Youth-Focused Activities Abound at 2017 Annual Conference

Date Posted: 4/27/2017

Following a two-year hiatus, youth-friendly fellowship and worship opportunities will return to the Annual Conference this May at The Woodlands UMC.

Eddie Erwin, the TAC Director of Youth & Young Adults, is excited about Annual Conference this year for a number of reasons.  “First,” he shares, “our time of Holy Conferencing will be in the welcoming setting of The Woodlands United Methodist Church and the surrounding communities. Secondly, some of our youth will have completed their school semester and have more of an opportunity to join us and be engaged in the life of the Conference.”
 
Rev. Eric Pugh agrees. “Empowering youth and encouraging them to take their place in church leadership has been important to me for a long time. Shortly after being appointed to Strawbridge UMC, I had a conversation with my senior pastor about just that,” he adds. “I was aware that my appointment would create another lay delegate position for our church, so I asked if there was a plan to fill it. This created an opportunity for a great conversation about involving youth not only in the life of the church, but in its leadership as well. This triggered several other discussions which led to an older delegate relinquishing his spot so that a youth might attend in his place.”
 
Notes Eric, “Nowhere in any of the conversations did anyone say they didn't want a youth delegate, but rather that they simply had not thought much about it. I can't wait for our youth to experience the worship, teaching, and most importantly, the connectional community of annual conference.”
 
On Sunday afternoon, time has been set aside for youth groups to join together for food and fellowship before going to worship.  Eddie says, “Our plan is to have some food trucks available while we spend some time playing games and expanding friendships. In the evening, we will participate in opening worship. Students should be looking forward to the opportunity to worship in a traditional or contemporary style with Bishop Jones sharing the message in both!” 
 
Activities for youth and students of delegates will be hosted on Monday and Tuesday. “Please sign up by the deadline so we can make logistical arrangements,” he adds. 
 
Shares Eddie, “There are still some opportunities for youth to be delegates to Annual Conference.  We have an online application and we’ll let selected students know shortly thereafter of their acceptance. We’ll sit together to refine relationships and answer any questions around the proceedings. Annual Conference is a critical component to our connection and we look forward to sharing these extraordinary opportunities of worship, fellowship, learning and community.”
 
Registration Information

“Since some school districts are out by the time of Annual Conference this year, we're inviting youth to apply to be delegates this year,” adds Eddie. Check out more info and applications.  Activities are also available for the children of delegates. 
 
Sunday, May 28 - Youth groups - Food, Fellowship, & Worship.  We'll gather at "The Loft/Student Ministry" area from 4-6 for meals and merriment and then transition over to the main campus for worship, both 'traditional' and 'contemporary' styles will be offered.  RSVP HERE by 5/19
 
Monday, May 29 - U-35 Dinner - We invite all Clergy, Candidates, and Laity who are age 35 and under, as well as their families, to join us for dinner and fellowship at Christ Church UMC from 5-6:30 pm RSVP & PAY HERE.
 
Tuesday, May 30 - Youth Worker Lunch at Escalante's (1900 Hughes Landing Blvd. # 100 The Woodlands Texas, 77380) at 11:30.  This is a great opportunity to fellowship with other youth workers, but we're asking you to pay for your own lunch. Please RSVP by 5/28.

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