A Conventional Experience

Knowing that you were about to spend a week with hundreds of people you did not even know, might have discouraged you from coming to this year’s Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention. But that did not discourage me. I was coming from the mission in Pennsylvania (which has only two people in its “Young People’s Society”), and I was looking forward to meeting some other Protestant Reformed young people and finding out what a convention is like.

The most important events of the convention were the speeches. Although the speech topics that were chosen were very good – in terms of conveying the theme of the convention – I have to be honest and say that the speeches were not quite what I expected them to be. For one thing, they were not as long as I thought they would be. And secondly, they seemed to be very general – only covering the main ideas on each topic.

However, having the discussion groups really helped to cover the details of each topic. I found the discussion about music to be especially interesting. The group I was in had a very informative discussion about the Psalms.

Speaking of music – I really enjoyed the singing before and after each speech. It sounded great! The real high point was after the last speech on Thursday night when we sang the convention theme song a cappella. The acoustics in the chapel may not have been quite right for listening to a speech, but the slight reverberations really added to the singing.

Except for the late start of the speech on Thursday, we managed to stay on schedule for all of the activities. The schedule was planned out very well, having scheduled free time and a certain degree of variety to the major activities.

The most exciting activity was the trip to Chicago. I wish we could have spent more time there. It was neat to be in the city at night – lights sparkled everywhere and it seemed fairly quiet and peaceful. We saw two excellent views of Chicago; one from the boat in Lake Michigan, and the other from the 103rd floor Skydeck of the Sears Tower.

The banquet on Thursday was an extremely nice occasion. It was fun to see all of the different colors, lengths and styles of dresses that the girls wore. And the guys looked so spiffy in their suits and ties. The punch served before the banquet was delicious, but I am still wondering what combination of ingredients gave it such a pretty pink color. The dinner was very good and the South Holland young people provided some fine entertainment for us.

By the end of the convention, I had been introduced to many different people and had just begun to get to know a select few pretty well. I enjoyed the good, in-depth conversations that I had with a couple of people. It made me feel good when people told me that they had heard about the Pennsylvania mission. Sometimes we feel kind of isolated in Pennsylvania, so it was encouraging to attend a large church like South Holland and meet so many people from the churches in other states.