WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – This coming summer, several thousand youth from across the United States and around the world will come together with top United Methodist leaders and the best ecumenical speakers, bands and talent for a life-changing event. We here in Indiana have an opportunity to show our radical Hoosier hospitality to the youth of our churches.

Youth 2011 is the national youth gathering for The United Methodist Church, and it’s coming to Purdue University in West Lafayette July 13-17, 2011.

Online registration is open for groups of youth who would like to attend at www.youth2011.org. This is a once in a lifetime experience for youth, with hands on mission opportunities, passionate worship services, in depth labs for spiritual growth and connection, and late night fun and games. If you have a youth or two who would like to go, consider partnering with others in your cluster or district to bring a group.

The registration cost includes the conference, all meals in the outstanding Purdue dining halls and rooms in the Purdue residence halls. With youth on each team involved in the design of this ministry, these are four days of intense focus on what unites our denomination: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

With thousands of youth coming, we’re now recruiting a cast of volunteers to welcome them to Indiana. Are you ready to be a part of a ministry that will change lives? There are several ways to get involved:

  • Sign up a team from your church: Each day, July 13-17, we’ll have teams who help navigate the campus, who staff the workshops and labs, and who provide logistical support. Your church can sign up for a day of volunteering by contacting the Rev. Brian Durand at brian.durand@inumc.org, or by phone toll-free at 877-781-6706. Please provide an estimate of how many you will bring and the day or days you would like to come.
  • Host a special activity or event: We are looking for some special gifts to add to the event experience. If you, your church, your cluster, or someone you know would like to contribute in the following ways, contact the Rev. Brian Durand as listed above.
  • Host a Karaoke late night activity (please provide equipment, A/V).
  • Host an open mic coffeehouse.
  • Hold a cornhole tournament (please provide equipment).
  • Teach square dancing.
  • Host and staff a welcome fair.
  • Have a gift that your church could bring and contribute, let us know.
  • Sign up as an individual. You’ll find the form to register as an individual volunteer at www.youth2011.net/volunteer/. You can also contact Brian with questions.

The members of the design team for Youth 2011 are often asked to describe the event. The simple answer: “It is More Than.” It’s more than a gathering; it’s a community to know you are not along. It’s more than a concert; it’s communion with our extraordinary God. It’s more than an event; it’s a commission to change your life and your world.

“But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself” (Luke 14:11, The Message).

These are four days of intense focus on what unites our denomination: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.