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Two teen representatives attend the Episcopal Youth Event in Baltimore

Carly Tucker (All Saints, Mobile) and Carsten Kennedy (Good Shepherd, Mobile), chaperoned by Jill Showers Chow (Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile) traveled to the Episcopal Youth Event in Baltimore, Maryland, over the July 4th holiday.

What better way to convey the spiritual excitement that EYE23 brought than through the personal reflections of each individual who experienced it?

From Cary Tucker (All Saints, Mobile), youth:

Getting to attend the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE) was an amazing experience that changed my perspective on what a church can be. The workshops I participated in were a great opportunity to dive deeper into different topics that really interested me.

One speaker who stood out was Julia Ayala Harris, the president of the House of Deputies. She spoke about the issue of exclusion and how important it is for us to create a more inclusive and supportive environment. She talked about the fact that we are all on a journey, navigating a narrow path, but by working together, we can widen that path and make acceptance more available to everyone. She referenced Esther from the Bible as an example of someone who showed courage and took action to protect her people. She said, “You can all be Esthers,” meaning that we can show the qualities of bravery and leadership.

Another speaker at the event was Bishop Curry, who emphasized the power of love. He spoke about how love has the ability to heal and restore the brokenness within ourselves, our relationships, and even the world around us. Bishop Curry stressed the importance of treating everybody as someone special, regardless of their backgrounds. Unconditional love, he said, should guide our actions and interactions. By using love as a guiding principle, we can find a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.

From Carsten Kennedy (Church of the Good Shepherd), youth:

EYE, in my eyes, can only be described in one word, inspiring. Going to EYE and listening to all the sermons and going to all the workshops opens one’s eyes to what you can do to further your faith and works in Jesus’s name. What I liked most about EYE was Bishop Curry’s sermon. Not only the funny stories about Muffin the Episcocat, but also his talk on The Book of Esther. An important lesson I took away from the EYE Convention is to be an Esther, or be an Esther to somebody.

From Jill Showers Chow (Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile), chaperone:

The Episcopal Youth Event served as a powerful testament to the enduring strength of our faith. It reminded me of the transformative power of Christ's love and its impact on your youth.

It was remarkable seeing over a thousand Episcopal youth from all across the globe in one place; all here with the same goal: faith, fellowship, and fun. With all of the youths singing, praying, and hugging, it felt almost as if we were at a spiritual rock concert. Even the bishops were dancing, trying to set the stage for the convention. While it was incredibly uplifting to see the youth and their enthusiasm for prayer, it was also a discerning time for me and my relationship with Christ. As I saw how so many youths developed their own take on faith, I asked myself how I could build a closer relationship with God. These young Episcopalians unconditionally show their love of God and embrace their calling to be disciples of Christ in their own way. And after hearing Bishop Curry's sermon during the main service, I thought about what it meant to be more like Esther. To me, that means embracing her qualities: purpose, faith, courage, unit, timing, and patience. We can bring positive change to our world and those around us through our faith, even if we have to step outside of our comfort zones. I am so proud of the youth I traveled with and the countless other adults there to help guide them in their spiritual journey.



Discipleship. Development. Discernment.
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