Youth Marked for Mission at EYE14

Youth Marked for Mission at EYE14

by the Rev. Kay Rohde, Ministry Development Coordinator, Episcopal Diocese of Northern California; EYE14 chaperone

What do you have when 1,100 high school-aged Episcopalians and 200 adult chaperones gathering together to worship with singing, dancing and clapping? Listening and being moved by stories of transformation? Visiting places where holy work has been and is continuing to be done? Understanding what it is to be “Marked for Mission?” And to not just wanting to do something to “bring forth the City of God,” but to “Go” and make it real? In the words of Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, “I have HOPE for the church!” That was the message that rang true and clear at this year's Episcopal Youth Event (EYE14) in Philadelphia.

How long have we been hearing about the 5 Marks of Mission? Might we have become jaded and think they are just words that describe the “flavor” of the month for the church? Can you remember what they are? Marked for Mission took those Marks and made them real and easily remembered at the 2014 Episcopal Youth Experience (EYE14), through stories shared by speakers like Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the Rev. Becca Stevens and the women from Magdalene House and the Right Rev. Michael Curry. They illustrated that the power of mission is to bring forth the City of God.

A day spent in Philadelphia visiting sites where work to bring forth the Kingdom of God is transforming lives and where pivotal moments in the history of the church is woven into the history of this country was eye opening! Who knew all the stories that Church of the Advocate, Philadelphia has to tell? And those 5 Marks of Mission, do you know them? By the end of EYE14, the 1300 of us who attended did! We went, we heard, we saw and with our bracelets we will remember to: Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure. (Our northern California group is pictured here with the Presiding Bishop the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, at top center.)

The power of the experience is that it didn't end with the closing Eucharist and commissioning. We were sent out – to tell the stories; to teach the love; to tend the hungry, the homeless, the lonely, the refugee; to transform lives and in so doing, be transformed and to treasure and take care of all that God created and all that God loves. There are many stories – too many for one sitting. So stay tuned, there will be more reflections of EYE14. P.S. And I learned to use Instagram #EYE14!

Here are a few reflections, in our own words, from those of us who were lucky to be a part of this event:

#EYE14 was amazing! I am so glad I decided to come! I came thinking I wouldn’t like it and left wanting to stay! I can feel myself being closer to God. Back home, I used to be scared to talk out loud about my beliefs, but EYE changed that for me! I will be coming home speaking out loud about what I believe and that is awesome! I have made some great memories that will stay with me forever! EYE made all this happen! Before I go, I want to thank Megan and Kay for sticking beside us teenage girls and for being the chilliest chaperons ever! I am for sure coming back to be a help! EYE needs to keep going on for a long time! Everyone there had so much fun and so did I! P.S. I think the music was most people’s favorite part, as well as mine! #EYE14

Chloe Robnett
St. Alban’s in Arcata

EYE 14 was really awesome. I really enjoyed meeting new people from across the U.S. and beyond. The best part about that was we all had our faith in common and we could share it with each other. What was also really good was how we were shown all the ways in which we could make the church and the world so much better. It encouraged me to broaden my horizons and consider new options I didn’t know existed. I think I could hear God Better among all those people who are just as passionate about their faith as I am. I loved going and I hope this opportunity will remain for youth in the future.

Rachel Curtis, St. Alban’s in Arcata

EYE 14 was the best thing that has happened! I miss my friends from different places already! EYE taught me to be myself, that everyone is unique in their own way. They taught me that many cultures are different and special. EYE band music, choir, movies, workshops where all amaing. The fact that it was hot, kinda sucked. I met all my new friends! I had a bnlast because everyone had been so nice and sweet!!! Experiencing my friends from Honduras AMAZING! THANKS!

Cristal, St. Paul’s in Healdsburg

This experience was so amazing! Thank you so much for allowing me to have this wonderful experience. This week made me feel so close to God and made me inspired to go out into the world and spread the word and love of God. Thank you again! I cannot express enough what a beautiful experience I had! God Bless!

Shannen Hansen, Trinity Church in Folsom

THIS (the above messages from the youth) IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO! I would not be who I am today without my EYE experience and amazing youth community- past and present! It was the Biggest gift to accompany these B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L youth on their EYE! I am inspired and renewed by their courage, humor, wisdom, worthy questions, and deep and contagious love for God and for the world! This is just the beginning! With high hopes for our future together! Let’s spread the movement. Let’s give our all for these powerful J-O-Y-O-U-S leaders!

The Rev. Megan AndersonTrinity Cathedral, Sacramento; EYE14 chaperone

Being with all of these leaders fills me with an incredible feeling of Hope. There was such joy and faith and it permeated all we did! You could feel the Spirit at work in that place and it filled the air, even as we traveled home. To watch transformation happen, right in front of you and to feel it yourself. They/we absorbed the messages – “You ARE the church”, “ GO – You are marked for Mission” and in laughter, dancing, singing, praise and prayer. Hope is alive! My prayer is that we will support these leaders in more than words! They have much to tell us – when we are willing to listen! GO! We are all marked for Mission – These amazing young church folks know it and are going to live it! #EYE14

The Rev. Kay Rohde, Ministry Development Coordinator, Episcopal Diocese of Northern California; EYE14 chaperone

Click here to view the live stream videos from the opening convocations, plenary speakers, music and closing ceremony.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. amy dierlam wrote:
Glad to see we are still participating in this national event to help strengthen and encourage youth in their faith journies!!

Tue, August 26, 2014 @ 9:59 PM

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