Sunday, November 23, 2008

NYWC update...sorry so late

so, wifi is apparently a commodity here in Nashvegas, it is not as plentiful as the live music and bbq (which is vastly inferior to that of Texas bbq, that's even coming from a vegetarian). but i digress. NYWC (National Youth Workers Convention), notoriously the largest gathering of bald-headed mean with facial hair, has been the high-energy, spiritually re-activating event that it always has been for me. from the prayerwalk we took around downtown on Saturday morning to the sessions with Shane Claiborne, Tony Campolo, and Andrew Marin to the spiritual direction i got from a good friend, Brent Parker to spending time with the amazing CTCUMC youth workers who are here to spending time with my beautiful wife to getting to know youthworkers from all across the country this event is outstanding.

speaking of the Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, and Andrew Marin super-session, it was heart-breakingly awesome to finally hear someone speak openly and honestly about reaching out in love and grace to the homosexual community w/o trying to save or change people and ironic to hear Tony and Shane talk about the seductive nature of capitalist consumerism which drives our society (especially invading the lives of students) while sitting amidst a sea of advertisements to purchase the newest curriculum/dvd/mission trip package/ski trip package for to make your student ministry "successful."

another highlight would be the Taize Worship and all the events in the "sanctuary" this year. what a novel idea it is to try and reach out, comfort, heal, and replenish the soul of youth/student workers. the absence of this component has troubled many throughout the history of these events, nice to see leadership actually listening to feedback and adjusting what they offer (maybe my denomination could take a few notes).

one constant point of contention for me has always been the massive amount of waste events like this produce and the lack of focus on creation care. this year, it was a blessing to sit with Emma and Dr. Matthew Sleeth; authors of its easy being green and serve G-d, save the planet. They are amazing authors, witnesses to loving the Creator through creation care, and a fun family to hang out with.

so there is my update thus far. i am sure as we drive back Monday, i will process and have more observations so stay tuned. but to those who have made it a worthwhile event thus far:
-Central Texas for the $$ to send me here
-Community of Hope students and parents who allowed me to take time away to attend
-CTCUMC Youth Workers Abby Flookes, Jake Allen, the Brower Bros., and all the others who make this a fun place to hang
-Brent Parker for continued spiritual direction, encouragement, and challenge
-Joy Roberson for being an amazing youth worker, mother, and wife
-Charles Harrison and Terry Carty from YouthWorker Movement and Cokesbury for providing free lunch and fun people to talk to in the exhibit hall
-to all the amazing youthworkers who attend this event from across the country and the churches and ministries they represent
-to the folks at YS who put this amazing thing on year after year
-to Rachel and Steve Heyduck who continue to convict my heart to care for creation while i am here


Wanted to leave this post with something amazing i saw yesterday during a general session. who says youthworkers are out of touch and can't shake it every once and a while to the music kids are listening to these days? enjoy!

1 comment:

gavin richardson said...

what? no shout to me? you know i check these blog things.&:~)

great having you guys over tonight.
shalom, -gav