By Maggie Paul, Cathedral of St. Philip
A couple weeks ago, I embarked on an adventure with two youth from the Diocese, whom I’d only met maybe twice, and a fellow youth worker, whom I’ve known for a while. We went on a road trip to Camp Weed in Live Oak, Florida to attend the National Happening Leadership Conference.
The conference serves as a time for people from Dioceses around the country to come together and talk about how Happening works there, bounce ideas off each other, and to rejuvenate their passion for the movement.
Happening, as you may know, is a pretty big deal in our Diocese. It’s gone through many waves of change and growth, as any program does. I serve on the Design Team for Happening in the diocese, and we are always looking for ways to make it better.
While at National Happening, I met youth and adults from various states, and the guy who started the whole Happening movement. I saw friends that I’ve known most of my life, and I made friends I hope to have the rest of my life.
We shared stories of our own Happenings, how we experienced them, and how we want to improve them. We listened to many talks encouraging us to breakaway from apathy and to respond when God asks “Whom shall I send?”
The conference had business meetings, but it also had workshops on how to better our programs and showing us how other dioceses run theirs. They didn’t claim to have all the answers, but all of the knowledge of the youth and adults who had been brought together made for an enriching learning experience.
One of my favorite parts of the conference was when we had a night of prayer stations. They were all around the Youth Pavilion at Camp Weed, which is basically a gym. I’ve been holding a lot of anxiety going into this new year, and it was really nice to have a quiet time to pray in so many different ways to calm my anxiety.
During my times of reflection, I decided that I wanted to apply for the Happening National Committee. I was worried about taking on more responsibilities as I enter the new year, but I love the Happening movement. I want to do whatever I can to help with it. I’m glad that I applied because I was selected to be on the committee!
The whole conference was an enriching and rejuvenating experience that helped me get even more excited about the upcoming program year and for Happening in our diocese. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go and learn and connect with so many other people. I hope that I and the others who attended the conference pass along what we’ve learned and remember that when God is searching for someone to send out into the world that we respond with “Here I am, Lord”