On July 11, 135 youth from across the North Carolina Conference gathered at North Carolina Wesleyan University in Rocky Mount for the inaugural session of NCCUMC Youth Week. These youth, along with the adult staff, were the first to take part in a new event that combined elements of Summer Breakaway and ACS (Annual Conference Session for Youth).
Each day began and ended with worship. Our pastor-in-residence was Rev. Jason Villegas. Along with Jason, the youth were the worship leaders each day in morning worship, serving as liturgists and readers, assisting with the communion liturgy, and serving communion. Youth also served as the musical leaders for the week, under the supervision of Patrick Rose.
While at youth week, youth and adults helped to pack 10,000 meals for Kids Around the World (an organization similar to Rise Against Hunger). Along with mission and service, Youth Week was rounded out with a variety of fun activities, including a talent show, dance, and large group games throughout the week.
NCCUMC Youth Week also provided the youth with a chance to attend to the business of Conference Youth Ministry. Two areas where this took place were Legislative Affairs and election and selection of youth leadership. During Legislative Affairs, the youth had the opportunity to present, debate on, and vote on, resolutions written by their peers. A total of 18 resolutions were presented, with some topics including education, the environment, and gun control. Some of these resolutions will be sent to the NC Conference and may be presented on the floor at Annual Conference 2023.
The youth also elected new leadership for the 2022-2023 year. There are two main leadership groups in Conference Youth Ministry: the CYC (Conference Youth Committee) and the CCYM (Conference Council on Youth Ministries). The CYC is comprised of elected and selected leadership, while the CCYM includes the CYC and also includes committees made up of youth from each district as well as the adult District Youth Coordinators. Our newly elected officers for the 2022-2023 year are Will Rouse (President), Lilly Kate Turner (Vice President), Emily Johnson (Legislative Affairs Person), Emily Pierce (Treasurer), and DaShawna Corbett (Secretary).
A huge THANK YOU to the overall deans, Lydia Cauley and Julia Royall Johnson, for their planning, preparation, and leadership of the event. Thank you to Rev. Jason Villegas for serving as pastor-in-residence for the week. Thanks to the adult staff who gave their time and energy. Thank you to NC Wesleyan University for partnering with Conference Youth Ministry and providing a wonderful venue for the event. And finally, thank you to all the youth who attended and made this Youth Week a great event. We’ll see you next year!