Assembly 2016 provides opportunities for worship, fun, spiritual growth

The Joshua Price Band led worship for Assembly 2016.

The Joshua Price Band led worship for Assembly 2016.

Junior and Senior High youth from across Arkansas converged on the Hendrix College campus July 25-29 for Assembly, the annual summer gathering sponsored by the Arkansas Conference Council on Youth Ministries (ACCYM). Assembly includes mission activities, worship, small group time, games and more, all designed for and by youth entering grades 7 through 12.

Several youth who participated in Assembly 2016 agreed to share glimpses of their experience with readers of the Arkansas United Methodist:

“As a co-chair of the Junior High Assembly task force, I got the opportunity to experience this amazing event from a more behind-the-scenes perspective. From hanging out with Joshua Price and the other members of our worship band to talking with Mark Norman, I loved knowing that I was playing an important role in the start of deeper commitment of younger students’ lives in Christ. I have always loved this event, from being an attendee to being on task force; it’s just so humbling to be able to watch the plans you helped make come into focus and touch the lives of such incredible kids. To be able to mentor and help our youth grow in their journey with God is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had the honor to be a part of. I hope that every youth would have the opportunity to experience Assembly, because I have watched it change lives and had my own life changed by it.”

—Darbi Owen, St. Paul UMC Searcy

The Rev. Mark Norman, superintendent of the Southeast District, served as the featured speaker for Junior High Assembly.

The Rev. Mark Norman, superintendent of the Southeast District, served as the featured speaker for Junior High Assembly.

“Through Assembly, the Conference has given me and hundreds of other youth a place to cultivate creativity, fellowship, and a better, stronger relationship with Christ. As a part of ACCYM, we are not looked down upon or told that we are too young; instead we are told to stand up, take responsibility, and find ways to lead more youth to Christ. We are disciples making disciples even at our young, pre-adult age.”

—Kevin Herrington, Mountainside UMC Hot Springs Village

“Being a part of the United Methodist Church has given me countless opportunities to grow as a young Christian. Conference youth events have given me a place to become friends with people that have a similar passion for Christ. I think the United Methodist Church, and especially the Arkansas Conference, really values its youth and sees the importance in our spiritual lives.”

—Lexie Burleson, Lakewood UMC North Little Rock

Small group time helped youth from across the Conference get to know each other and opened doors for sharing in a common life of faith. PHOTOS COURTESY ACCYM MEDIA TEAM

Small group time helped youth from across the Conference get to know each other and opened doors for sharing in a common life of faith.
PHOTOS COURTESY ACCYM MEDIA TEAM

“My favorite part of Assembly was getting to meet lots of new people who never judged you…. The small group I was in couldn’t have been any better. We all became so close through the week of Assembly. We played games, did a lip sync battle, had a scavenger hunt, and plus went Pokémon hunting as a group. There are not enough words in this world to describe how much Assembly changed my life; I saw God in everybody. And if our God is that powerful to show his love to hundreds of people, I asked myself why isn’t everyone living out their lives for him, including me? And that was my God moment, when I really started to live for him, pray to him, and give all my trust and hope to him. If you have never been to Assembly, you are missing out on a whole new life.”

—Krystal Green, Greenwood UMC