Ministries with Youth, in the Office of Evangelism of the General Assembly Mission Council, is pleased to announce the theme for the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium: “I AM.” Event participants will consider and explore the “I AM” statements of Jesus, as shared with the disciples and the early followers of Jesus, as well as the Hebrew understandings of God known simply as “I AM.”  

The deep connections between the divine “I AM” and the human “I am . . .” will carry the 2013 theme through the five-day event and back home with the youth who attend.” We are being called to help our youth and our congregations think about who we are as people of God, who is as reachable as a vine, as necessary as bread, and as longing for our presence as a good shepherd, says Gina Yeager-Buckley, Ministries with Youth associate and Triennium team leader.

More than 4,000 youth are expected to attend the largest gathering in the in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Young people will experience the “I AM” theme in worship, small group Bible study, guided conversation, recreational gatherings, and creative expression opportunities. “We want young Christians to explore the nature of God through Jesus Christ,” says Bill Buchanan, co-coordinator for the Triennium worship team. “As they wrestle with their sense of God and self in today’s world, we hope they will hear God calling, ‘I AM with you, preparing a place and path for you to be my eyes, hands, and feet in the world.’”

Triennium 2013 will be held at Purdue University July 16–20. Registration and event information will be sent to all PC(USA) congregations and presbytery offices this spring and will be available on the Triennium website in May. Registration for Triennium, open to those entering their freshman year in high school through graduated seniors, begins January 2013.

Registration is by groups, which are managed by a volunteer registrar from a congregation or appointed by a presbytery. Triennium registrars will be recruited beginning this April, through the Office of Ministries with Youth.

Preachers for the Triennium will include the Rev. Michelle Thomas-Bush, Charlotte, N.C.; the Rev. Stan Wood, Huntsville, Ala./Memphis, Tenn.; the Rev. Jay Earhart-Brown, Memphis, Tenn.; well-known Lutheran blogger, preacher, and author Nadia Bolz-Weber, Denver, Colo.; and the Rev. Claudio Carvahlaes, Philadelphia, Pa.

Recreation will be led by Omayra Gonzalez, Puerto Rico; Neil Myer, Solon, Ohio; Joanna Bellis, Nashville, Tenn.; and Perryn Rice, Cookesville, Tenn.

The Triennium house band will be led by Jeffrey Harper, Nashville, Tenn., and Jorge Gonzalez, Louisville, Ky.

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2013 is ministry of the Office of Ministries with Youth, in partnership with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America. The staff, production team, and leadership for the event come from congregations and ministries from all three sponsoring denominations.