From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Presbyterian Student Strategy Team
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 PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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