by Gabriella Campbell, Senior High School Student, FCC Torrance
This past February was the second year of UNITE, an annual conference for youth and young adults in the Pacific Southwest Region. As a member of Youth Leadership Team (YLT), it was rewarding to be able to attend an event that seemed impossible just a year ago. I attend First Christian Church of Torrance which is one of the smaller churches of the region. I was the only participant from my church which allowed me to unite with many other people from many other churches.
One of the most relevant things in my life (other than my faith) is my passion for theatre. You will often catch me humming or singing a show tune that no one has ever heard, and the only time I miss church on Sunday morning is if I’m in a show. You can probably guess how excited I was when I found out I was able to do a drama workshop throughout my weekend at UNITE. Our workshop was small in size, but that did not stop us from leading a chant on Sunday morning. Everyone was much louder and kept it going much longer that we had anticipated, which is exactly what we wanted. Our smaller group also allowed me to share my opinions and stories in a much deeper and more meaningful way that I am accustomed. I felt that my voice truly mattered, which helped me feel much more connected to God and the people around me.
This weekend also exposed me to styles of worship that I rarely get to experience. I did not know that you could use dance to praise God. I had witnessed and experienced praising God through singing, but never dancing. I watched as my friends used their bodies to convey their emotions in a way that was so new to me. By the way they danced, you knew exactly what the message they were trying to portray was.
The weekend and its message of connectedness and unity has stayed with me, and I hope even more people can participate in the years to come so that they can witness and take in the message and experiences the way that I did.