Wednesday, the second day of Triennium, began with everyone gathering on Purdue University’s Memorial Mall to find and join one of 200 small groups. The term “small” is relative – each group has about 25 participants.
“I came to Triennium because I’d never seen more than 100 Presbyterians in one place before,” claimed one youth participant as the first full day began. Many youths claimed to be “anxious, but excited” as they started their Triennium experience.
As the small groups got to know each other and formed small-group covenants, they also explored Moses’ burning bush encounter and Jesus’ pivotal question to Peter, “Who do you say that I am?”
Afternoon worship brought greetings from both Presbyterian assemblies. Jamie Lively, vice moderator of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, reminded worshippers that belonging to the church is all about being a disciple. Neal Presa, moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA), led all participants in saying, “I am, because we are” and noted that God has told them who they are and that they belong to God.
Stan Wood of Memphis Theological Seminary delivered the sermon. Focusing on a vision for the future, he stressed interdependence as the body of Christ and the peace of shalom, a universal flourishing spoken of by the prophets, who assured that weeping would cease and the crooked would be made straight.
In the evening, all small groups went late into the night and viewed the documentary “ I am,” created by Bruce Almighty and Ace Ventura writer/director Tom Shadyac. The film asks, “what is wrong with the world?” and “what can we do to make it better?” Participants were encouraged to view the film through a Christian lens and consider what it means to be created in God’s image and how their faith impacts their choices.
JANA BLAZEK is the associate editor for connection and online content manager for the Presbyterian Outlook (and currently serving as a small group leader at Triennium).