Philadelphia Youth Delegation Returns from Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2019
From July 15-19, 2019, a delegation of nearly fifty youth plus adult leaders from 13 Presbytery of Philadelphia churches descended upon Purdue University for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium.
This denominational gathering occurs every three years and welcomes nearly 5,000 youth from around the world for worship, play, fellowship, relationship building, spiritual formation, and engagement in what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in our time and place. This year’s theme, Here’s My Heart, highlighted the call of Christ upon young people to be the empowered and passionate change agents near and far. Those who attend Triennium were immersed in a week of extraordinary preaching, thoughtful reflections in small groups, interactions with Presbyterian mission partners, break-out workshops on a wide variety of topics from dismantling racism to discerning vocation, and creative worship with a diverse body of believers from near and far.
We give thanks for the leadership team who made this event possible: Rev. Su Fall (Forest Grove), Rev. Ashley Rossi (Carmel), and Christian Heyer-Rivera (First, Germantown). We also thank the Rev. Josh Gill (Doylestown) for developing these testimonials. Our delegation of churches included:
We also invite you to check out some of the reflections below collected from our youth who represented our Presbytery so well. Looking forward to Triennium 2022.
Selected Written Reflections
“Something that touched me during the conference was the worship and the preaching. This whole experience felt different to me, because it’s not something that I’m used to but it was a fun experience” (Lilian, United Ghanaian Community Church).
“Coming to youth triennium was a wonderful experience. Not only did I strengthen my faith in Christ, I also made a lot of friendships” (Pearl, United Ghanaian).
“I learned to love everybody for who they really are and to assist those who may be lost” (Aidan, Carmel Presbyterian).
“I liked how the music at worship used different instruments you wouldn’t find at regular churches” (Desiree, Levittown).
“Something significant that I learned from the conference is that our lives is a song and that there are different parts of it and that even, though we may be going into obstacles doesn’t mean it’s the end of your song. So you must have faith and keep pushing through” (Reona, United Ghanaian)
“Something that touched my heart was learning new ways to accept God especially when I have different values and beliefs towards his words” (Trinity, Germantown).
“I learned many new bible passages and scriptures and I learned to help out people in need like the people in Puerto Rico with help rebuilding El Guacia. The opportunity to meet new people and interact with others of different and similar people. Also, the ability to see how much others love God and being exposed to the reality of people’s lives through new perspectives. The theme of being lost and found while keeping you values is neat and inspiring” (Evelyn, Carmel Presbyterian Church).
“I liked the people that I met here I thought that the worship was great. I wish that the small groups and delegations were longer and have more discussion based activities. Not just talking about the theme but how can we apply opening our heart in our daily lives and in our modern age” (Tarah, Overbrook).
“At the beginning of the trip, I only sat with and spent time with the people I already knew from my church. I did not expect for the people surrounding me to change so juristically. When I roomed with someone I did not know. I found myself opening up to her and other people. I will take away experiences with the new people I met from Triennium” (Lauren, Abington).
“The connections I made here with the youth and leaders was something I value a lot. I only knew two of the fifty people but I was welcomed with open arms and always felt loved by the people around me” (Zack, Overbrook Presbyterian Church).
“I loved the experience with my small group. I had a youngish leader around 30 which made us all more comfortable and helped him connect with us. It was great how easily we could carry conversations about school, life, etc. as well as our planned discussion. Allowing this conversation helped bond the group past just our required conversation” (Katherine, Ambler).
“During Triennium, I‘ve learned that in order to love others, you must first love yourself. I find it hard to love myself sometimes, yet at Triennium, I’ve found that God’s been hinting at me to treat myself with kindness and stop[ stressing myself out. We’re so easy to focus on the negative, but Triennium has taught me to focus on the positives and love life” (Laura, First Presbyterian Church Warminster).