My first Youth at Council (called Convention since the diocese has changed the name of the annual meeting) was January of 2002. I was in eighth grade and had no idea what to expect. Born and raised in Lynchburg, I was aware of Roanoke and had come down for family reunions in some of my earliest years, but was generally unfamiliar with the city. I never anticipated after my first experience with a diocesan youth event that some 15 years later I would be the minister to youth at the hosting site, St. John’s.
That is but a taste of the love of Christ and the unexpected movement of the Holy Spirit on our lives, working best and finding its deepest root when invited. I discovered, those years ago, that Youth@Convention is an amazing place to invite that love and salvation in.
This year will be exceptional for that experience as the diocese will host Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Royal Wedding Preacher, as the diocese celebrates 100 years of its existence. Y@C starts on Friday night and goes through Sunday morning. Diocesan youth will be right here at St. John’s, sleeping, eating, singing, praying and strengthening the community that is the Episcopal Church of Southwestern Virginia.
Our guest band, Live Hymnal from Florida, has made its mark on the church by playing hymns from the 1982 hymnal with contemporary instruments. The music and the people are but part of the reason I kept coming back year after year after year. Today’s St. John’s youth can experience that this coming January; registration is at youth.dioswva.org.
Tray Light, Minister to Youth
Episcopal News Service story on the Presiding Bishop's revival following General Convention 79 can be found here.
Above photo from Youth @ Council 2018
Photo below from General Convention 79: Mary Frances Schjonberg/Episcopal News Service