Several events make big splashes during summer


By the Advocate

When nearly 700 United Methodist youth gathered a Geyser Falls water park near Philadelphia recently, it marked the end of an active summer. 

Eric Sanford, who worked with youth as a summer intern in the Mississippi Conference office, said he was pleased with how the summer progressed. 

“It picked up as the summer went along,” he said. “We didn’t have the numbers at the Youth Leadership Conference they’ve had in the past, but we had 260 sign up for Convo and 224 participated.” 

The major events of the summer included:

  • Youth Leadership Conference (formerly Youth Annual Conference), held June 22-24 at Millsaps College
  •  Convo held July 14-16 at Seashore Assembly in Biloxi.
  •  Youth Day at Geyser Falls, held Aug. 5. 

“I think all the events did what they were intended to do,” Sanford said. “We wanted the Leadership Conference to focus on developing leaders and with the workshops and speaker we had we were able to do that.” 

Some 121 youth from 39 churches participated. Each church or charge is allowed to send two representatives. At the gathering, district and conference youth leadership elections were held. 

At Convo, youth and adults did post-Katrina work. They dug trenches, hung sheetrock, painted, repaired fences and did other yardwork. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward served as the keynote speaker. 

At Geyser Falls, 646 youth pre-registered, and more than 700 attended the day-long event. 

Plans are already underway for the next big youth event – a trip to Zimbabwe. The trip is scheduled for May 27-June 5 with Ward leading the trip as part of the Chabadza Covenant between the Mississippi and Zimbabwe conferences. Deadline to apply is Oct. 1.