Students prepare to serve at NAYC
Pentecostal students prepare to pack downtown St. Louis, disaster relief supplies
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Students from across the continent and around the world will gather at The Dome at America’s Center in a few weeks for what has become one of the largest Christian youth events in the nation. North American Youth Congress, which will be held July 31–August 2, is expected to draw more than 36,000 attendees for three days of worship, preaching, networking, and community service.
North American Youth Congress, or NAYC, as the biennial event has come to be known, is hosted by the Youth Ministries division of the United Pentecostal Church International. In 2017, NAYC drew more than 34,000 students to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. An even larger audience is expected this year.
One of the highlights of the conference will be Serve Day. From 2-4 p.m. on Friday, August 2, students will fill 1,500 buckets with relief supplies for communities that have been struck by recent catastrophes, including floods in the Midwest.
Serve Day is about giving students an opportunity to live out the theme of this year’s NAYC, which is “Kingdom Come,” explained UPCI Youth Ministries President Josh Carson.
“Jesus told us to pray that His kingdom would come and His will would be done on earth,” Carson said, referencing the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6. “That means we are called to serve the needs of others, particularly when they are suffering through a crisis.”
Disaster response organization Reach Out America is helping organize Serve Day. Home improvement retailer Lowe’s is providing the buckets, which also will be filled with supplies donated by Feed the Children. The UPS Foundation and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster also are supporting the effort.
The UPCI is a Oneness Pentecostal organization with approximately 4.9 million constituents worshiping in 42,000 churches across 228 nations and territories. The organization is headquartered in Weldon Spring, Missouri, on the western edge of the St. Louis metropolitan area.
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