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Time for a Rendez-vous

A national gathering of United Church young people kicks off today in Toronto

By Miriam Spies

The excitement has been building for over a year now. Rendez-vous 2011, a national gathering of United Church youth, young adults and their leaders, is finally here. Organized by staff at the General Council Office and volunteers from across the country, the event will bring more than 500 folks to the University of Toronto campus to play, pray and ponder the work of the church and our role in it.

As a workshop and group leader, I cannot wait to meet youth from all over Canada. It’s a rare opportunity to be gathered together to interact with and learn from each other, to develop and name a sense of calling, and to celebrate God’s presence in our lives.

Over the next four days, we will hear addresses from Christian activist Shane Claiborne, playwright and actor Trey Anthony and youth ministry expert Rodger Nishioka. I hope to be challenged by their words. I hope that we, as a youthful voice and presence in the church, can turn their inspiration into action.

Our United Church moderator, Mardi Tindal, will be there also. I’m hoping to hear words of encouragement and commitment from her and other representatives of our denomination as they reach out to the participants, our present and future leaders.

As a young adult in the midst of the formal discernment process and just beginning theology school, I hope these next few days will deepen my call to serve the church. It is easy to see signs of death within the church, but I believe this time can be one of life and renewal. With singing, worshipping, playing and more, how could this event not be a moment of joy and transformation?

Yes, my expectations are high. But I know the wonderful things that can happen when you’re surrounded by the love of community.




Author's photo
Miriam Spies will be blogging daily about Rendez-vous 2011 from now until Aug. 15.
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