Not too long ago, I went on a convention trip with the youth group of the Escondido First United Methodist Church to an event called Youth 2007. The event was held in Greensboro, North Carolina, and lasted a week. Our first day had us fly out of San Diego and switch planes in Atlanta to get the rest of the way to Greensboro. It took us all day but we had fun. All week long, we stayed at the Best Western Deep River Inn where we were picked up and dropped off by our buses all week.
Before we knew it, the first day of Y07 arrived. All day long, registration was going on at the hotels in the area so we spent most of the day at the hotel. The theme was S.P.L.A.T. (seek, pray, learn, act, teach). Each day focused on one of the topics so the first day involved “seek.” The main part was at the worship service that evening. The praise band was Fusebox who led every service that week. The message that evening was delivered by Bishop Scott Jones of Kansas City, Missouri. In addition, another band called the Katinas performed. It was a great way to start off the week.
Everything started on the second day. The theme of the day was “pray.” At morning worship, the message was delivered by Reverend Michael Williams of the Nashville First United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Following worship, splatshops began which each day focused on that day’s theme. I only attended one splatshop called “The Stories We Tell.” Stories were told and all focused on how we pray. That evening at worship, the message was delivered by Bishop Linda Lee of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The band, Superchic, performed live.
The theme of the third day was “Learn.” Instead of morning worship, there were the jurisdictional meetings. All western groups met together to talk about what was going on in the west. I did not attend any splatshops that day but visited the expo where there were many activities reflecting on the theme. The message in worship that evening was delivered by Bishop Minerva Carcano of Phoenix, Arizona. The main part involved Kutless performing a lot of music which took up most of worship.
The theme of the fourth day was “Act.” Reverend Michael Williams returned to the morning worship to deliver the message. There was a splatshop that was entitled “Spiritual Journey of Harry Potter.” This splatshop involved the spiritual movement through the Harry Potter series. A visit to the expo ended the afternoon. The message at the evening worship was delivered by Reverend Kathleen Baskin-Ball of the Suncreek United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. There was a short performance by Stellar Kart and at the end, the boards lit up to say, “What is your act for God?” Immediately, circus music started to play, inflated giants blew up and confetti fell from the ceiling. What a way to end the final night of Youth 2007!
The theme of the final day was “Teach.” Ray Buckley of the Connectional Ministries for the Alaska Missionary Conference of the United Methodist Church in Palmer, Alaska, delivered the morning message. The end of worship marked the end of Youth 2007. A day was spent at the hotel before flying home the next day.
As I returned home, I felt that I had learned a lot. I learned that we can be able to stand up for God and say that we love him no matter what we are doing. I will remember this event for a long time.