By Jeremiah Henry, Youth Writer
It's the summertime, but I was wide awake at 6:00 a.m. because my mother said we were going to Harambee, an annual youth event sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodist for Church Renewal (SEJ BMCR). You are probably like me and didn't know what that meant, but it is Swahili for "let's pull together." This was to be my first UM activity outside of my local church and annual conference. My brother Tyler is a member of the General Board of Church and Society and twice a year he gets to travel off to do the work of the church. I'm excited to see how I can get involved in the United Methodist Church as well. We finally got going and after 12 hours and what felt like a thousand stops, we arrived on the campus of Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Each year youth from all over the Southeastern Jurisdiction come together for a week of spiritual enrichment, group discussions and fun. The theme this year was "Sold Out for Christ, Destined for Greatness." Rev. Ellis White, Pastor of Camden First UMC, was the guest speaker and he spoke to us in a way we could understand and easily follow. Every night we had Destiny Discussions that allowed us to discuss the day's activities and apply them to our everyday life. We were fortunate to participate in an ice cream social sponsored by Young People's Ministries, a cookout sponsored by the Black College Fund and movie night sponsored by Africa University. My mother explained to me that when we pay money in church, a portion of our money goes to the annual conference and a portion of that money goes to the general church so that organizations can sponsor activities just like this. I think I'll add a little more in Sunday's offering.