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Youth 2011: More than a meeting

 
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7:00 A.M. EDT July 22, 2011



The Christian band Chasen rocked its way into the audience during a concert at Youth 2011 at Purdue University. UMNS web-only photos by Breana Coppess.
The Christian band Chasen rocked its way into the audience during a concert at Youth 2011 at Purdue University. UMNS web-only photos by Breana Coppess.

The curtain has dropped on the first Youth 2011 event with the contributions of the some 3,700 young people still growing.

The second Youth 2011 will begin July 27 in Sacramento, Calif. This is the first time there are two events since the largest worldwide gathering of United Methodist Youth began in 1988.

Youth 2011 is a project of Young People’s Ministries, a division of The General Board of Discipleship.

The first group—about 3,700 from 42 states and 274 churches—was on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., July 13-17.

Miki Arnold, 17, a member of First United Methodist Church of West Lafayette, found herself looking at her hometown and herself in a new way.

“The last day, I didn’t want to leave,” Arnold said, explaining that when her youth group first talked about activities for the year, Youth 2011 was not at the top of her list. “I learned so many things about myself and met so many awesome people.”

Arnold said Youth 2011 made her realize that “being a Methodist is more than just reading the Bible and the building we call a church … it’s being out with people and showing potential and inspiring others.

“It’s all about going out on your journey,” she said.

Young people at the Purdue gathering found their days full with workshops and speakers, an exhibit hall of ministry organizations and on-the-spot volunteer opportunities with such groups as Habitat for Humanity or Children with Hairloss.



Youth 2011 attendees show their enthusiasm for the event at Purdue University, the first of two Youth 2011 gatherings this year.
Youth 2011 attendees show their enthusiasm
for the event at Purdue University, the first of
two Youth 2011 gatherings this year.

Preliminary tallies from the Youth 2011 organizers found six interior walls and 20 wall panels built for Habitat for Humanity and 265 locks of hair donated to Children with Hairloss.

That is in addition to the 20,022 meals packaged for Stop Hunger Now, 150-plus cards written for Kairos Prison Ministry, $8,200 raised for Youth Service Fund and 100 boxes of toys collected for the Methodist Health Foundation to be distributed to children in area hospitals. Organizers still are counting all that the young people contributed during the Purdue gathering and won’t have a final tally until after the Sacramento event.

Abby Parker of the Young People’s Ministries staff, South Central Jurisdiction, was a first-time attendee. Parker, who is with Parker Lane United Methodist Church in Austin, Texas, said she wished she had been able to attend this kind of event as a youth growing up in The United Methodist Church.

She said she sees Youth 2011 as a “good catalyst into more work for the Kingdom.”

For a closer look at Youth 2011:





Produced by the Office of Communications at The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD)

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Showing 3 comments

  • Strawberry2616 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
    I was so glad our group got to attend Youth2011!  Even though we only brought 3 youth, they all had a lot of fun and my husband and I as leaders learned so much (and had lots of fun too)!  I agree that it needs to be promoted better.  I was a little disappointed being from Ohio (only 3 hours away from the meeting) and I don't think I met one other Ohio person the entire time.
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  • revbloise 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
    It was such a great event! Different from Youth2007, but great in its own way. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get many of our youth to go. How can we promote it in such a way that even more will want to go?
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  • Ginny Brubaker 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
    Youth '11 was simply amazing and I would do it over again in a heartbeat. It might just change my life
    show more show less

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