Diverse Group Already Planning UMC's National YOUTH 2015 Event

July 22, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–  A diverse design team of United Methodist youth and adults from around the United States is already at work planning YOUTH 2015, the upcoming edition of the uniquely Methodist youth event formed to enhance the spiritual lives of participants and their local congregations.

The quadrennial national event for United Methodist youth and leaders, scheduled for June 24-28, 2015, is being organized by a 32-member design team resourced by Young People's Ministries of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD).

“We have team members from every jurisdiction in the U.S., including 25 different annual conferences,” said Chris Wilterdink, Director of Program Development at Young People's Ministries. “The design team includes diversity by age, geography and size of church or youth group they represent.”

Wilterdink said the team, which conducted its first organizational meeting last month, reflects the ethnic diversity of the UMC, with team members coming from a variety of backgrounds. It also includes 11 members between the ages of 12-18.

“Inviting youth to serve in leadership roles during this signature event will showcase not only the quality of young leaders in the denomination, but also highlight the importance of leading alongside young people in a variety of ministry settings,” he said. “The team split into sub-teams focusing on worship, missions, small groups, workshops, communication and hospitality/administration with youth involved in each team.”

A primary goal of the design team is for YOUTH 2015 to be “accessible, relevant, and culturally competent for any United Methodist youth that attends," Wilterdink said.

“That includes a focus on diversity in stage presence, performers, styles of worship and connectional context. The team will also strive to integrate accessibility options for those with disabilities,” he said.  

The theme for YOUTH 2015 is GO ON, and the event will focus on John Wesley's theology about "going on to Christian perfection.”

“The whole event will be built around the Wesleyan Acts of Piety and Mercy, including mission and service opportunities,” Wilterdink said.

YOUTH 2015 will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Florida.  For more information on the event, visit Facebook or Twitter and search Youth 2015 or the official event hashtag, #Y15umc.