SDOP interns attend Presbyterian Youth Triennium
Reflections on Our Week Together at the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium
By Troy Glover, Brian Symonds, and Tiffany Brown
There were over 5000 Presbyterian youth gathered in Lafayette, Indiana during the mid-July’s sweltering heat and humidity to dive deep into the trienniums I Am theme. As SDOP Interns serving at our first Presbyterian Youth Triennium, we accompanied these youth on this exploration of identity and community making up Christ’s body. It was a joy of each of ours to share experiences with these youth expressing ourselves and our work with Self Development of People all while helping them connect SDOP possibilities in their home communities.
Reflecting on that journey while considering our responsibilities, here is what some of us Interns reported…
“My experiences at the PYT were pretty amazing. It was great to get a taste of the Presbyterian Culture as well as meet some of the future leaders in the denomination. I would have to say interacting with the youth was my favorite part of the trip. Interaction avenues like the "I AM" board, and the buttons to represent the different presbyteries the groups were from. It was also very fun explaining SDOP to the kids and figuring out a way to connect them to our program. The little fishy offering thing came in handy.
The hotel was great. The shuttle ride was a little long and a bit bumpy, but overall it was good. When it came down to finding food, we took advantage of some of the local favorites. We asked around and walked around, until we eventually found some good food. Overall a very fun experience.
As far as what we could have done to better the experience, umm not much. I think it was a very fun and successful trip.”The SDOP booth was a hit! Of course giving out free candy never hurts. The combination of our youthful personalities and SDOP bags sealed the deal. I think those two things made the kids feel comfortable and willing to give our booth a try. We were also a very different looking booth. We were very diverse in race, backgrounds, and experiences, and this played to our advantage. We were able to reach every audience, white, black, young, old, males, females, basically every group that was in attendance.
“I was so excited to see so many youth in the PC(USA) come together and realize that they were not the only ones, that they were only a part of a larger community. I always enjoy getting together with long-time friends and making new friends at Presbytery events like PYT. I was even invited to worship with and to view a film with a small group.
Getting to the PYT seemed to be a good experience for me. I found scheduling my flight and transportation easy and manageable. The hotel on the Purdue campus was very nice and provided a comfortable place to rest after a long day.
Our SDOP booth was a success! I would say that the SDOP bags drew in the youth and visitors to the exhibit hall, because we seemed to be the only ones giving bags a
way. This helped bring people to our booth and helped draw attention to our I Am board. The youth were really intrigued to learn that the One Great Hour of Sharing offering might touch even their home communities. They enjoyed learning about the connection of the Church with the communities through SDOP grants and partnerships. We were also placed right next to the CPJ booths, which helped us visit and promote Compassion, Peace and Justice (CPJ) ministries as well. We all made a good team of CPJ staff.
Troy and Tiff and I walked all around the campus discovering some wonderful eateries. I was wondering what we would find in Indiana, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself contemplating my wanting to serve as a youth advisor at the next Triennium simply because of the area and location.”
“My overall experience with the Youth Triennium was wonderful. It was refreshing to see so many young people passionate about Jesus Christ and concerned about their community. I found thatmany of the young people wanted opportunities to serve outside of their local church and were eager to find out about opportunities where they could go into the community. We were able to engage with a lot of booth representatives and speak to them about SDOP. I’m really looking forward to attending the next event."
The Presbyterian Youth Triennium will be on our thoughts and in our prayers as we continue to see the best of the Presbyterian Church begin to reach out in mission within each of our unique communities. I Am…Baltimore, Los Angeles, New Orleans!!!
Troy, Tiff, and Brian
(Are you a member of a group of low-income persons working on issues of importance to you and your community, will working on these issues result in long-term positive change? Are you in need of financial assistance? Contact Troy Glover, Tiffany Brown or Brian Symonds by email (below) or call SDOP at (502)-569-5782, (www.pcusa.org/sdop) we would welcome talking with you and possibly hosting a community workshop in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Baltimore or elsewhere).
Troy Glover (email@example.com), Brian Symonds (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tiffany Brown (email@example.com) serve as the SDOP Technical Assistance Providers/Interns in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Baltimore.