It's four days of crazy fun, boisterous singing, and deep reflection. Every three years, the youth, young adults, and leaders of the United Church gather at an event called Rendez-vous. The most recent one was held in Winnipeg in August 2014.
There's some time for meals, but otherwise it's a jam-packed schedule of worship, workshops, outings, and just meeting other young people from across the country. Sleep is at a premium for everyone, but the participants all say it's worth it. They form friendships that will last decades and deepen their faith in new ways.
To organize 450 people—participants and local volunteers—takes time and money. Mission and Service provides the infrastructure to make the event happen. Two staff members of the General Council Office begin to plan two years in advance with the help of a volunteer planning team. They manage the publicity, registration, and logistics to get people from one end of the country and back again in less than a week. There is no end to the tiny details.
Our gifts for Mission and Service make events like Rendez-vous possible. For youth and young adults, it's a chance to grow in their faith. For leaders, it's an opportunity to gather new ideas and perspectives on the vital leadership they provide in churches.
Nurturing young people's faith ensures the United Church for the future. I wonder if any Rendez-vous participant will discern a call to ministry? Thank you, and please join me in giving for Mission and Service.