As I’m sure you know, I recently spent a week in Pittsburgh attending the Mennonite Church USA bi-annual convention. Convention is about many things: bonding as an MYF, meeting new people, being reminded of just how many people “out there” believe similar things as you, to be inspired and moved by Christ and the words of his people.
One aspect I love about convention is the Youth Worship Services. I love having 2 worship services per day, being fully immersed in worshiping Christ. What really makes Youth Worship special,however, isn’t the music (although I DO enjoy the music) it’s the speakers. In the Youth Worship setting almost all of the speakers are speaking messages that are both thought provoking and encouraging. After EVERY SINGLE SERVICE I found myself with a statement or phrase that wouldn’t leave my head, that made me think about my personal faith journey, absolutely amazing.
Seminars are also amazing, with three a day and at least six or seven choices to choose from for each time slot, you are sure to find something inspirational every day. Personally I found myself inspired (among many others, I’m sure) by one particular speaker, Scott Roth. After attending his seminar entitled “Lost…” I decided to attend both of his other offered seminars one of which was about passion and the other about prayer. This seminar was absolutely amazing, and while I won’t go into much detail (feel free to talk to me about it, seriously, please do, I’m dying of boredom here at home…) I will tell you the types of prayer he described (many of which we actually tried during the seminar) The first is your usual listening prayer, where one person prays and the others participating listen and make that persons prayer their own. The second prayer was an imaginative prayer, where you closed your eyes and imagined yourself in your favorite place doing your favorite thing, Jesus (or God, which ever you prefer) walks up to you and you have a conversation. There was also a group prayer where several prayer requests were taken and then everyone prays out loud together for those requests. Another out loud prayer we prayed was a submissive prayer where you raise your hands above your head, or kneel and just cry out to God. He also spoke about written prayers, before leading us in our final prayer of the seminar, musical prayer. For the musical prayer he pretty much just played a music video (the one below) and we could sing, dance, just stand and let the music flow through us, etc. and experience the prayer of the song, it was awesome.
There are multiple aspects to Convention, and many of them can’t be explained fully. No one can truly explain just how meaning is found in such an event, how afterwards all you want to do is live that week over and over, no matter how exhausting it was, or how one feels found rather than lost among such a large gathering of people who would be strangers (you know if we weren’t all related to one another.)
Love, Mandi Jo