Not only were a lot of friends made, but a lot of good memories were made at the 1996 Young People’s Convention! This year’s convention, as you may well know, was geared toward the making of godly friendships—an incredibly important activity of the Church. This year’s convention not only allowed us to make friendships within the realms of the church, but it also instructed us in the making and on the basis of them.
I am sure that when I say that the South Holland, Peace, and Bethel congregations did an excellent job in putting this convention together, I speak for all the conventioneers. We had a great time—the entire week! Monday was registration and a tour of Chicago. (Great place!) At night we had our first speech, given by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma of our Holland, MI church. In his speech, he stressed the importance of making friendships within the Church.
After the allotted six and one-half hours of sleep (some of us receiving a significantly smaller amount), we were roused and sent on our way to Rev. Ron VanOverloop’s speech on “Personal Friendships.” (Rev. V. O. is pastor at Georgetown, MI PRC.) Later in the morning, we were divided into groups and were given the opportunity to discuss the Christian responsibility of choosing a career. The afternoon was reserved for what was called a “Team Building Course,” a list of activities designed to show the importance of team interdependence, participation, and support. That night was “Twirp Night” and a chance for the guys to be “taken out to the ball game.” …The Cubs won.
Wednesday was one long thrill (for most) with “just a couple” hour-long waits during the course of the day. Great America was great fun for everyone, I am sure!
But for some Thursday poised an even bigger thrill, the banquet! The morning was filled with discussion groups (subject: Sunday observance) and free time, the afternoon with swimming, volleyball, and lazing in the sun. Then we had our last speech, during which Rev. Barry Gritters (pastor of Hudsonville, MI PRC) used a telephone receiver from his dorm room to introduce the topic of “Friendships in Dating and Marriage.” …and then it was time for the banquet. And despite a few shed tears and dashed hopes, the banquet was a success as was the lock-in that night.
And all too soon it was Friday and time to say goodbye to all the new friends. Many addresses were exchanged, hugs were given, and pictures taken. Many wonderful memories were made, but most importantly, the friendships that were made were godly friendships!
Tamara is a member of Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.