GYC Northwest Holds Convention
On March 21–25, 2018, more than 150 young people from across the North Pacific Union gathered at the Village Church in College Place, Wash., for the 2018 Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) Northwest convention. The main speakers, including Dee Casper, Taj Pacleb and Chad Kreuzer, presented powerful and thoughtful messages centered around the convention’s theme: "Return. Receive. Run."
The theme, based on Hosea 6:1–3, explored man’s continual unfaithfulness to God in the context of His continual seeking after that which is lost — not to punish or rebuke, but to heal and to restore. Referencing this theme, the main speakers called attendees to return to God — not merely for an empty profession of faith, but rather to receive the full measure of His grace in and through their lives.
One of the exciting new program features at this year’s convention were the Thursday and Friday morning seminars, which gave attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into specialized areas of evangelism and ministry. Among others, the program included seminars on Adventist history by Fred Bischoff, Christian business by Mike Tillay, healthy relationships by Chad and Fadia Kreuzer, and literature evangelism by Robert Koorenny.
On Thursday afternoon, the attendees were given an opportunity to stretch their muscles and take a break from sitting to participate in the inaugural GYC Northwest 5K fun run. Despite the weather turning for the worse, more than 50 attendees braved cold temperatures and steady rain to run around the course, which wound its way through College Place, passing by the Mount Hope Cemetery and Walla Walla University.
On Friday afternoon, attendees were given the opportunity to practically apply the training they had received by participating in community outreach. The attendees were transported out to the nearby city of Pasco, Wash., where they handed out GLOW (Giving Light to Our World) tracts and conducted Bible study interest surveys. In total, participants handed out more than 800 tracts, collected 64 Bible study requests, distributed 57 copies of larger books (Steps to Christ and The Great Controversy) and prayed with 16 people.
The Sabbath morning service was the highlight of the convention program, with a Sabbath School message presented by Casper and a divine service message presented by Pacleb. Attendees were joined by regular members from the Village church and other area churches, for a total of more than 660 people attending the Sabbath morning meetings.
On Sabbath afternoon, attendees were given an opportunity to learn how to bring the spirit and mission of GYC back to their local churches and communities through the GYC Beyond plenary. In addition to an inspiring report from Global Youth Day, presenters including Koorenny, Moise Ratsara, Taylor Hinkle, Ted Evert and Jason Worf shared about God’s call for young people to get involved in the work of the church and presented practical ways for young people to participate in evangelism in their local churches.
The Beyond plenary was followed by a small-group networking session, during which attendees were split up by their local regions within the North Pacific Union for the purpose of brainstorming and planning evangelism projects for their local churches. We are looking forward to sharing the many outreach reports which will be resulting from this ongoing initiative.
If you were blessed by this year’s GYC Northwest convention (or if you weren’t able to come and would like to join us next time), we have some great news for you. The 2019 GYC Northwest convention will be held in Spokane, Wash., March 27–31, 2019. Our 2019 theme — "The Shadow’s Light" — is based on 1 John 4:10 and will explore the love, grace and power of God in the context of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Registration opens this fall. For more details and updates, visit www.gycnorthwest.org. We hope to see you there!