NYC 2015 Planning Team Announces Date, Location

Youth to gather in Denver for next National Youth Convention

NYC news story

The next National Youth Convention is scheduled for April 2015 in Denver. A Youth Leader Summit will be held in March 2014 onsite to help youth leaders prepare for the event.

The National Youth Convention (NYC) planning team has announced the dates, location and theme of the 2015 gathering of U.S. Mennonite Brethren high school students and sponsors, as well as a pre-convention sponsors-only event in 2014.

NYC, convened every four years, will be held April 9-12, 2015, at Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver and Colorado Convention Center. The planning team is also hosting a Youth Leader Summit March 28-30, 2014, onsite in Denver.

The purpose of the summit is for youth leaders to familiarize themselves with what teens and sponsors will experience at the convention, to brainstorm ideas and offer input regarding how this convention and future conventions can be improved, to connect with other youth workers and to grow deeper in their love of God through teaching and worship.

To encourage every church to send a representative to the summit, there will be no registration fee for the first person from each church to register for the Youth Leader Summit. The per-person cost for additional church representatives is $150; food and travel is not included. Registration for the Youth Leader Summit will begin in late fall of 2013 and will be online at

The theme of NYC 2015 is “Named,” from Matt. 16:13-16. In this passage Jesus asks Simon Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answers, “You’re the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Upon his thoughtful reflection and declaration of Jesus' identity, Peter is given a new name, a name that captures the essence of his identity and mission.

“Our desire is that students will reflect deeply on who Jesus is and in doing so, grapple with our identity as individuals, churches and as a conference,” says the NYC planning team in a recent press release. “The theme, Named, will be infused in every aspect of the convention.”

NYC organizers hope to address with high school participants the importance of finding one’s identity in Jesus Christ. “Stupid. Ugly. Jerk. Fat. Jock. Loser. Labeling—sometimes when you are called something often enough you start to lose your self-esteem; even how you identify yourself,” says the planning team in their promotional material. “Although a believer’s identity is found in Christ, today’s youth culture falls under the constant pressure of losing sight of that.”

The NYC planning team’s vision for USMB youth is to “deeply connect students to God and one another by engaging the gospel in our everyday lives.”

The planning team consists of Kyle Goings and Jeral Gross from the Central District; Jarod Richardson and Russ Claassen from the Southern District; Keith Warkentin and Matt Ford from the Pacific District; Chris Eidse from the North Carolina District; and Joanna Chapa from the Latin American District.

More about the convention will be available online at; the full website will be online by the end of August. The planning team will use the website for promotion, registration and updates. Join the movement on Facebook or Twitter by searching “named 2015” or #named2015.

PHOTO 1: Input sessions at the 2011 National Youth Convention held in San Antonio, Texas, focused on times of worship and messages provided by two guest speakers. 


PHOTO 2: 2015 Planning Team members pose for a lighthearted photo while at their most recent meeting. Back row: Jared Richardson, Matt Ford, Kyle Goings. Front row: Keith Warkentin, Jeral Gross, Russ Classen, Chris Eidse and Joanne Chapa.   

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Kathy Lumpkin wrote:
NYC 2015 is really in April? Are you kidding me? What about school? We are a small church with kids that have been looking forward to going and now with you doing in April they won't be able to attend.
Please contact me back and let me know the reason for this decision because now we have to explain this to 10 teens in our church. My phone number is 832-752-1564.
Kathy Lumpkin
SDMI Director,
Alvin Texas

Wed, January 22, 2014 @ 8:50 PM

2. Trent Voth wrote:
Hi Kathy,

I'm not on the NYC planning team, and I don't speak for them, but after reading your post I hoped I might be able to speak a little into the frustration you've voiced.

Firstly, I am overjoyed to read that you have students that are excited about the convention! That is wonderful to hear, especially from a smaller church in Alvin, TX! I, personally, have never had the pleasure of connecting with our MB family from Alvin, TX, so it excites me that we might be able to remedy that next year.

Secondly, as a youth group facilitator myself, I also recognize some of the difficulties of working around school calendars and navigating the various forces competing for our time and the time of our young people. Education and parental support are no-doubt as important to you in your ministry as they are to mine.

I can say, from some experience, that the Convention has typically been planned on a weekend that is usually the "Spring Break" for the greatest number of youth groups that typically attend. That is to say, that the timing of the event has typically been targeted to be most convenient to the largest number of youth groups.

To make it more convenient for some, invariably makes it less convenient for others. So, sadly, the planning team faces the difficult task of choosing which week/weekend is most convenient for the most attendees. Our group will likely be inconvenienced by the NYC as well.

However, I DO appreciate the team for picking a time, where our students will only have to miss 2 days of school rather than a whole week. It has been possible for us, in years past to convince schools, Principals, and teachers to enable our students to attend the convention without much trouble. We, of course, hope and pray that your youth would have as smooth a process working with their schools as we have.

As you are processing how to break this news to your group, please also communicate our shared challenge in getting to the Convention, that we are just as excited to attend and hope to connect up with your group in Denver. If you would like to discuss how to engage your schools (both Alvin Independent HS and Manvel HS -- yeah, I did the research!) in a discussion about the conflicting calendars, I would love to be a resource for you.

Finally, my prayer is that the initial surprise of the dates does not so dissuade your group from attending that you decide two days of school are worth more to your group than the convention. Certainly, I cannot dictate to you or your groups' parents the right priorities to hold, but I am confident the convention will be impactful, and I am certain that our group, along with dozens of others would miss out on you and your group's presence and perspective.

Thank you for your time, and blessings as you process. I hope to see you in Denver!


Trent Voth
College Community Church MB
Clovis, CA

Go Yellow Jackets and/or Mavericks!

Sun, February 9, 2014 @ 8:52 PM

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