ABCNJ’s Senior High youth conference was held on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Camp Lebanon. Sixty five youth and youth leaders from the region gathered to share and reflect on the theme “Special Agents for Jesus Christ: Preparing Youth for Service" based on Ephesians 1:1-4. The day was filled with praise and worship, speakers, panel and small group discussions. Rev. Erin Phillips, Associate Regional Pastor, welcomed the group and shared the region’s excitement about involving the youth in varies ways throughout the region. Rev. Marella Holmes, Associate Regional Pastor for Youth Ministry, shared a motivating and inspiring word from God. She challenged to youth to accept their assignment from Jesus Christ as an agent to serve the people of God.
Four youth from Mount Zion Baptist Church in Newark led the panel discussion about their experience at IMMERSE 2012 conference. They spoke about service projects they participated in while attending the conference. The youth shared how the service projects made a difference in the lives of the people they helped; it changed their worldview and strengthened their faith in God. One of the panelist shared how she gave her life to Christ as a result of the service projects during the IMMERSE 2012 conference.
Ms. Denise Gratzel, ABCNJ Disaster Response Coordinator, shared opportunities in which the youth could serve in the region this summer at work camps in partnership with Habitat for Humanity in areas destroyed by Super Storm Sandy.
Rev. Tamara Davis, ABCNJ “Sacred Safe Spaces” Special Project Coordinator, presented ways in which youth can serve as a Christian example of a healthy relationship with peers in school, the community and church. The conference ended with prayerful reflections and affirmations that we are special agents for Jesus Christ in the Green Cathedral at Camp Lebanon.
Overall the youth and youth leaders were inspired and encouraged to be special agents for Jesus Christ by serving others in their communities, schools churches and ABCNJ region. Everyone had a great time.