Appeal to Grow in God Continues

More than 600 youth, young adults and chaperones who attended the quinquennial West Coast Youth Conference in August 2023 are still responding to the appeal to grow in God.

WCYC is an organization designed to develop and empower urban youth and young adults to be leaders and disciples of Jesus who influence their communities through service. The 2023 gathering was held in Phoenix, Arizona.

WCYC occurs once every five years for youth and young adults in North Pacific Union and Pacific Union Conference. It consists of participants from nine states: California, Utah, Nevada, British Columbia, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. 

The last conference took place in Ontario, California, in March 2018, with less than 20 young people and chaperones in attendance from NPUC. Through the financial support of NPUC, respective conferences and local churches, there was close to a 600% increase in the number of attendees for the 2023 conference, totaling 127 young people.

Although the union and conferences provided financial support and encouraged attendance, support from the local church level is what makes a difference. 

Youth ministry is an important ministry. It’s helpful when local churches invest in the spiritual growth and development of their young people by providing safe spaces where they can feel accepted and by funding trips like WCYC.

Events like WCYC encourage revival among young people and promote connections. It was an amazing experience for the young people to worship with peers who share the same faith. They experienced dynamic worship and participated in life-changing workshops, service projects and more.

Some young people got an opportunity to write a song with Nicholas Miller, musical artist, that they got to sing during worship. It was delightful to see how excited and engaged the young people were to come up with the right lyrics to complete verses.

Every evening, most, if not all, of our young people responded to the appeal to grow in God. Nine from NPUC requested Bible studies to prepare for baptism. Worship was on fire, so much so, that each night the service ended with an extended worship session. The organizers would have to turn the lights off to get participants to leave.

At every event, there must be something fun. Social events help foster connections among peers, which can result in lifelong, meaningful relationships. The youth and young adults took advantage of the three swimming pools and a water park offered by  Grand Arizona Resort between and after sessions. What a joy it was to see youth interacting with their peers from separate regions.

Special thanks to the two unions, conferences, local churches and members for making it possible for young people to participate in events like WCYC where they are empowered and developed to stand for Christ, church and their community. The echoes of this experience resonate long after the event ends.