by Lora Steiner, managing editor
Youth from Franconia Conference and Eastern District gathered on Sunday, June 1, for an afternoon of worship, celebration, and inspiration.
The event, held under tents that had hosted the Mennonite Heritage Center’s Whack & Roll croquet tourney the day before, was the first of what planners hope will become an annual event.
The speaker, Luke Hartman, reflected on John 17 and Jesus’ prayer that believers would recognize their unity with each other and with God. Hartman encouraged those present to make the tent larger, for all God’s people to be a part of the kingdom. He challenged youth to be change agents in the world, and to discover their own sense of worth and calling.
A joyous, embodied worship was led by Peder Eide, a singer-songwriter from the Lutheran tradition who had the group dancing in short order.
John Stoltzfus, Franconia Conference youth minister, says that in the past, there hasn’t been an event for youth from both Franconia and Eastern District to draw together; delegates from both conferences had expressed desire to explore how members of the conferences were relating to one another and building a foundation of trust and intimacy between churches.
The event was planned by conference staff, pastors, youth workers and youth. Mennonite Church USA contributed funding. About 175 youth and adults attended the gathering.
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