Victoria Hoppes, Diocesan Coordinator of Ministries With and For Youth

The Diocese of Indianapolis had great representation at the 2017 Episcopal Youth Event, July 10-14 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, OK. Seven youth, two adult chaperones and Bishop Jennifer attended this triennial gathering of Episcopal youth in grades 9-12.

The theme of the event was “Path to Peace.” Participants participated in a variety of activities. Plenary sessions featured youth and adult speakers. We heard stories from survivors and first responders during the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing. We also heard the stories of youth involved with Kids4Peace, an interfaith organization dedicated to promoting peace in
Israel and Palestine. We also heard sermons from the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry and the Rev. Winnie Varghese during the opening and closing Eucharist services.

The delegation attended workshops on a variety of topics, including:

  • learning new games,
  • how to engage in peaceful conversations,
  • peer ministry,
  • United Thank Offering,
  • Confirmation ideas and practices,

and much more. Bishop Jennifer led a workshop on how to engage in
difficult and important conversations with others.

Finally, we spent a day exploring Oklahoma City. Our tour included visiting the National Cowboy Museum, the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, the Oklahoma City Bombing National Memorial and Museum, the Oklahoma History Museum, and the Red Earth Art Gallery. We ended our day with
dinner and a carnival hosted by the Diocese of Oklahoma at St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown OKC, and a candlelight vigil and Compline at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial.

The event was a formative experience for the youth who attended. Here are their experiences in some of their words:

“…the things that I will remember the most are the little moments when I was able to talk to people from across the country

… the moments when I was able to spend time with our Bishop and feel like my voice was being heard even though I am a youth

… the little moments made the trip so special.”

–Olivia Hurley, Trinity, Bloomington

“EYE was an amazing experience!!! I loved being with other Episcopalians who have similar hopes, dreams, and values I do

… I hope I can go again to #EYE20!!!”

–Emma Blackburn, St. Christopher’s, Carmel

“EYE was an incredible event where I got to experience worshipping and growing with a diverse group of people who all share my faith

… my favorite part of the entire event was meeting people
from all over the United States and the world.”

–Sarah Jacobs, St. Christopher’s, Carmel

You can find more photos from EYE the Indy Dio Youth Facebook Page:

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