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Youth to ‘splat’ through cultural, spiritual, global event

July 10, 2006

By Linda Green*

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The word “splat” is usually associated with a wet, slapping sound, but for the more than 10,000 United Methodist youth from across the world expected to attend Youth2007, the word will mean “Seek, Pray, Learn, Act, Teach.”

The largest quadrennial youth event of the United Methodist Church will be held July 11-15, 2007, in Greensboro, N.C. Participants will experience God through multiple ministerial, cultural and spiritual opportunities.

Led by a design team of nearly 30 youth, young adults and youth workers from across the country, the event is sponsored by the Division on Ministries with Young People at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

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The Rev. Karen Greenwaldt
“Youth2007 is about transforming lives and sending youth back to their communities as stronger disciples of Jesus Christ,” said the Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, top executive at the board.

Throughout the five-day event, the mornings will be devoted to seeking God and praying together in worship, large group Bible study and music. Participants will be learning about their faith while hearing preaching and teaching.

Groups will spend the afternoons in youth interest workshops and in praise and worship. A full evening will feature a concert for all participants. At the conclusion of the event, youth will be challenged to return to their communities and put their faith into action by teaching others what they’ve learned.

In addition to worship and workshops, the participants will have opportunities for mission service projects across the Greensboro area as well as options to serve on site at the event. Individuals and groups will be able to participate in interactive destination centers to dive deeper into the event’s theme while also building community.

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Jay Clark
“People don’t realize what a bonding experience this can be for their youth group or even for a family,” said Jay Clark, director of Youth2007. “I have seen it time and time again. People leave transformed ... and the greatest thing is knowing that this is not about anything we did; it’s a God thing.”

Beyond worship and workshop opportunities, a full Expo Center will be open for youth and youth workers to network, gather and purchase resources, and return equipped to strengthen their churches and communities.

While speakers have been confirmed, workshop leaders are needed to reinforce the theme by developing activities and experiences for the event. “Our workshop leaders play an integral role in the success of Youth2007’s mission,” Greenwaldt said.

Regardless of the time had in Greensboro, if something doesn’t happen after the event in local churches and in those communities, the event’s goal will not be achieved, according to Clark. “And we need workshop leaders who can help us accomplish our goal,” he said.

“We want people to have a great time while they are at Youth2007, but we really want all of the young people and adults that come to this event to go back to their local churches and communities recharged and ready to make a difference,” he said.

Applications for workshop leadership may be downloaded from the Web site. The application deadline is July 31.

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A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose

United Methodist youth dance to the music of Kirk Franklin during Youth '03 on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Beginning in August, people interested in volunteering during Youth2007 will also be able to download a volunteer application. Volunteers are members of groups who will already be in attendance at Youth2007 but would like to come early or leave late to help set up, or just want extra responsibility while on site at the event. Volunteers may sign up at, the event’s official Web site.

Bishops Minerva Carcaņo of the Phoenix Area, Linda Lee of the Wisconsin Area and Scott Jones of the Kansas Area are confirmed speakers. Other leaders will include the Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball, pastor of Suncreek United Methodist Church, Dallas, the Rev. Michael Williams, pastor of First United Methodist Church, Hendersonville, Tenn., and Ray Buckley, director of connectional ministries for the Alaska Missionary Conference.

“These amazing women and men will help us to reach our goal of transforming lives for Christ by bringing insight into the Gospel and teachings relative to real life,” Greenwaldt said.

Registration is open at Participants who register before Dec. 1 will pay $165 per person. Reduced registration costs apply for participants coming from the Western Jurisdiction, central conferences or those traveling farther than 1,600 miles each way. The reduced rate will be $140 before Dec. 1 and $175 after that date. The event’s Web site provides full event and registration information.

For more information, contact Dayna Schoonmaker, Youth2007 office coordinator, at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 7190, or

*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn. This report was adapted from two releases by Jeanette Pinkston, director of media relations at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or

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