Presbyterian Church in Columbia, Maryland
Worship Every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

CMPC’s Participation in GenOn Youth Summit 2023

After a 4-year hiatus due to Covid, a determined group of leaders – both pastors and lay
persons – put together an amazing week of activities designed to provide the opportunity for
youth and adults alike to draw closer to God and one another with the GenOn Youth Summit
2023 on the campus of Wheeling University in West Virginia. Patterned after LOGOS, it was a
beautifully organized week of inspiration and worship, shared meals, fun and recreation, Bible
study, Worship Arts (in our case chimes), and most of all, personal growth.
Kofi Akuoko, James Board, Tom Engle, and Liz Perraud attended from Christ Memorial. For all
but one, it was the first time attending.

Morning worship was centered on an important Bible passage (for example the Beatitudes,
Woman at the Well, Prodigal Son) but also included an inspiring testimony of how the person
preaching came to a crossroads in their life and found the answer in Jesus Christ. We then
broke out into Bible Study groups to dissect the day’s passage and consider how this might
apply to issues that arise in our daily lives. Afternoons were devoted to social and recreational
activities, with the exception of two days where we (adults included) split into groups and
performed mission work assisting various local charities.

The group of approximately fifty attendees traveled from six states both near and far,
representing eleven congregations, from a variety of denominations. Each attendee was
assigned a roommate from a different congregation to promote the forging of new relationships
and avoiding cliques. And impressively, from the very first day, it was apparent that new
friendships were indeed being formed that only grew stronger as the week progressed. We all
made some great friends who we will look forward to seeing again next year.

When asked, “What surprised you the most about our week at GenOn?” Kofi and James shared
that there was something different to do each day and that great variation was not expected.
One was originally not looking forward to going but went with an open mind and was surprised
to get to know his roommate really well from the first day as well as the people from the
roommate’s church.

When asked to share what helped them grow in their faith while there, it included good
conversations with new friends about the Bible study. The conversations started from the
beginning of the day and they were still talking about it after Bible study time. Also helpful in
faith growth was going on the mission work, giving a good opportunity to help out in the
community and other people that maybe needed our help—like at a soup kitchen, a thrift store,
and a community garden.

Last but certainly not least, we want to express our sincere thanks to everyone at CMPC who
encouraged us to attend when we weren’t sure…who supported us through our fundraiser
Musical Sweets & Treats by donating, bidding, organizing, and performing…provided our
transportation…and lastly our thanks to those who prayed for us. We want you to know that
your encouragement, your support, and your prayers are truly appreciated. Thank you.