Virtual National Youth Event will immerse participants in immigration, encourage creativity

Already launched with videos urging young people to unleash their creativity as a force for good, the United Church of Christ’s first-ever online National Youth Event will culminate July 25 and 26 with an interactive service project, workshops and worship.

Its offerings range from a session on using social media to drive climate action, to an open invitation, now posted online, urging young people to put poems or freestyle raps to a hip-hop beat.

Youth, young adults, and adult advisors can register here. It’s free. “Even if they registered for the in-person NYE, they will need to register again,” said Trayce Potter, the UCC’s national minister for youth and young adult engagement, noting that the process is quick and easy.

When COVID-19 forced the in-person version of NYE to be put off until 2022, organizers still wanted to offer something online this summer, Potter said. But they knew they couldn’t simply replicate all the content virtually.

“Moving to online helped us to pause and be present to what was happening around us in that moment,” Potter said. “So instead of taking what we had prepared for the in-person event, we wanted to find a way to offer meaningful experiences and encouragement to our youth around the theme of ‘UNITE through the Extraordinary,’ as these are indeed extraordinary times.”