Every three years, over 1,500 Episcopal youth in grades 9-12 from all over the United States, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador gather to worship, study scripture, deepen their faith and encourage one another to live faith-filled lives and grow in love for God.
This year, the Episcopal Youth Event 2014 will take place at Villanova University outside Philadelphia, from July 9-13. Three youth (Max D’Amico, Gabe and Benjamin Hulbert) and their chaperone (Susan Hulbert) will represent St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Diocese of San Diego at this year’s EYE. They plan to learn, and to bring what they learn back to their parish and diocese.
This is a mission trip of a different kind. Instead of building houses, feeding the hungry or assisting the poor, this group is on a mission to learn, grow and expand within the Episcopal Church.
Their mission is to capture important messages, experiences, stories and insights that they can share with all of us from the larger church in the United States. They are on a mission to uncover new, deeper, and interesting ways to find God and then to explore ways to talk about that with others.
When Gabe, Benjamin, Max and Susan return from EYE they will have opportunities to share their experiences with individual churches and our diocese as a whole. Here is some of what each attendee is hoping to find while on mission this summer:
Gabe has been very active in Happening events as well as the Annual Convention, was a member of the diocesan mission trip to the Navajo Nation in 2013, and has been a leader for youth programs in the diocese for several years. He is interested in meeting more young Episcopalians and others involved in youth ministry in the Episcopal Church. He wants to learn from what they have done and use what he learns to improve our St. Paul’s and diocesan youth programs. Gabe is looking forward to becoming part of a larger network of youth and youth leaders in the Episcopal Church.
Max staffed his first Happening event this winter and is an active member of that community. As a senior member of the St. Paul’s Cathedral boys choir last year, he helped in training and mentoring the younger choristers, and he often takes on a leadership role within his youth group at St. Paul’s. Max wants to meet more people from all over the country so that he can learn from a broad number of viewpoints. He is looking forward to discussions that are wide-ranging and diverse. He hopes to learn from EYE about things he can do in our parish and diocese to improve our youth ministry.
Benjamin has been a committed youth group member and acolyte at St. Paul’s, where he is the youngest and (most enthusiastic) thurifer. He has been active at Happening and at Annual Conventions, and has attended church-sponsored youth seminars on global human rights issues at the UN. Benjamin hopes that EYE includes topics he can bring back for discussion at St. Paul’s youth group, especially topics that tie into international concerns. He is looking forward to meeting new people from different parts of the country and learning how the Episcopal Church is different in other parts of the US.
Susan is a member of the chapter at St. Paul’s Cathedral and a strong voice for youth programming within our region. Susan is excited to support the youth on this great adventure, welcomes the opportunity to deepen her faith, and hopes to get some ideas for energizing and expanding youth ministry at St. Paul’s and in the diocese.
Our EYE contingent leaves for Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 8 and returns on Sunday, July 13. Please pray for our EYE-ers in the week ahead and while they are at EYE 2014 in Philadelphia.
Follow them on social media #EYE14 #EYEEDSD14 #EYESPC14
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