Amberlyn: Hi, I’m Amberlyn. I am 14 years old. This summer I had the chance to go to Youth 2015 in Orlando, Florida. The central message of Youth 2015 dealt with growing up in Christ.
At Youth 2015 we embarked on a spiritual journey through workshops and attending worship. On this adventure of self-discovery we met many other Methodists from different states and saw where they stand on many topics which led me to explore the many different things that make up the United Methodist church. The main theme was to Go On and Take Action. It was inspiring to hear from teenagers that they are doing great things in service to others. I am still soul searching and seeking God’s guidance to find my calling. The conference was very youth oriented, the messages, music and workshops were all geared to teenagers, so I not only enjoyed it, but I understood more and got a lot out of it. There were so many great workshops and we could choose what interested us and where we wanted to focus our attention to gain new insights and growth.
In addition to the conference, I enjoyed the Harry Potter experience at Universal Studios, Disney’s Epcot Center and the beach along the Atlantic Ocean – the water was much warmer, and saltier, there than it is here. It was fun to experience my first plane ride with my friends and get to know them better. Staying with friends for 24 hours a day for 10 days we had the chance to see how we are outside of church. And we are still friends! I really appreciate that Dee took us and had the patience to put up with us for 10 days!
Dart: My name is Dart. I am the proud Mom to three Cherubs (that is more of an affirmation, than a reality) and we’ve attended PB UMC for the past 12 years or so. This summer my middle Cherub, Amberlyn, had the opportunity to go to Florida to attend Youth 2015, a conference for United Methodist youth, held every four years. This was a series of firsts for us. First time Amberlyn was away from home for 10 days, first time she flew on a plane (that she remembers), first time for her to attend a conference, first time traveling across country with this group of awesome friends. Also the first time for her Mom to let her fly so far from home and trust that she’d fly back safely. My Cherub is stretching her wings. Only because she would be in the kind care of our awesome Youth Minister, Dee Baraw, was this even a possibility – in a word, Dee “ROCKS”.
The church family was generous to help with the fundraising efforts, generous with prayers and well wishes, too. PB UMC has a long history of supporting the youth activities, but this year the church community really rose to the occasion to send four of our Youth to the conference – clear across the United States! I’m sure the girls will remember this trip as one of great growth and insight. I appreciate that PB UMC ministers to children, all of our children from toddlers in the nursery to school age kids in Sunday school, the Best Group, and the teens’ group…everyone has a place to belong. It’s one of the things that make our church special. One of the things that make it home.
In four years Amberlyn will be getting ready to go off to college, she may have a job, she’s not likely to go to Youth 2019 – however, her younger brother, Devin, will be ready! I look forward to the support of our church family to make the conference a reality for the next group. I thank you in advance for your generous donations!