(Mennonite Church USA) — The Gathering Live 2018 will take place on May 4-6 in Kansas City with the theme “Encountering God: Faith that Matters.” The gathering is for youth ministry leaders and anyone interested in faith formation, including youth ministry teams, pastors, educators, camp workers, sponsors, youth workers and faith formation leaders.
“One of our primary tasks as youth ministry leaders is to help the next generation respond to their encounters with God,” said John Stoltzfus, youth minister for Franconia Mennonite Conference and part of the planning team for The Gathering Live 2018. “At the gathering we will look at how we can nurture a consequential lifelong faith that takes on the shape of the life of Christ in us and our youth.”
Each session will include teaching, storytelling from congregational ministry contexts and group discussion about practical application. Input sessions will be based on Kenda Creasy Dean’s book Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church.
The weekend event will include practical resourcing through an Anabaptist lens, worship and networking time. Participants will also have an opportunity to speak into the MennoCon19 convention planning process, and get oriented to the city and convention center where it will take place.
“The networking and equipping that happens at the Gathering Live benefits youth ministry across the denomination,” said Scott Hartman, Convention Planning coordinator for MC USA. “Youth ministry folks will have the chance to hear about plans for the upcoming convention and provide feedback from their perspective.”
“This gathering is a significant time of being renewed in our calling as leaders, sharing best practices in Anabaptist youth ministry, listening to God through one another and collaborating in shared ministry,” said Stoltzfus. “I hope participants will be inspired and encouraged by connecting with other youth ministry leaders and take away practical ideas for reimagining ministry in their own context.”
The event planning team also includes Andrea Wall, Danilo Sanchez, Olivia Bartel, Shana Peachy Boshart and Renee Reimer.