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Rooted together

Youth Conference preview


By Gabby Carlson | Contributor

Remaining rooted in its mission to serve high school students, Youth Conference has grown into a powerful ministry since it’s inception in 1934. The focus on being “rooted” stems from Youth Conference’s mission, but there is a double meaning in the theme.

This year’s co-directors, junior Emily Viers and senior Cara Mastic, hope to get back to Youth Conference’s roots: teaching the Gospel and sharing the love of Christ with high school students.

Along with relationship building and Scripture engagement, Youth Conference is focusing on a second theme: showing high school students what it means to be rooted in Christ.

Youth conference can’t happen without the help of Taylor students. Even if Taylor students are not directly involved in housing or leading a small group, Youth Conference encourages students to still attend events, including the free sessions.

“Youth Conference is not only for the high schoolers,” Viers said. “We would love to have Taylor students at any of our main sessions throughout the weekend.”

On Saturday afternoon, a Backyard bash is being held on the front lawns of Olson and Wengatz. Cotton candy machines and lawn games will be set up so the nearly 100 high schoolers can have fun and get to know each other. Viers hopes Taylor students will join in and make the attendees feel welcome.

The headliner for Saturday night’s concert is Taylor’s own Sun & Heir, made up of five current Taylor students and alumni. After opening last year’s Youth Conference concert, they were asked to return this year as the main event. The show begins at 9 p.m. and costs $5 for Taylor students.

Jayson French, vice president of programming at Christ in Youth ministries, is leading four sessions centered around rootedness. The theme verse is Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Viers remembers French from her time as a teen. “I grew up going to Christ in Youth every summer, and he was one of the speakers that I heard,” she said. “He played a huge role in my walk with Christ, so I wanted to reach out to him and see if he’d be willing to speak.”

This weekend is an opportunity to be rooted with other members of the Body of Christ. Through games, sessions and a concert, Youth Conference hopes to foster spiritual growth in the students attending. Beginning early this Friday night, students, faculty and the Upland community will be rooted together, with that mission in mind.

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