The Presbytery of Southern California kicked off its youth activities this year in Westminster, California, where its first ever Base Camp was held. Centering on the idea that a base camp is where everyone gathers before heading up to summit experiences, over 150 people from seventeen churches came together for a time of fun, fellowship, and ministry.
Starting with a Friday evening photo-scavenger hunt led by Jon Sanchez from Westminster OPC in Westminster, teams were divided up and sent all across town as an icebreaker activity. This was followed by an hour of brainstorming for local and regional youth outreach activities in the future. The next morning, the winners of the photo hunt and the brainstorming were announced.
Regional home missionary Dave Crum gave a sermon of encouragement and warning from Matthew 7:13–27: “Two Ways, Two Kinds of Prophets, Two Kinds of Disciples, Two Kinds of Foundations.”
David Nakhla, the OPC’s short-term missions coordinator, spoke about the special opportunities available for young people who want to participate on mission teams all around the world.
Future missionary associate Kathleen Winslow reflected on the importance of doing things outside of one’s comfort zone, as this has prepared her for serving overseas.
It is important not only to take part in missions abroad, but also to focus on missions at home in America. Courtney Habegger gave a presentation on the construction team she organized in 2015 to help renovate an OP church in Utah and on plans for another project in this summer.
Elder Mike Dempsey encouraged the churches to plan events that can include all kinds of young people, even those who show up late. (Buy extra pizza!)
Finally, Aijalon Church urged young people to “process” the significance of the events they have taken part in for their own walk with the Lord.
Base Camp brought young people together from all over Southern California and Arizona. It is the first of many events throughout the year that will bring together members in the regional church. Planned are Winter Camps, Family Camp in the summer, the Team Praha mission team to the Czech Republic, and a backpacking adventure in the Sierra Mountains led by Thomas Jennings with John Shaw, the general secretary of Home Missions.
The author is a member of Resurrection OPC in Westminster, Calif. New Horizons, June 2016.