Annual Conference 2012 – Youth Peace Travel Team style!

Annual Conference is something that I always look forward to. Meeting up with friends from around the country, being in fellowship with thousands of my brothers and sisters, and seeing the Spirit move in new and mysterious ways. This year was different for me, however. I was approached several times by people who knew me for my ministry this summer, rather than from them knowing my parents. It was nice to be in a role of leadership within the youth activities that were so important to me as I grew up. I remember the Peace Team coming in, and it was always one of my favorite parts of the week. Being able to go into the youth time and see faces excited to learn what we had to say lightened my heart and reminded me of the reasons I’m here this summer.
Until next time, Kyle

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Arch visits with friends
Luncheons & dinners galore! Yumm!
New friends made throughout the denomination
Business sessions
Annual Conference 2012—Continuing the Work of Jesus: Peacefully, Simply, Together
Learning experience
Congregational vitality was a daily theme
Openness & sharing
Junior high campfire led by Kyle & me
TGIFriday’s with my home congregation
Reconnecting with many old friends
Round tables increased good communication
Excitement
Insight session with Corey Grey
Checking in with mentors Dan & Becky
Met Kyle’s parents for the first time

The previous words and phrases are the ones that come to my mind as I look back on my experience at Annual Conference Last week. –Molly

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Being at Annual Conference was so much fun! It was nice to be in a different setting. I enjoyed it so much! I loved connecting with old friends and making new ones! All the dinners to hear about what is happening in our denomination were awesome! I got the chance to lead a time with the Senior High youth with Katie where we had a guest speaker named Corey Grey. He spoke about his choice to become a conscientious objector while he was in the military. His story was so powerful to me because of the way he was saved. I really like what he had to say.

Blessings till next time, Hunter

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Nervous. That’s the emotion I was feeling as I learned that we would be travelling to Annual Conference this summer. Knowing what had happened at last year’s conference, I was nervous for how interactions would take place. I was nervous for what would take place on the business floor. I was nervous about whether or not everyone’s opinions would be heard. I was nervous for the future of our church.

But as I spent time in business and Insight sessions, as I moved about the exhibit hall, and as I just spent free time in the conference center, my spirit was renewed. People from all walks of life and different faith journeys were sitting down together in open discussions. I saw as both young and older adults felt safe enough to take the floor and share their feelings on a wider range of subjects with their receptive sisters & brothers.

I’m not saying we’ve got it all together yet, and I’m sure that the reconciliation will take time, but I think our denomination is getting there. As I left St. Louis, I had a new feeling toward my Annual Conference experience, and the future of the Church of the Brethren: hope.

Peace, Katie

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