In Review: RYC Year Halfway Over

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BY HANNA JACKSON |

RYC opening cookout photo

A group photo from the RYC Opening Cookout. Photo by Hanna Jackson/Moravian BCM

As the end of 2017 has come and gone and the beginning of 2018 is here, I think about the past few months of Regional Youth Council (RYC) and what we have in store for the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year. This past fall we had some amazing events, both for RYC and the greater province youth.

To help knock out Senior High Camp planning, we had a great lock-in at Macedonia Moravian Church. This was a wonderful event for many reasons: 1) We were able to bond with each other early in the school year, 2) we got the majority of Senior High topics picked out and ready for Laurel Ridge to use for camp, and 3) we were able to attend a different Moravian church to see how they worship on Sunday.

Youth Fall Rally pictures

Photos from the Youth Fall Rally. Photos by Hanna Jackson/Moravian BCM

Next on the schedule was the Youth Fall Rally that was held at Friedland. Thanks to many parents of RYC members we had lots of pumpkins to carve, a DIY caramel apple station, and then we closed the night with s’mores and campfire.

For the event after the fall rally, we headed up the mountain to have our fall retreat at Laurel Ridge! During our time on the mountain, the Rev. Carol Foltz led us in learning about some of the amazing Moravian leaders in our past. We also helped Laurel Ridge by painting some of the cabins, and ended the weekend with a beautiful snow fall!

group photo of RYC

The RYC poses for a quick group photo before their fall retreat at Laurel Ridge. Photo by Andrew David Cox/Moravian BCM

 

Photo of the RYC working at Laurel Ridge

Members of the RYC participate in painting a cabin at Laurel Ridge. Photo by Hanna Jackson/Moravian BCM

We had an amazing first half of the year with the RYC, and look forward to a just as great a second half! Coming up we have a mission trip, a youth lovefeast, and a suicide awareness and prevention seminar.

In March, we are planning on offering the suicide awareness and prevention talk shop. It’ll be offered to the RYC representatives and their parents. During talk shop, the parents and youth will split up to discuss this important, but often unspoken topic, with Ruth Cole Burcaw and Rev. Kelly Moore leading. Hopefully this event will shed some light on suicide prevention and open up an important line of communication.

In April, the RYC will be hosting a provincial spring event at Hopewell Moravian Church. The details of this event are still in the works, but it will be an exciting time of fellowship and spiritual growth. Not to mention, there’s going to be a lovefeast!

The RYC also wanted to help the many families that were victims of the devastating hurricanes that affected Texas and Florida this past summer and early fall. In June, we are planning to take a group to Texas to help with some of the recovery work that is still happening. This will be a wonderful time of bonding, growth, and mission for all that are involved. This is an exciting trip to be able to take as a group and we look forward to lending a hand to those in need.

While we have many events planned for the next few months, we will still have plenty of time to do our favorite RYC activities such as singing, fellowship, and spiritual and leadership growth. These next few months are sure to be filled with exciting events for the group and I can’t wait to see all that is planned pan out. I wouldn’t be able to do any of these exciting events if it wasn’t for my wonderful adult advisors, parents, and RYC reps that make planning and organizing these events so much fun!


Questions? Comments? Contact Hanna at Hanna@MoravianBCM.org or call (336) 722-8126 Ext. 403

Hanna Jackson

Hanna Jackson is the RYC Coordinator for the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). She attends Calvary Moravian Church in Winston Salem. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, baking, and crafting.


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Stress in Faith

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BY LILLY BRENDLE |

Image of young man stressed out

Photo by Tim Gouw, via Pexels.com

Life is full of trials and tribulations. No matter where you are in life, speed bumps that can sometimes feel like walls show up to slow you down. These moments can bring one down to a point where it feels like there is no one or nothing to help you.

Some of my friends are struggling in their identity and life as a teenager. Relationships, school work, what to wear to school, how to fit in. You name it, and a teen is stressing out over it. So many situations stress us out and you have a choice whether to let it slow you down or make your wheels turn a little harder.

I know that thinking about the future stresses me out. College in the fall, my career choices, and even a big test I have tomorrow worries me. Not knowing my purpose or where my decisions will lead me causes me to question myself and my faith. I know that I am not supposed to worry and stress over things that are out of my control, but I do it anyway.  

God says “Cast your cares on the Lord  and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken,” Psalm 55:22. I go to the Lord with my struggles and worries, but sometimes I feel like I am not asking the Lord. Instead, I feel like I am asking myself to fix my own problems.

Photo of forking forest path

Photo by Jens Lelie, via Unsplash.com

As a child, I was taught to trust in the Lord with all my heart and I will be given strength. This message has been said time and time again, and I think we as humans hyper focus on those words and end up stressing ourselves out to make sure that we are following this guidance out of a sense of obligation. We as Christians should instead let go of our tight grip on the things in life and give ourselves the freedom to trust in the Lord. Not only will this help to mellow our stress, but we might find that we become better stewards and examples for others.

Helping others and sharing experiences has always been a passion of mine and helps me to feel more grounded. Not only can you see your words changing others’ behavior, but you get the chance to mean something to someone.

Recently, these situations have been presented to me by some of my close friends. Some people think that it is a sign of weakness to ask for help, because they say “there is nothing wrong with me, I don’t need help” or “I can handle my own problems.” But there is nothing wrong in seeking guidance, because to seek guidance in others of faith is to seek guidance in the Lord. “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you”(Isaiah 35:4).

Photo of person praising God next to a cross

Photo via Pexels.com

As youth in the church, we should make more of an effort to reach out to our friends and neighbors in need. Even if you aren’t a youth, everyone who helps the least of these will indeed be helping the gracious Lord himself. Through all the stress and anxiety of the world, the Lord is your backbone. Sometimes you forget he is there, but he is the only way you move through the day, despite the stress.

The future will come as it does and whatever God put on your path, he has an intention for it and you. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34. Chose to be stopped by the speed bump or go over it with confidence.

 


About the Author

 

Photo of Lilly Brendle

Photo via Lilly Brendle

Lilly Brendle is a senior at North Forsyth High School. She attends Fairview Moravian Church. Lilly loves to sing and play hand bells in church, as well as participate in youth led events for the younger children.


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Taking Laurel Ridge Home

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BY CARTER GENTLE |

Laurel Ridge

Laurel Ridge

It occurs to me that the place where I most experience God is at Laurel Ridge. It’s the place that taught me how love works, and what it means to be a Moravian and a Christian. Surrounded by God’s holy mountain and my Laurel Ridge (LR) family, it seems that my faith is elevated and life’s responsibilities seem far away. At LR, “regular” life stays at the camp entrance. Here, I can feel God’s presence with every sense. Faith seems to be less foggy, but is intensely clear. But as camp ends, the euphoria of the experience fades away and the “mountain high” dims as you pick up life at the camp exit. We talk about what we’re going to do when we come down the mountain–but it’s hard. So how do I keep the flame of the Spirit burning in me when I get down the mountain?

For me, RYC inspires me to keep that feeling alive. In helping plan future camps and Provincial activities like the Children’s Lovefeast, I am able to reconnect with old and new Moravian friends. As this year’s RYC president, I can help insure that others have the wonderful experiences that I have had.

Trinity Moravian

My home congregation, Trinity, sustains me by the Wednesday night LOGOS program. Bible study, reading scripture at worship and singing in the choirs reminds me of Christ’s presence in my life. And of course, you can’t forget the potlucks–physical food is just as important as spiritual food!

My family is very important. They support me, love me, and encourage my gifts 24/7. They’ve taught me how to lean on God in good and bad times. And no kidding, the second you walk in the door, you know you’re in a Moravian home!

Moravian candles

These three areas remind me of my faith, even down the mountain. It’s all fine and dandy to keep that great feeling in your heart. But I’ve learned that my response to God’s love has to show in the way I serve God and God’s people. Service is important to my faith because it is the outward sign of my belief. I am a Boy Scout and serve with my Troop. I help feed the homeless at the Overflow Shelter, and I’m fortunate enough to help serve Meals on Wheels with my Mawmaw, just to name a few.

These things remind me of the mountain and I remain connected to Jesus when I’m not up there. It also reminds me that whatever we do, no matter how difficult, it is to be done in love. And when things are really hard, I retreat to my “inner mountain” and remind myself to let the light that I experience at Laurel Ridge shine in and through me.


Carter Gentle bio pic

Carter Gentle is a junior at North Davidson High School. He attends Trinity Moravian Church in Winston Salem, NC. He currently is serving as the Regional Youth Council (RYC) President. 

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The Inspiring Youth of the RYC

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BY HANNA JACKSON |

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

                                                                                                                        1 Timothy 4:12

This verse is so brilliantly reflected by the youth that I have had the privilege to work with while in the Interim RYC Coordinator position.

The Regional Youth Council (RYC) is a group of high school age youth from the different Moravian churches throughout the Southern Province. They meet monthly to plan events for the province, grow in their faith, and build friendships with other Moravians their age.

 

RYC Shirt graphic

The 2017 RYC shirt artwork

 

I was in RYC when I was in high school and have fond memories of my time as a representative. Being on RYC was the highlight of my high school career; I met my best friends through RYC, I was surrounded by other Moravians, and had a blast laughing at Brad Bennett and John G. Rights try to “out pun” one another. For me, RYC was more than just a monthly meeting, it was my life.

When I accepted the job offer as the Interim RYC Coordinator, I was really excited and hopeful about the summer for many reasons. I wanted to make sure the youth that are currently in RYC have as amazing memories as I did. After sitting down with the adult advisors of RYC, we discussed different ideas on what the youth might enjoy for this coming year. After leaving this meeting, I got to work to put these ideas in place. I have spent time coordinating the time, place, and activities of this coming year’s events. I have also worked on compiling a list of all the RYC reps from the different churches. Every year, with seniors graduating and new freshmen rising, we have a new set of youth involved in the group. This brings me to my favorite part of the job: the youth!!!

 

2010 RYC

The 2010 RYC

 

Since RYC doesn’t meet in the summer, I haven’t had a lot of time to spend with the current reps, but I was lucky enough to tag along with Doug to the last few events of the 2016-2017 school year. These kids are amazing!! Watching them interact with each other, as well as the adult advisors is inspiring. There is such hope and joy in their conversations. Asking the youth about their plans in life, where they wanted to go to college… what they wanted to do to was uplifting and encouraging. Seeing this really encouraged me to plan this next school year.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

                                                                                                                        Philippians 4:6-7

As many of these youths move on to college or explore their career choices, and even the ones still in high school, I hope they remember their time spent in RYC. Remember the lessons, laughter, friendship and fellowship. They are ready to take on the world, and God has great plans for them.

 

The 2017 RYC

The 2017 RYC

 


Questions? Comments? Contact Amy Linville at Hanna@MoravianBCM.org or call (336) 722-8126 Ext. 403

Hanna Jackson

 

Hanna Jackson is the Interim RYC Coordinator for the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM). She attends Calvary Moravian Church in Winston Salem. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, baking, and crafting.

Youth Matter!

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June 14, 2016

I work with many special groups in my role as Director of Youth, College and Young Adult Ministries.  Two of them are our Regional Youth Councils (RYC).  Due to distance, one Regional Youth Council is composed of representatives and adult advisors from our Moravian churches in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. The other Regional Youth Council is composed of representatives and adult advisors from our Moravian churches in Florida. While I work throughout the year with the RYC for North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, I also visit our Florida churches at least two times a year for their youth events, and when there, will often meet with the Florida RYC.

Regional Youth Council

Each Regional Youth Council works to:

  • Glorify God through service and mission to/for youth groups in the province with an attitude of selfless love an acceptance for each other and those we serve.
  • Be a representative council serving the province by providing the communications link between churches.
  • Develop unity and friendship within the province among youth, thereby striving to unify the youth ministries program of the Southern Province.
  • Assist with the planning and coordinating of provincial youth activities.

(from the Regional Youth Council Constitution)

Our NC/VA/GA Regional Youth Council has monthly meetings during the school months and an annual Winter Retreat at Laurel Ridge. They carry out mission projects, plan provincial youth events, and help plan the Senior High Camp at Laurel Ridge. Our FL Regional Youth Council meets two to three times a year. They also plan youth events for the Florida District, including their Winter Youth Retreat, a Beach Bash & service project, and Christian music events such as Night of Joy at Disney or Rock the Universe at Universal Studios.

Florida Regional Youth Council

Both Regional Youth Councils are active and important groups in our province. Both provide great opportunities to keep our youth connected, to give them opportunities to serve, to help develop leadership among our youth, and to let them make a difference in our province and for the Lord! They also provide a lot of excitement, a lot of fun, and a lot of joy to the ministry of our province!

If you have questions or need additional information, email (drightsATmcsp.org) or call the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries at (336) 722-8126.

The Rev. Doug Rights is the Director of Youth, College, and Young Adult Ministries at the Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries (BCM).