Category Archives: Conferences

COVID-19 cancels 2022 Presbyterian Youth Triennium

Original article here:

New ‘PYT Beyond’ will now be before rather than after the 2025 Triennium, with time to dig deep into the Mathew 25 theme

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2022, July 24-27, Indianapolis, IN

LOUISVILLE — Because of the ongoing pandemic, the 2022 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, which had been scheduled for July 24-27 in Indianapolis, Indiana, has been canceled.

According to PYT director Gina Yeager-Buckley, this decision came out of a deep desire to prioritize the safety and health of all Triennium participants, including those working the event.

“This decision involved a great deal of difficult, thoughtful and prayerful discernment with our multiple planning teams and we are confident it is the right call,” she said. “Dealing with the ramifications of COVID and the necessary safety protocols that we would need to build were overshadowing every element of Triennium. The most important goal of PYT is to provide a place where Presbyterian youth can safely and creatively explore God’s word and Jesus’ path.”

Gina Yeager-Buckley

Gina Yeager-Buckley

Yeager-Buckley said PYT is in the process of renegotiating contracts with the  Indianapolis Convention Center and area hotels.

“We’re excited to share that we’ve just been offered dates in July 2025 in Indianapolis for the next PYT,” she said.

The decision to cancel the 2022 Triennium came after a recent meeting with the COVID Medical Advisory Team, which includes physicians and immunologists. Senior leaders from PYT, the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly heard from the medical team that even with vaccine and mask requirements, there would be COVID clusters — not just individual cases.

Because PYT participants travel and attend as delegations, a five- day pre-event quarantine would also have been required, because young people typically travel to PYT with a whole new group of peers.

“You don’t often attend PYT with your youth group, but with a group of strangers,” Yeager-Buckley said. “The burden of adding an additional five days of programming, shelter, meals, etc., on to registrars with already full plates caused us a lot of concern.”

Even with the pre-event, PYT was told to expect clusters of participants with positive test results. Yeager-Buckley said she began to see something taking shape that is not what Triennium should be — or something the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) should encourage.

Leaders also began to understand that if PYT moved forward with the event, organizers would have to create an onsite COVID testing clinic and COVID care facility to care for those who would be in quarantine after testing positive.

This provided clarity that the largest gathering of Presbyterian youth every three years — Triennium attracts up to 5,000 people — would have to be postponed.

The Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III

The Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III

“As we spent more and more of our time trying to figure out a COVID mitigation strategy, it became clear that this wasn’t the right time to bring young people together for this wonderful event,” said the Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III, director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism.

The PYT team had already postponed registration for the event from February 1 to March 14 in order to buy some time for PYT registrars. With concerns about COVID, there were fewer adult volunteers to encourage youth and adult youth leaders to attend Triennium. A lower number of participants would also have had financial implications for this year’s event.

Once the renegotiations for Triennium in Indianapolis take place, the PYT team plans to move ahead with PYT Beyond, the new expanded ministry for Presbyterian youth that will offer virtual sessions, cohorts for youth and adults and online courses related to the theme, “When Did We See You?

Regional, flexible PYT packages with videos of speakers, musicians and recreation leaders are also in the planning stages, all designed to provide a pathway to the 2025 event.

“The theme from Matthew 25 will remain the same,” Yeager-Buckley said. “This gives us a chance to broaden the impact and dig deeper with young people on what it means to see like Jesus — to see what God sees — and then be active in the world.”

Yeager-Buckley feels that it is the mysterious touch of the divine to have extra time to work on the “When Did We See You?”  theme with young people before the next Triennium. She recognizes that the work of dismantling structural racismeradicating systemic poverty and building congregational vitality — changing long term habits — can’t be done at a conference alone.

“We’ve always known that this theme was calling us to reach further, dig deeper, risk uncertainty together,” Yeager-Buckley said.

For Jones, regional cohorts of youth engaging in Bible studies and working with coaches on “When Did We See You?” — possibly in partnership with camps and conference centers —  will give youth a chance to go deeper into the Matthew 25 vision with their faith communities.

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, knows how much prayerful discernment went into the decision to cancel this year’s Presbyterian Youth Triennium.

“The safety of the young attendees and our volunteers is always our top priority,” she said. “I’m confident the new ‘Triennium Beyond’ program will serve as a special pathway between now and the next Triennium in 2025.”

 On Friday, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board approved allocating $246,000 from unrestricted funding reserves to a board designated fund to support COVID-related expenses related to the 2022 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. The funds will be used for COVID-related expenses and alternative PYT programming over the next several years. 

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Presbyterians for Earth Care’s online national conference begins August 1st

Starting on Sunday, August 1, you are invited to attend “Creation Care Buffet:  Come to the Table” which is the Presbyterians for Earth Care’s online national conference on Sundays, August 1, 8 and 15.

The 12 workshops include top scientists sharing latest science news on the Climate Crisis, a spiritual director teaching about spiritual practices for activists, food waste and composting, worship ideas for creation care, ideas for involving young adults, farming and justice concerns, environmental racism and uranium mining in the Navajo Nation, creation care faith formation, Introduccio?n al Cambio Clima?tico (Spanish) and carbon dividends.

The cost is only $20 per Sunday or $50 for all 3 Sundays with scholarship available.   Details (conference schedule, workshops descriptions and leaders’ bios, registration) can be found on the Presbyterians for Earth Care website: and on Facebook: @presbyearthcare

Please keep praying and help make a difference for God’s world. Thank you.

Grace and Peace,

Bruce Gillette
Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference Team Chair
& PEC Vice-Moderator

Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2021

2021 Stewarship Kaleidoscope

Stewardship Kaleidoscope will be in Cincinnati, Ohio September 13 – 15, 2021 and online. There are multiple ways for you to participate this year, as the ability to travel and be together continues to evolve.

For those attending in-person there will be over 20 workshops to choose from. Virtual attendees will join for plenary sessions, four pre-selected workshops designed to provide a strong foundation in best stewardship practices, and worship experiences.

If you plan to attend in person, group pricing is being offered that will allow more people from your congregation to attend together, to learn together, and to take home practical tools for expanding generosity. Early bird discounts will be available for individual, group in-person, and virtual registrations.

Get more information about the conference, our speakers, workshops, and pricing at Registration will be open soon.

PC(USA) scholarships are available – click here for more information.

Recommended covid safety protocols for in person attendees will be observed. Details for what to expect will be provided as the conference date gets closer.

2021 Worship & Music Conference

Gather In My Name imageIn-Person Conference Dates:
Week 1: June 20 – 25, 2021
Week 2: June 27 – July 2, 2021
Online Conference Dates:
June 27 – July 2, 2021


This year, the conference theme is Gathered in My Name, and fitting with the name, the association is pleased to offer BOTH in-person AND online options for attending the conference! We have assembled a stellar conference faculty that will be offering classes for all interests: musicians, pastors, educators, and church members – anyone interested in collaborative worship. We invite everyone to visit to learn more about what we have planned for this summer.

Registration Deadlines
This year, early registration is open through March 31st. On-time registration begins on April 1st and lasts up until the conference begins. There is no late registration period.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions
PAM is committed to offering a safe, in-person option as well as an online option for participating in the conference. Visit our special Covid Protocols webpage to learn more about our commitment to your health and safety as we look forward to worshipping together this summer.

Visit the PAM Website to Learn More! has all the information about what we have in store for you this summer, including: Class Descriptions and Schedule, Conference Faculty, and Registration Information, Policies, and Fees

9-27-19 is the Registration Deadline for Pyoca Fall Youth Conference!

Register now for #FYC2019!

Can you believe it? Pyoca’s Fall Youth Conference is just two weeks away!

Check out the information below to complete your youth group’s registration. The registration deadline is this Friday, Sept. 27th, so be sure to register soon!

Have questions regarding registration? We’re here to help! Feel free to email Program Director Rev. Molly DeWitt at for registration assistance, or call the Pyoca office at (812) 358-3413.

How to Register:

FYC registration is by church, rather than by individual. Each church must designate a Youth Registrar, most often a Youth Director or volunteer youth leader.

If you have individual youth looking to join us, but do not have a full group, let us know and we can assist in pairing you with a partner church!

Step One: Please indicate to the Pyoca office your intent to join us by submitting the Group Pre-Registration Form and Youth Leader Registration Form via email to Molly DeWitt ( no later than Friday, Sept. 27th, 2019. That way, we have a general estimate on how many youth and adults will be joining us.

Step Two: Have each youth participant fill out the FYC Youth Registration Form and return them to the Registrar. Youth forms can be sent via mail or email to Molly DeWitt. If needed, youth forms can be brought to the conference on Friday, Oct. 4th.

  • After the registration deadline, one?for?one substitutions of the same gender may be made.
  • Additional registrations will be accepted if space is available.

For substitutions or additions, contact Molly DeWitt at or (812) 358-3413.
Additional information and all conference forms can be found here.

We are delighted to welcome Rev. Shelly Wood and Matthew Black as this year’s keynote speaker and worship leader. We would also like to welcome Justin Wade, Executive Director of Young Actors Theatre in Indianapolis, as the guest speaker for our Saturday evening vesper service.

This year’s theme is A Light in the Darkness. We know that youth are not immune to darkness and times of struggle. They deserve to have a space that is open for them to talk about their fears, anxieties, and what challenges them.
When we are able to talk about the darkness around us we bring light to difficult situations. We find hope that God is right alongside us in our darkest places moving us into the light.

This year’s theme will focus on the story of Zacchaeus and what it means to see, be seen, and share the light of Christ with others.

The conference is open to any youth group and their youth leaders. Youth in grades 6-12 are welcome. Small groups will be split by age group, 6th-8th grade and 9th-12th. Individual youth without a group attending are encouraged to group up with another church to register.

Be sure to check out our flyer!

All general conference information (fees, registration, etc.) can be found in the FYC Church Group Information sheet.

We look forward to having you with us in a few short weeks and will be praying for your youth and congregations!

If you have any questions at all about the Fall Youth Conference, or any other Pyoca programs, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Molly DeWitt
Program Director

If you have any questions regarding Pyoca programs, please email or call (812) 358-3413.

Multidisciplinary Conference on Immigration Coming to CTS in 02/2019

Artists, Leading Theologians, Legal Scholars, And Community Leaders To Explore Migration And Border Crossings In Multidisciplinary Conference

Decatur, GA—Columbia Theological Seminary and Emory University’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion are excited to co-host a multidisciplinary conference on immigration—Migration and Border CrossingsFebruary 7-9, 2019 at Columbia Seminary.

“This conference will bring together leading theologians, legal scholars, artists, and leaders of faith communities to explore global migration,” says Leanne Van Dyk, president of Columbia Theological Seminary. “The speakers at this conference are extraordinary: Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States from 2015-2017 and the winner of National Book Critics award, will give the opening keynote titled ‘The Journey of the Migrant.’ Emilie Townes, Dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School, will give the closing keynote focusing on displacement and trauma.”

Other notable presenters include: Kwok Pui LanKhaled Beydoun,  Heval Mohamed Kelli,  Daniel CarrollKristin HeyerPeter C. PhanTodd GreenRose Cuison VillazorJehu HancilesClaudio CarvalhaesAzadeh N. Shahshahaniand Michele R. Pistone.

In addition to the presenters, the conference has made space for a strong presence of the arts during the three-day event. Emory University’s Staibdance group will present an original dance performance called “Moat,” an evening length exploration of human migration from Iran to a small Pennsylvania town during the Iran hostage crisis.

“Columbia Seminary’s proximity to Clarkston, GA, which is home to immigrants and refugees from about 50 countries and is often called ‘the most diverse square mile in America’ makes us the ideal seminary to host this major conference on immigration,” says conference co-convener Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Director of MATS Program at Columbia Theological Seminary.

“We have observed that the issue of immigration moved to the center of our national discourse in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election and has become much more significant in the last two years. Although the issue is widely discussed in legal, political, and ecclesial circles, such conversations occur mostly in a piece-meal fashion. There have been few attempts to address various aspects of immigration—historical, political, religious, racial/ethnic, and theological/ethical—in a coherent and substantial manner,” says Nadella.  “Many scholars and faith communities across the United States have been attempting to address this issue that is affecting their communities, but they lack substantial resources to facilitate constructive conversations and take steps towards participatory action.”

The conference will feature three plenary sessions that explore the causes, the processes, and the effects of migration as well as multiple workshops that will offer insights and tools for addressing immigration related issues.

“Other entities are partnering with us to make this a truly international conference of global significance,” says Silas Allard, Managing Director of Emory University’s Center for Law and Religion, Harold J. Berman Fellow in Law and Religion and conference co-convener. “We are grateful to the World Council of Churches and the Council on American Islamic Relations for their partnership.”

More information on the even can be found on the Migration and Border Crossing webpage.

The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University produces and promotes path-breaking scholarship, teaching, and public programs on the interaction of law and religion around the world. CSLR is a thought leader dedicated to producing innovative scholarship, facilitating challenging conversations, convening the best minds, and training the next generation of academics, lawyers, and religious leaders to advance the global conversation on law and religion. 

Columbia Theological Seminary is “cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry, leadership development, and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia Seminary offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

For program information, please contact:

Dr. Raj Nadella
Assistant Professor of New Testament; Director of MATS Program,
Columbia Theological Seminary
404 687-4544

Silas W. Allard
Managing Director and Harold J. Berman Fellow in Law and Religion, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University

Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network 1 Day Conference

The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) is bringing a major event to our doorstep in October.  A one-day regional conference will be held at Worthington Presbyterian Church (just N of Columbus on Fri Oct 12th.  The theme is” The Best of Times: God’s Call in the Third Thirty of Life”.  Opening the event will be a keynote address by Rev. Ray Jones, Acting Director of Theology, Formation & Evangelism at PC(USA) Louisville. In addition there will be 12 workshops from which to choose, covering a wide variety of topics such as:

  • Dementia as seen through the eyes of the inflicted
  • Navigating the Journey of Aging
  • Models for neighborhood care by the Area Agency on Aging
  • Social Justice and Older Adults
  • How to those who are “Spiritual but not religious” (SBNR’s)
  • Missions for Older Adults
  • Generational Generosity
  • Our Third Thirty and the Seven Days of Retirement
  • Overcoming Fears in the Third Thirty of Life
  • Perspectives from a Panel of Retired Ministers
  • Caregiving
  • Open Q&A Session with the Keynote Speaker, Rev Ray Jones

Overnight accommodation at a special rate of $99 (inclusive of all taxes, dinner and breakfast) has been secured at the nearby Homewood Suites, 115 Hutcheson Ave, Columbus OH 43235.  Registration for the conference ($25 early, $35 after mid Sep and $40 on the day) and hotel accommodation (if needed) will start in mid August through POAMN’s website (  For more information and any questions, please contact Chris Pomfret, POAMN’s Vice President, at 937-545-6667 or