Minute for Mission: Presbyterian Youth Triennium

Five Days of Faith Formation that Lasts a Lifetime

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium is only a five-day event, but its impact on young people can span a lifetime.

Perryn preachingRev. Perryn Rice, one of the preachers for the upcoming Triennium in July, will shape his message to help youth leave Triennium with its lessons and impressions etched in their hearts and minds. He wants them to grab hold of mental snapshots they will continue to reference.

“I want these youth to know that these snapshots are there and that the snapshots help remind them of the reason they are at Triennium,” he says. “I believe something will happen in worship, service projects, or conversations that will awaken them to the possibility that they are able to do greater things for the glory of God.”

Perryn knows firsthand how powerful the Triennium experience can be. He first sensed a call to ministry as a 16-year-old attending Triennium. “I tell people it was the Youth Triennium in 1986 that rekindled the fire of my faith,” he says. “I took a workshop about ministerial calls that helped me understand what the Lord was doing in my life. I did not accept the call at the time, but I left Triennium knowing what the Lord was calling me to do.”

Perryn as Triennium group leader

Perryn is now pastor of Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Nearly 30 years after he attended his first Triennium, the event is still a priority for him. He has had a role in five other Trienniums serving as a preacher, small group leader, chaperone, or exhibit hall worker. Over the years, he has observed youth begin to deal with indecision and internal conflicts at Triennium. They sense their parents, friends, society, and church pulling them in different directions. Perryn says the Triennium experience helps youth personalize their walk of faith. Yet Triennium also helps youth understand that others are traveling life’s journey with them. They are among 5,000 other youth who can empathize with their struggles. They also meet youth from around the world who help them understand how faith and life intersect in other cultures. Perryn says the barriers that separate people tend to melt away at Triennium.

Much of Triennium’s emphasis, particularly the closing sermon, is about putting their faith into action. “The last sermon of the week is always a commissioning sermon,” Perryn says. “It’s sending them back home so they can begin to change the local setting and the world in which they live.”

Sixty percent of the Pentecost Offering supports our youth and young adults and addresses the needs of at-risk children on the national level such as Triennium so that more youth and young adults can develop their sense of faith and calling. Congregations retain the other 40% for local ministries that develop and support the faith and flourishing of children, youth, and young adults in their church and community.

Please give generously to the Pentecost Offering. Your gifts to the Pentecost Offering help make Youth Triennium and its life-changing impact possible.

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