From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Presbyterian Student Strategy Team

Date 04 May 1996 16:06:08


96120           Presbyterian Student Strategy Team 
             Gears up for Fall Young Adult Conference 
                         by Julian Shipp 
KANSAS CITY, Mo.--Gathering here Feb. 2-4, delegates from the Presbyterian 
Student Strategy Team V (PSST) and Disciples of Christ and United Churches 
of Christ Student Ecumenical Partnership (STEP) planned an Oct. 4-6 
conference for young leaders at Tall Oaks Conference Center outside of 
Kansas City, Kan. 
     After much discussion about "Generation X," that generation's issues 
and the church today, participants agreed that their objectives for the 
conference include invigorating students, promoting conversation, 
strengthening local and regional networking, communicating among students 
and meeting as respective denominations. 
     "It was decided that the best way to fulfill these goals would be by 
developing a message from our generation to the church, with the purpose 
being to give students the opportunity to develop a message outlining what 
students ask and what students offer," said Julie Dunning, a PSST member 
and student at the University of Rochester, N.Y. 
     "The conference is an invitational leadership event focusing around 
the theme  Cherishing the Past, Challenging the Present, Chiseling the 
Future,'" Dunning said. 
     The conference will feature three speakers. The keynote speaker will 
be Cindy Dougherty, who will discuss the conference theme. Dougherty is the 
newly elected president of the National Benevolent Association, which is 
the social services  arm of  the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 
based in St. Louis, Mo. The other two speakers, Kyle Walker and Madge 
Vasquez, are student leaders in their denominations. 
     Walker is a current PSST V member and Vasquez is a past STEP member. 
Both will reflect on church life in college and on their personal growth 
processes while attempting to answer the questions "What do students ask?" 
and "What do students offer?" the church.  Small-group time after the 
speaker's presentations will provide students time together for sharing, 
discussing the speaker's ideas, and answering questions posed by the 
     Other features of the conference include music by the Rev. Isaiah 
Jones  Jr., a  Presbyterian pastor and vocalist at Oregon State University 
in Corvallis, Ore.,  time for regional groups to gather, and a period for 
the three sponsoring denominations to gather. For Presbyterians, this 
denominational time will allow for the election of PSST VI members, who 
will serve from January 1997 to December 1988. 
     Dunning said the weekend event will end with a "fishbowl" discussion 
in another attempt to formulate dialogue among student participants. 
Throughout the weekend, students will be asked their views on what students 
ask and what they offer. 
     "These [responses] will be videotaped and played for the entire group 
in order to promote discussion on the various positions in the church that 
students occupy and hopefully promote understanding between the generations 
of the church," Dunning said. "It is hoped that this videotape can also be 
used to show the church what students ask of the church and what students 
     According to conference organizers, PSST and STEP hope to attract a 
diverse group of participants, particularly racial-ethnic students. 
Officials are seeking seven to10 participants from each region of the 
country, with a total of 50 students invited along with the current PSST 
and STEP teams. 
     Applicants preferably will be affiliated with the Presbyterian, UCC or 
DOC churches, since other denominations have events for their youth, but 
all student leaders are invited to apply. 
     Participants must be leaders in the religious life of their campus or 
community and must be enrolled in their educational institution at least 
until the spring of 1997. For more information, contact Julie Dunning at 
(716) 274-2096 or Ed Chan, another PSST member, at (607) 266-0525. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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