California-Nevada Young Adults Conference: Making Connections

September 02, 2010

By Andrew Davis
Young Adult from Rancho Cordova UMC

On Saturday, August 14, a group of young adults in their 20s and 30s from the California-Nevada Annual Conference came together for a day of fellowship, discussion, and making connections at Japanese UMC in Sacramento. Coordinated by Kelsey Papst (Sacramento St. Mark's), the conference was a daylong event formed by, and led by, young adults to make connections with each other and find ways about being involved in the church and addressing some of the issues that young adults face in their faith journey. 
In her introduction about the event, Kelsey Papst wrote: 
"So often, people in their 20s and 30s feel lost in the age gap at their local churches. Too old for youth groups, members in their 20s become busy and move on from their childhood congregations. First-timers looking for a church home find few friends near their age who are at the same place in life. Attrition rates are high and many congregations are aging."
Kelsey added that the overall hope of the conference was to "encourage a sense of belonging and renew faith in those who so often start to feel less connected" – which was a large part of what the conference was about. 
During the time together, there were various workshops that talked about devotion and spending time with God amidst a busy schedule; inclusion in the church and the Reconciling Ministries Network; evangelism; tithing; dealing with times when friends and faith collide; and making connections with other religions. 
In addition to the workshops, there was also time to worship God, with a message by the Rev. Motoe Yamada, Holy Communion, and a time of prayer and worship at the end of the day. 
The conference was an overall success, many new friendships and connections were made, and we look forward to more events in the near future!
"Thank you" to Kelsey for organizing this, to [Conference Young People's Ministries Director] Kelly Newell for her support, to Bishop Brown for the video greeting, and to Rev. Motoe Yamada and Sacramento Japanese UMC for opening their doors to this great event.