“Youth 15 is where I received my call from God. It was during worship. I bowed my head, and this feeling just came to me. All of the connections just came together.” Davis Anderson shares the powerful, impactful moment when God called him to ministry at Youth 15 in Orlando, Florida.
Transformed. Life changing. Connection. These are three words that describe the experiences of Davis Anderson and Nathan Bader who attended Youth 15. Anderson and Bader share their experiences in detail and encourage middle and high school youth to participate in Youth 19 | Urban Plunge.
Youth 2019 and Urban Plunge, a combined mission trip with the national gathering for United Methodist youth, is happening July 7-14, 2019, in Kansas City, MO. The Dakotas Conference is organizing transportation, lodging, and some meals.
Nathan Bader sees the trip as the opportunity of a lifetime to build relationships, connect with other United Methodist youth from everywhere, and step out of your comfort zone.
“You spend time serving in a large metropolitan area. That is something that many people in the Dakotas don’t experience,” Nathan says. “You get to worship with 5,000-plus youth from all over the nation and the world. There are incredible musicians, compelling messages, classes, and small groups. One small group I remember well—United We Stand. We had a unique opportunity to talk about what the issues in the country, world, and The United Methodist Church mean to us. The main point is that we still call ourselves United Methodist and there is a reason for that.
Davis agrees that the experience is transforming. “Those that attend will be transformed in Christ,” he says. “Your whole view of who we are as believers comes to life. You see that we, as United Methodists, we are one large body.”
Serving others in an urban area is something that Anderson will remember. “Mission work was really eye-opening. There is not a lot of poverty around me here in South Dakota, not like I saw in an urban area. You work among the poorest of poor. I was right in the middle of it,” said Davis.
The Urban Plunge mission and service experience will happen in the first three days of the trip, July 8-10, 2019. Teams from the Dakotas Conference will experience new cultures, and work with the homeless and those in need. It will be a chance to discover the ability to serve others outside your comfort zone, find God’s call for your life, and have a life-changing impact within local communities.
Youth 2019, Love Well, is happening the second part of the week, July 10-14 at the Kansas City Convention Center. It is THE national gathering for United Methodist youth. Youth 2019 will provide youth and their leaders with chances to connect with denominational leaders, and connectional agencies to help them discover the wide variety of ministries of The United Methodist Church.
The cost is $800 which will include registration for the entire week, July 7-14, 2019, the bus trip from the Dakotas Conference to Kansas City, meals while in Kansas City, the registration fee for YOUTH 2019 and Urban Plunge mission experience. Registration is now open here.
A deposit of $150 is due at registration. January 18, 2019, the second deposit of $300 is due. A final payment of $350 is due by May 30, 2019. If you do not register by January 18, 2019, the fee will increase by $100.
Davis and Nathan spent time with others from their church, Pierre First UMC, raising funds for the trip when they attended Youth 2015 in Florida.
“I remember it was a bunch of money. We had a lot of fun just having fundraisers,” Davis said. “Our pastor and people from our church kept helping.”
Nathan advises youth to get started now on fundraising. He lists lots of ideas that worked for the team from Pierre First UMC. “We did breakfast once a month for 5-6 months. We held car washes,” He said. “Our biggest fundraising success was the community auction. We asked businesses and around town to donate items to be auctioned off. Things like a free dinner for two, a free night at hotel stay, guided hunting trips, guided fishing trips, trips to the Black Hills. Member of our church also donated items like— people who are hosting a theme party, one-hour of free entertainment. Youth auctioned themselves off for a free night of babysitting, hours of yard work, cleaning your house. Davis was a hit he went for $70 for two hours of labor.
Davis also recalls sending jars full of M & M’s home. The recipients of the M & M jars enjoyed the candy and were encouraged to return the jar filled with money.
Why should attend Youth 2019? Nathan says, “I have so many reasons people should go. It is time to draw closer to God in a unique way that you will not get anywhere else. For me, it was so awesome and life-changing. I met my girlfriend from New York Annual Conference there.
“You get to see a new place and meet people from all over. You will expand who they are as a person,” Davis says