Three high-schoolers and two adults recently returned from the Province IV Youth Leadership Gathering in Charleston, S.C. They gathered at the Coastal Retreat Center on Thursday afternoon with youth and adult leaders from sixteen dioceses in Province IV of the Episcopal Church. Province IV consists of nineteen dioceses in the southeastern U.S.
The high school youth
in attendance were carefully selected to represent their dioceses. The Central Gulf Coast’s high school youth leaders shared about their diocesan youth ministries, led an activity to explore the diversity in the communities of the diocese, and made meaningful relationships across the province. On Saturday they learned about other dioceses by hearing what they do well and what challenges they face. They also learned about the history of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and explored Charleston.
At the conclusion of the conference, The Central Gulf Coast youth were asked to reflect on their experience.
“We learned that many dioceses across our province have the same challenges, but when we come together, we don’t feel alone and can brainstorm creative solutions,” said Tonia Hernandez of Christ Church, Pensacola.
“We made new friends from all over our province who taught us new songs and games, which is good practical help for camp and youth events,” said Christian Kennedy-Milligan of Good Shepherd, Mobile.
“It was nice to be with other Episcopal youth who are leaders and being able to share unified worship experiences which weren’t all uniform,” said Natalie Smith of St. James, Fairhope. Jen Manning, Youth Minister at St. James, said, “I made valuable relationships with other youth coordinators from all over the province… I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with the larger church.”
The next Province IV Youth Leadership Gathering will be held December 1-4, 2016, in the Diocese of Western North Carolina at Lake Logan Episcopal Center.