and much more filled the schedule. A group from the district entered an ultimate Frisbee team in the NYC tournament. "Ultimate Illinois" reached the championship game before losing in overtime.

Speaker after speaker challenged the 3,600-plus NYC participants to follow Jesus' invitation to "Come and See," the theme for the week. Many placed an emphasis on connecting our faith in Christ to serving the needs of the world by relieving hunger, working for justice, and volunteering our time. Almost $90,000 was raised through a run/walk and other events at NYC. More money has been coming in since then.

The buses on the trip home stopped at McPherson College in Kansas and made a construction detour in Iowa before arriving back in Illinois, returning home after an incredible week.

By now congregations are feeling the repercussions of the uplifting and inspiring week the group experienced at NYC. The prayer now is that our youth with continue to encounter the Jesus they "came and saw" at NYC in the people, the worship, and the activities of our district. ---Walt Wiltschek

Source: October 2006 IL/WI District Newsletter

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