By John W. Coleman
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 (NRSV)
While many in our world have been suffering from fire and floods, among other natural and human catastrophes, one existential message of hope remains constant and worthy of reminding: that God is our Protector. Always. Through every turbulent ordeal. “A very present help in times of need.”
The 2019 Peninsula-Delaware Youth Rally will proclaim that message, with the theme “Protector,” in very personal ways to over 3,500 young people and their adult ministry leaders this weekend, January 4-6, at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, in Ocean City, Md.
The 32nd Annual Youth Rally will overflow its vast arena, exhibit hall and breakout rooms with worship and praise in speeches, skits and songs, along with fun, faith-forming activities to nurture fellowship and friendships. The stage has been set for music and messages that will challenge and inspire youth and adults to shout and scream, wonder and witness to the joy and freedom of knowing, relying on and sharing Christ.
A new mini-stage in the exhibit hall will feature a talent show full of surprises and karaoke singing for those who dare. On Sunday morning Bishop Peggy Johnson will lead the gathering in Holy Communion; and participants will give to an offering for mission. They will also celebrate the winner of the “Proclaim the Name” preaching contest (formerly known as “Spittin’ the Word”).
Learn more and see the full line-up of exciting presenters and performers.
And please pray for the entire assembly to travel safely and have an enjoyable, meaningful adventure, especially the youth and adults coming from Eastern PA. “We will have 22 churches represented,” reports David Piltz, Conference Coordinator of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, “with approximately 96 adults and 241 youth attending from our conference, including our Conference Council on Youth Ministry leaders.”
CCYM leaders will be wearing black t-shirts inscribed with a mysterious message: “Easier Said than Done – March 16, 2019.” And they will be eager to interpret that message to any who ask. (Hint: It refers to the theme of our own Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally planned for March 16 at Wesley UMC in Bethlehem, PA.) Also, CCYM leaders will have a gift for each church present at the rally.
Moreover, we will gather for a large-group photo on Saturday just before lunch. Look for that photo and others, as well as comments from participants, on our new “Eastern PA Youth at Protector Rally 2019” Facebook group page.
Check it out now and later to see posts, even after the rally ends. We will be posting content to the #protector2019epac tag on both Twitter and Instagram. Follow us and post your own comments there using the hashtag #protector2019epac.