By Julia Heesing

Application Deadline extended to Thursday, November 9!

Youth Forum, in all three of its stages, is one of the most formational, fun and faith-filled experiences out there. Having attended Youth Forum myself in 2015, I can speak to the amazing time I had in Paris, Ontario at the winter gathering, the life-changing moments I experienced as a Pilgrim travelling across the Country, and the education, knowledge and experience I gained as a Delegate to the 43rd General Council in Newfoundland.

Winter Gathering, the first stage of Youth Forum, will be held February 16-19th, 2018 at the Five Oaks Retreat Center in Paris Ontario. This is a weekend that will be filled with opportunities to learn about how the United Church works, worship, thought-filled conversation in small groups and of course, games, laughter and food. Winter Gathering is also where the selection of the Pilgrims will take place, an incredible opportunity.

Traveling across the country as a United Church of Canada Pilgrim was exhilarating, exciting and maybe even a little exhausting at times. I wish I could do it all over again but now it’s your turn! It is something to consider as you send in your application for Youth Forum. The opportunity to not only travel across this beautiful country but to meet so many amazing people and see the work that is happening in Churches across the Nation is incredible. Attending and being a part of General Council itself, July 21-28th in Oshawa, Ontario, will be an important and educational experience. It’s also a chance to be present for decisions that will help move our church into the future and will be an invaluable experience. Not only that, but you will have the opportunity to reconnect with the friends you made at Winter Gathering, meet new people from different places, sing, dance and pray as a church!

All of three parts of Youth Forum helped me to develop in my faith, build lasting friendships and learn things about myself I never would have known and for that I am thankful. I hope these words have given you a little bit more insight into Youth Forum, and encourage you as you choose to send in your application. I would be more than happy to talk about any part of this process. You can email me if you have any questions.

Application Deadline extended to Thursday, November 9.  You’ll find more information HERE