By Carl Stagner
It’s at the core of who we are. We preach about it. We sing about it. We read books about it by pioneers of our movement. But we don’t have a flawless record of living it out. The perfect love which unites us all in Jesus must translate to how we function as individual churches and as a movement. A new generation is rising up in the Church of God less connected to “the way we’ve always done it.” They are challenging the status quo; they are daring to do things differently. They’re setting the example for the rest of us as they come together in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 21–22 to worship under one roof. No, it’s not the International Youth Convention. No, it’s not NIYC. And no, it’s also not a youth convention of the Concilio Hispano. It’s ONE gathering, hosted by all three groups, that your church’s youth group won’t want to miss.
Picture this: a crowd of middle and high school students, diverse in ethnicity, reflecting multiple cultures, all lifting up the name of Jesus, together in one place, at one time. Perhaps a momentary glimpse of heaven, such an experience is far different than the typical weekend worship gathering that unfortunately fed the observation that Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. Imagine then the bold witness of these same students joining hands as they give back to their host city through community service. When Jesus is the subject, even more incredible things can and will happen.
The ONE Event is affordable, too. Registration for only $20 won’t break your student’s IYC2018 budget, and it includes lunch (Hurry! This early-bird rate ends on March 31! Find lodging soon, too: sporting events scheduled for the weekend of ONE mean hotels are filling up fast!).
ONE will take place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. The Friday night session will be hosted by IYC. The Saturday morning session will be hosted entirely by the Hispanic Council of the Church of God (Concilio Hispano). NIYC will host the closing session on Saturday afternoon. The service project will bless the incredible work of Gleaner’s Food Bank in Indianapolis. Discussion groups, time to connect, and follow-up resources are all included. For a detailed listing of events, visit www.chogy.org/one-event.
While ONE isn’t all that needs to happen to bring about the full scope of the unity we preach and sing about, it is a step in the right direction. Andy Stephenson of IYC has reflected that this will surely be a “great testimony to the church and to the world of what God can do when we unite together as one.” Kevin Earley of NIYC has made it clear that this event will remind us that, “as a movement, we are much more than our individual congregations, camp meetings, and neighborhoods.” And Ramon Rivera of the Hispanic Council said, “No matter what language we speak or what race we are, we can meet in one place for one purpose.”
Youth groups and student ministries must register students by March 31 to take advantage of the early-bird rate of just $20. Registration, waivers, hotel information, and more details are available at www.chogy.org/one-event.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. —1 Timothy 4:12 NIV