It was 6 years ago, that I had just started my job as Director of Youth Ministries at Living Waters Presbyterian Church in Wendell, ID. After being there for just a couple months, a few of us from the church drove through the night from Wendell to get to Sacramento for the National Youth Workers Convention. And I loved it: all those bands, funny skits, persuasive speakers, free junk (okay – not all was junk…), the Exhibitors Hall, my free Youth Specialties bag…yah, it was great! It was there that I read a sampler of some of the first Emergent-related books (Dave Tomlinson’s “The Post-Evangelical” was one of them) and my first experience with the Prayer Labryinth was what eventually pushed me into my interest with .bE and alt.worship.
Well, today I’m heading up to Sacramento again (this time with Matt) for the National Youth Workers Convention (NYWC). I’m both looking forward to it and a bit ambivalent. I know many of my friends will be there, and it will be good to connect with some folks like Adam McLane, Marko, Lilly Lewin and everyone else who will be there. I’m looking forward to hearing Shane Claiborne and Phyllis Tickle speak (it’s been awhile since I’ve heard them speak) and am hoping Phyllis will give Presbymergent a shout-out if she mentions the “hyphen-mergents.” I also think that some of the seminars will be helpful as I’m now back in full-time ministry again and frankly, need some help with stuff like coming up with games, managing time, etc.
But I’m also aware that I’m a much different person than I was 6 years ago. I’m not as “wow-ed” by Christian bands, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of theological issues with some of the speakers, my theology has changed on so many topics…so, we’ll see. I love the stuff YS does and really respect a lot of the people there – but the organization is still coming from a different theological place than I am…so, we’ll see.
The big question is do I bring my political-LGBT-supportive t-shirts…that’s the question.
If you’re going to be there – please grab me (not literally) when you see me and we can connect up. I’ll be Twittering a lot through the Convention and you can follow that Twitter feed here.