In an age when fleeting social media messages saturate the lives of teens, Kylie Carlson treasures the lasting impact of some powerful words scrawled on tiny slips of paper.
For three years, she has kept the messages that were stashed in her “Compliment Bag” at the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. They were put there by members of her small group, and the affirmations range from casual to positively transformational.
One member wrote to Kylie, “You are a good public speaker.” These simple words, shared just after the author had heard her speak, were particularly significant for her because Kylie, like many people, was fearful of public speaking.
“It stuck with me,” Kylie says. It helped her gain confidence, and today she considers herself more than proficient when she stands before audiences to speak.
While these affirmations written on paper were meaningful for Kylie, even more significant for her were the messages of faith that were written on her heart. Kylie had completed confirmation classes at her congregation, First Presbyterian Church in Britton, South Dakota, not long before her youth group attended Triennium. Both events were significant spiritual milestones, Kylie says.
“Before confirmation, it was like you went to church because your parents did, but now we have a more personal connection with faith,” she explained. “Then we went to Triennium, it became even more personal. It was amazing to see all the people who were there sharing the same faith as I did and felt the same way about it as I did. We were really able to have more in-depth, personal conversations about our faith,” she says. Isn’t it wonderful for a person at such a young age to come to understand the meaning and value of being a connected church? This is something that she, and thousands of other youth who attend Triennium, will never forget.
Making Triennium possible
Thanks in part to gifts to the Pentecost Offering, another Triennium will be held this July. Across the United States, thousands of Presbyterians can attest to the spiritual significance that Triennium, a Presbyterian tradition since 1980, has had on their faith journey. Perhaps you are one of them? The Offering also helps ministries that serve children and it supports the Young Adult Volunteer program.
By supporting the Pentecost Offering, you are helping to shape a positive future for young lives, for our church, and for our world. And forty percent of the offering stays with congregations to be used for programs supporting youth as well as children-at-risk and young adults. Please give generously because as has always been the case, when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
Let us pray
Holy Spirit, teach us well. Write your words in our hearts so that we might speak them to others, proclaiming them our whole lives long. Amen.
For more information and resources related to the Pentecost offering, visit presbyterianmission.org/pentecost.
This post is based on the Minute for Mission script which can be found on our website as a script.
Please give generously to the Offering:
- Through your congregation
- Text YOUNG to 20222 to give $10
- Donate online