June 9, 2019
As Christians around the world celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, may you sense anew the Spirit’s presence in your life on this Pentecost Sunday. The same Spirit whose coming gave birth to the church and empowered the lives of the earliest believers continues to transform Christ’s disciples today.
Since it began in 1980, thousands of Presbyterian youth have experienced the Presbyterian Youth Triennium as a time of spiritual renewal. Many lay and clergy leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) attest to the formative role the Triennium played in their Christian formation. The 2019 Youth Triennium will be held at Purdue University on July 16–20.
Kylie Carlson, a recent high school graduate from Britton, South Dakota, looks forward to attending Triennium for the second time.
Carlson had completed confirmation classes at her congregation, First Presbyterian Church in Britton, South Dakota, not long before her youth group attended the 2016 Triennium. Both events were significant spiritual milestones, Carlson said.
“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, and it became even more personal. It was really amazing to hear the speakers and relate their faith to yours.”
The Pentecost Offering, which most congregations receive today, enables the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to hold this event and offer other ministries with youth. The Offering also helps ministries that serve children-at-risk, and it supports the Young Adult Volunteer program.
In her hometown of Britton (population 1,250), only a handful of youth attends Carlson’s congregation, the town’s only Presbyterian church. At Triennium, which brings together 5,000 participants, she got a glimpse of the expansiveness of her faith tradition. “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.”
In addition to helping the youth from Britton develop a closer relationship with God, Carlson said Triennium created a shared experience for them that helped them build closer personal bonds. “We were really able to have more in-depth, personal conversations about our faith,” she said.
Carlson will enter South Dakota State University this fall, where she will major in journalism. She looks forward to her studies and other college-related opportunities, and she anticipates seeking a Presbyterian church to serve as a “spiritual home near campus.” She also expects to maintain ties to her home congregation.
Let us rejoice that sons and daughters of the PC(USA) still hear the Spirit’s call to walk alongside us in lives of discipleship. May God grant the church open eyes to see their promise and receptive ears to hear their wisdom.
Pat Cole, Communications Specialist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Day of Pentecost/Pentecost Offering
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray:
God of Pentecost, we give you thanks that you continue to pour out your Spirit upon all flesh. May we follow the Spirit’s leadership as we seek to discern your truth and obey your will. Help us to rely on the Spirit’s wisdom and strength so that we may faithfully choose the paths that Christ calls us to follow. Amen.