Referring to young adult ministries, YAM-Jam is hosted by the Presbyterian Association for Collegiate and Higher Education Ministries (PACHEM) and in collaboration with the Office of Collegiate Ministries of the General Assembly Council.
The goal, says Tommy Brown, Presbyterian/Episcopal campus minister at Arizona State University, is to seek creative ways to be in ministry with young adults and college students in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Keynote speakers include Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th General Assembly; Carol Howard-Merritt, author of Tribal Church; and Ted Wardlaw, president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
The classic problem facing young adult ministry in the PC(USA), Brown says, is feeling isolated from the rest of the denomination. “As our church adjusts to issues of culture and structural changes, YAM-Jam is a way to bring those who care about young adults together to share, learn, worship, and play,” he said.
To make this happen, he adds, the gathering will follow the flow of a jam session.
“In a musical jam session, friends gather to jam without extensive preparation or set arrangements,” he said. “Jam sessions can be used to develop new material, create an arrangement, or just to gather together and play. Jamming can be based on existing songs or traditional chord progressions … or may be completely improvisational.”
YAM-Jam will begin like a traditional conference, said Diana Malcom of the PACHEM board of directors, adding that “we hope it will quickly become a true jam session of ideas, creativity, and connections for college and young adult ministries in the PC(USA).
“It is going to be exciting to see what emerges from YAM-Jam — driven by the Holy Spirit working in the passion, energy, and creativity of everyone there,” she said.
YAM-Jam is limited to 125 participants, with a goal of 50% leadership/participation by young adults.
Information for this story furnished by Tommy Brown.