Theologically rich topic to help teens explore longing for passion and action
by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT) director Gina Yeager-Buckley loves the juxtaposition of the recently unveiled “Here’s my Heart” 2019 PYT theme.
From actual lyrics in the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” it is a bit of a departure from past PYT themes that have traditionally been based on Scripture.
But the seemingly more internal focused theme is rich theologically for this moment in time when some young people are marching, demonstrating and speaking out.
“Students’ hearts — full of passion, will, mystery and love — are crying out to each other, to the world around them and to the church,” says Yeager-Buckley. “So let’s focus our work together in youth ministry and at PYT in a way that blends the internal need for passionate living and the external call to action and justice.”
Part of what the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium will explore with youth is how to recognize their own faith and disciple-forming story within the “Here’s my Heart” theme. The lyrics were written as an offering to God by 17-year-old Robert Robinson after he had a personal faith experience.
“The back and forth in the theme really excited us,” says Yeager-Buckley. “When we say to God ‘here’s my heart,’ it is ripe with hope and purpose. But God also says ‘here’s my heart’ in the form of Jesus. That is incredibly powerful and personal for a young person.”
Yeager-Buckley believes the Easter season, between Christ’s resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, is a great time to reflect on the 2019 PYT theme. She says the dynamic of Pentecost contains the fire and passion that sits at the heart of Presbyterian youth.
“Just like at Pentecost, the energy of their faith is uncontainable,” she says. “It has to be shared. We want to cultivate and stoke that passion of their faith, of their gifts into something that leads them to develop a very personal and communal offering for the church and the world.
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