Thurs to Sun with one big family of Canadian Youth Workers. Obviously still processing, but can at least scribble some initial thoughts. I sit here aching and shivery in bed on Monday morning. Not sure how I got sick, and of all the days, it's the day when Liz could really do with my full energy to help deal with the energy-sapping boys, having dealt with them alone for three days :( thanks rosie for helping out.
1) it was downtown vancouver. not in burnaby, not in the valley, or langley, or across the border, or toronto. it was HERE.
2) 900 people from all across Canada St John to Vancouver Island, Yukon to Hamilton. thank you to those that travelled many hours to be here
3) it snowed
4) amazing unity between denominations
5) great conversations
6) so many friends in one place
7) starbucks in the hotel
8) using first baptist for one session
9) the theme of sabbath and rest and being co-authors in the story of God
10) seeing marko in a canada hockey jersey
some of my personal highlights from the main sessions
starfield - the boys. tim talked of it being one big family reunion. nice.
matt maher - worship leading the way we do it. random and spontaneous in places. responsive, yet rocking. great
thousand foot krutch - finally I hear them and see what everyone's going on about. they do rock, it must be said
mannafest - wow. he's amazing at what he does
mark buchanan - simply stated timeless truths that pierce the heart and must change action
joyce rees - listen and obey. prophetic, incredible, powerful. will be listening to this many more times
marko - youth work 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 he TOTALLY nailed it. not-driven, community, present, move with the times
I have a few concerns about it being a sustainable annual event. This was all of us on the scene of christian canadian youthwork. Could we really do the same thing every year in different parts of the country without significant repeat? We already had everyone inputting on their chosen specialised subjects, and it was not exactly cutting edge .. hmmm. i'm glad there are good communication channels open.
an important event. groundbreaking. influential. the buzz around the place was phenomenal. so many great connections and conversations. everyone i spoke to had an amazing time. lots of good comes out of it for sure. let's face it, do we even have a national sense of anything in this country? we unite around some senses of "not" .. but where's the positive national unity? we sure don't have national politics. tim summed up one sense of unity when we all get behind whichever Canadian NHL team in the stanley cup is about to destroy the americans. so to have a truly national event with positive agenda and positive outcome is special and important.
I end with where I started on this journey of the CYWC (kind of began for me in california Feb 2006!). what makes it canadian, and not an import from the states? we had some significant conversations over the past 11 months on this very topic, and I think we achieved everything we set out to achieve, plus some. Thank you, thank you, thank you marko and tic for your incredible sensitivity, and servant hearts. this was a truly canadian event, and that helps us a load with our identity. The best of the experiences of NYWC in a truly canadian context. you can now return to being both american and californian for a while, knowing that you stepped aside to really bless us. major props.