Reformed Youth Movement – Summer Camp 2007 Pacific Northwest

56 teens learning the doctrines of Justification and Sanctification, braving the ropes course, and laughing at, then discussing “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” is dominating the Reformed Youth Movement Summer Camp 2007 in the Pacific Northwest. There’s more: The teen band leading worship music – singing psalms and hymns set to new tunes – teens worshipping a holy and gracious God. Michael Subracko preaching on our identity in Christ and God’s promises made good to us in Christ is shaping these teens to live confidently and productively to the glory of God.
Reformed Youth Movement seeks to connect teens with the Reformed University Fellowship of the Presbyterian Church in America. In the Pacific Northwest, we support two Reformed University Fellowships at the University of Washington and at the University of Oregon. Ryan Hughes is the Campus Minister at UW and David Rapp is the Campus Minister at UO.
RYM Camp is vital to the spiritual development of teen members of our church. They need to pursue faith and life in a context removed from their parents from time to time. As teens transition from childhood to adulthood, these events apart from parental oversight is significant. Our adult staff to camper ratio is one to 3.5 and five of these adult staff are ordained ministers of the gospel! If a parent could be a fly on the wall at this conference center, he/she would be impressed with the spiritual maturity of these teens. Significant needs and problems plague a good number of the campers, but the gospel of freedom in Christ ministers to them all.
Teens that do not take advantage of such events often suffer in two ways: 1) they don’t know how to make wise choices when they finally are free of their parents’ oversight and authority; 2) they do not persevere in the most holy faith, never having made it their own, having merely complied with their parents’ domain of faith.
The peer interaction is not only necessary in these situations, but it is quite spiritually moving to observe. I have seen teens reach out to peers who suffer from mild mental disabilities, treating them as one of the group and respectfully protecting them. At this particular camp, one teen is legally blind and has slight mental disability. He is part of the group. Another is legally deaf and has slight mental disability. She is part of the group. Another teen is in shock at the divorce of his parents and abandonment of him, yet at camp he is part of the group receiving comfort, assurance, and spiritual sustenance. Through peer interaction, these teens are discovering that the church is larger than their particular congregation, youth group, and family unit. Building relationships with teens from other congregations is helpful to the formation of a Christian adult.
Reformed Youth Movement supports and reenforces congregational and family life. Our participants return to church and home ready to submit to authority, charged up about serving Christ, saturated by the gospel, and appreciative for the comforts and blessings of their usual environment.

Published in: General Discussion | on June 21st, 2007 | No Comments »

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