Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana de Fayetteville Youth Conference
Event Location: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Being blessed as a church with the support from PYAT, we decided as a church to be able to bless other youth from other churches as well as from our community. A one-day youth conference was held from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm on April 22, 2023. As a church, we were honored to receive 85 youth ranging from ages 11 to 22 years old and 20 adult chaperones (pastors, youth leader, elders, deacons) representing 5 churches from our Coastal Carolina Presbytery and one church from our neighboring New Hope Presbytery. We worked with 25 collaborators for the development of this event.
For this conference we invited Rev. Gedeon Cortez from Mexico City as the main speaker. The conference was carried out in two languages, English and Spanish, using all the materials that were provided to us by PYAT. During the day, we held 3 general conferences presented by the main speaker. Participants were divided into 4 small groups plus an additional group for adults and youth leaders. These small groups had 3 sessions after each general conference where they had the opportunity to express what they understood, what they thought, and expose their doubts.
We also had two sessions of 3 workshops in each session. For the development of these workshops we had the support of the local community college with the Emergency Medical Service program from Fayetteville Technical Community College and the local Cumberland County EMS, along with the Presbytery Youth Council of our presbytery and a psychologist. In these sessions, the young people were able to explore how to serve the church and the community in different ways, as well as the opportunities they have to continue preparing themselves in their studies and to be able to serve God.
We also had a moment of Q&A with the main speaker and had a time to give communion. At the end we offered a mini concert of praises and the youth responded to a call of invitation and confirmation to the service of our God. This conference was completely free for all attendees, and we offered breakfast, a big meal by a chef from a local restaurant, and snacks during the day. We also gave out swag bags that were provided by PYAT and gift bags that we made as a Church.
Testimonials from some young people who expressed what “When Did We See You?” meant for them in this conference:
“I have to accept myself as I am” – Moses 12
“God, please help me look at others the way you do” – Jose 15
“I saw you when you arrived… and saw Jesus within you…” – Grace 18
“In very little time of the start of the conference we have seen a change in our youth” – William (Youth Leader)
“Now we understand our young people and now we can support them more” – Youth Leader
We thank the PYT for giving us the opportunity to be part of the Triennium through this conference and thank you for all your support and prayers.