The 2012-2013 youTheologians kicked off the year at the Orientation Weekend. Students from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska learned and experienced the theme, Loving God, Loving Neighbor. They put the theme into practice as they traveled to a rural community, Wellington, Missouri. They helped the Wellington UMC pastor, by completing a number of projects in the community center, and painting the office of the Wellington-Napoleon Road District. After returning to Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO, the students learned about John Wesley, Pan-Methodist churches and the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. The students represent a number of regions and denominations, including the AMEZ, UM, and CME churches.
The youTheologians worked together to plan and lead the Vespers worship service on Saturday evening. During the weekend the students met with their mentors and planned how often they would meet throughout the year to help the students nurture their belief and continue to walk with Christ. In addition, the Orientation had an opportunity to link with Lydia Patterson in El Paso, TX, a pod location for the youTheology program.
YouTheology’s goal is to foster the growth and maturity of youth, transforming high school students into godly leaders. For both students and adults, Orientation Weekend was a great success, planting seeds of grace in the hearts and minds of each participant. As Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the core value of youTheology and was the primary objective of Orientation Weekend.