Living Breathing Christianity – Reflections on the Episcopal Youth Event

Living Breathing Christianity – Reflections on the Episcopal Youth Event

Last week, hundreds of teenagers from around the country gathered at Villanova University for fellowship, workshops, presentations, service projects, worship, and more.

The gathering was The Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) – held every three years. Building Faith is blessed to have had Iman Green live on the scene. She caught up with several participants.  Here is what they had to say:

 

Blair, Diocese of Oklahoma, age 17

What was the best part of EYE?
Connecting more deeply with my fellow Oklahoma delegates and being able to see and experience a group of complete strangers become an energy filled ball of friends.

How did Jesus surprise you?
Everyday I encountered vibrant caring strangers. I saw Jesus in them, and in those encounters.

What will you take home from this experience that will change your ministry?
I plan on utilizing energizers as a camp counselor at St.Crispin’s (The Episcopal camp in Oklahoma). I also plan to share information about outreach programs with my youth group.

 


 

Geraldine, Diocese of California, age 17

What was the best part of EYE?
I can’t really pick ONE good meaningful event. Its been an incredible few days and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The New Community was an amazing experience because I had the incredible experience of meeting people from different ethnic backgrounds.

It’s amazing to know that you’re not alone in how you feel,  especially being a woman of color. I met some of the bravest people who live the struggle, day in, day out, and still find hope and faith in being who they want to be. But I really love each and every person on team DioCal (Diocese of California), and the moment we met up, it was such a rush of happiness. These are people that I haven’t seen in long time.

How did Jesus surprise you?
Amazing. There was godliness in the way we connected without a missing a step. It’s like that was where we were supposed to be. Fast forward to workshops: the passion on the faces of both those teaching and those actively engaged in each workshop was inspiring. Seeing young adults and my peers dedicating so much of themselves into something was unbelievably moving.

Today, during the tour of Philly was where I saw God the most. I come from a small parish, with big dreams, and to see these churches go above and beyond anything my 17 year old brain could comprehend is almost unfathomable. The love and determination these churches have for what they do (serving the community) is inspiring, and is a beautiful possible reality – if you put your entire heart and soul into it.

What will  you take home from this experience that will change your ministry?
I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of such a large, warm, open, and understanding community. Each person inspires me in a way that I hope I can take back to the homeland. The Youth of the Episcopal Church are inspiring and motivated, youth. I’m not just saying that because I am one!  But when you hear stories of people your age teaching, tending, transforming, and treasuring this beautiful world/church, it makes me want to do the same.

I’m think I’m saying what everyone else knows: the youth are the future. And like a great earthquake, the world can prepare all it wants, but it will not be ready for the ground breaking. And it will truly be groundbreaking.


Heather, Diocese of Washington DC, rising senior

What was the best part of EYE?
It’s so hard to pick just one, but I think my favorite part of EYE was being together with everyone in the gym and singing songs or saying prayers and feeling that energy and passion from everyone.

How did Jesus surprise you?
I encountered Jesus by seeing all these kids just like me coming together and singing praise and showing so much love for Jesus. I had never experienced anything like that before. Also being in the Eucharist, I can’t explain it… but when we said prayers and took communion, I could just feel it…. I guess that’s the best way of explain

What will  you take home from this experience that will change your ministry?
I hope to bring back this type of enthusiasm and show how much the love of God is able to accomplish. When we believe in him and his might, we are able to do anything. I hope to teach that to others who didn’t get this experience.

 

 

Iman Green is the Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC. She supports parishes to nurture the spiritual lives of their youth and equip parents and volunteers to engage in youth formation.

 

 

EYE 2014

 

 

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