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About the 2013 Triennium theme “I AM” . . .
Lots of people ask us how we come to determine a certain theme. Good question! For 2013 the Triennium staff met for three days of bible study, prayer, and deep conversations about Presbyterian youth and the future of the Presbyterian denominations. What resulted is a wonderful theme, echoing from the “I am” statements of Jesus, and whispering even further back in the story of our faith from the Hebrew people’s encounters with Yahweh. “I am who I am.”
During the 2013 Triennium participants will explore, each day, one of the significant “I am” metaphors from the gospels. Jesus used the “I am” images to help the rookie disciples understand his purpose, depth of care, everlasting presence and wide redemptive love. We hope to do the same in hearing and seeing and praying these stories at Triennium!
What does the theme “I AM” have to say to Triennium participants? Production team members reflect…
Reverend Bill Buchanan – co coordinator for the Worship Ministry Team.
What does the theme “I AM” have to say to young people in the church?
It is a theme all about identity– the identity of God and our identity as children of God. We hope through the course of the Triennium young people will explore the nature of God through Jesus Christ. We also hope youth participants will wrestle with their own sense of self as young Christians in today’s world. We hope that through the event these youth will hear God saying, “I AM with you. I AM calling you. I AM preparing a place for you and a path for you. I AM challenging you to be my eyes, hands, and feet in the world.”
What do you hope that the 2013 PYT participants take away from the event?
A better understanding of God
A better understanding of themselves
A calling to make a difference in the world
A feeling of empowerment and support by the Church
How do you begin the daunting task of preparing for five thousand+ youth?
A spoonful at a time!
We start with a discernment of theme based on Scripture, the context of today’s world, and the context of today’s young people.
From there we listen to the voices of youth and other adults on our production team to further expand that work, thinking in areas of worship, community life, recreation, and small group Bible Study & discussion. As the event draws closer we keep expanding that circle until everyone is involved in making it happen, including the 5K youth that will come as participants!
Youth Production Team member Byron Elam, Franklin Lakes, NJ says…
1. What does the theme “I AM” have to say to young people in the church?
The theme “I AM” says to young people in the church that they serve an omnipotent and omnipresent God. A God whose power and presence is so immense that it can’t be measured or even described. God simply says to Moses in the book of Exodus. “I am who I am.” The theme “I AM” is also a bold declaration of the young people of the church that asserts they are proud followers and servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. What do you hope that the 2013 PYT participants take away from the event?
Ultimately, I hope that every participant take away from this a more intimate and fulfilling relationship with Christ. I hope they become excited and willing to serve Christ, and practice their faith in him.
Secondly, I hope that the 2013 PYT participants become more excited about being active participants within the church.
3. How do you begin the daunting task of preparing for five thousand+ youth?
First, we must realize and become excited with the notion that we are called directly by God to help with this wonderful event. When we realize this, we realize the great importance and significance of these preparations and ultimately we answer to God.
Adult Production Team member Brian Gibbs Dauost
“I think the story of our faith is not only who we are, but whose we are. If we are God’s, then who God is becomes one of the most important questions of our faith.”
Youth Production Team member, Julia Poe, Prairie Village, Kansas
Q: What does the theme “I AM” have to say to young people in the church?
A: This theme is really conducive to teenagers, since we are in a time of our lives when we’re really trying to figure out who we are and who God is. It’s a great way for us to explore how to define ourselves and how to define our God and his role in our lives.
Q: What do you hope that the 2013 PYT participants take away from the event?
A: I want them to take away a deeper understanding of how God works in their lives and how to spread his love to others through everything we do in lives. I also want the participants to have a blast, meet new people, and connect to their faith and their friends in faith in a positive way.
Q: How do you begin the daunting task of preparing for five thousand+ youth?
A: It’s intimidating, but I know that our team can do it. We have an amazing team of people gathered, and although it’s a big task, I know that by attacking it in slow chunks, we can put together the best Triennium yet! Like Desmond Tuttu said, it’s like eating an elephant- one bite at a time.