FX West Draws Young People for Pura Vida

January 23, 2014

By Dr. Larry R. Hygh, Jr., Communications Director
"Pura Vida," meaning pure life, was the theme of the FX West weekend with 86 participants from nine churches across the California-Nevada Conference gathering at Mount Hermon Conference Center near Santa Cruz. The event was a partnership with North Carolina based Tsunami Ministries.  
"We want them to be encouraged, we don't want to be just a pep rally…our hope is that there are nuggets of each of the sessions that they are able to take with them in their daily lives," said the Rev. Steve Keaton, President of Tsunami Ministries and a United Methodist pastor. Keaton was the keynote speaker for the weekend. He says the four aspects of living a pure life are: living fearlessly, living passionately, living a transformed life, and living an active life. Keaton says he wants to "encourage students to be a wave of change."
Kelly Peterson, California-Nevada Conference Director of Camping and Young People's Ministry, said the partnership with Tsunami Ministries grew out of her work with Youth 2011.  She says, "We hope to grow a winter retreat for junior and senior high youth." The event included worship, small groups, speakers, a service project, and recreation.
Chris Low, Youth Leader for  Castro Valley United Methodist Church, brought five youth from his congregation to the event.  He said, "Our goal is to always nurture that relationship with God at an early age." He added, "We want to show the kids that there are other kids like them going through the same type of situations."
Mykela Hite, a seventh grader from First United Methodist Church in Sacramento, said, "We're learning to not let fear hold us back."