Principians Connect with Wider Christian Science Youth Community
Connection, inspiration, and action were the themes of College Summit 2012, organized and sponsored by TMCYouth, The Mother Church’s “youth community” and outreach program.
For Upper School students, these leitmotivs were a perfect complement to their everyday school experience—in which educators, staff, and learners strive to foster a sense of community, share inspiration, and actively develop spiritual understanding and depth.
Approximately 25 Upper School juniors and seniors attended the weekend program, which was hosted in southern Missouri at CedarS, one of six camps for Christian Scientists in North America. Several students from the College also attended the summit, which brought together an inspiring group of “spiritual activists”—Christian Science practitioners and lecturers, staff of TMCYouth and its online arm, time4thinkers.com, and several talented musicians, among others.
Facilitated discussions covered the wide-ranging issue of finding one’s purpose—addressing specific areas such as business/law, art/music, education, social justice, and international work. Three main lecture sessions focused on topics that are of general interest to Christian Science youth around the world—Healing with Scientific Certainty (Christine Driessen, CSB), How to Change the World (Tom McElroy, CS), and Relationships and Sexuality (Chet Manchester, CS, and Ginny Luedeman, CSB).
The Upper School participants interviewed were all extremely positive about the summit, despite such “tightly packed” days that it was sometimes challenging to stay fully focused, according to one participant.
“It was really inspiring,” commented Kevin, a delighted junior. “We could feel and see progress in our thinking right through the weekend,” his classmate, Ian, added.
Meaghan, a junior, who is new to Principia and also new to Christian Science itself, noted that taking part in the summit was “a wonderful introduction to this community” of young Christian Scientists. All the students agreed it was “awesome” to mingle with young adults beyond the Principia community who came from many different states, as well as overseas areas such as the UK and Kenya, and shared the same values.
Christian Science practitioner Shirley Paulson, who currently represents The Mother Church at the National Council of Churches and who was one of the speakers/facilitators at the summit, agreed with their assessment. “The theme I heard the most was how wonderful it was to be with a community of young Christian Scientists who were all so loving,” Mrs. Paulson said. “Most did not know each other, but . . . they all seemed to connect well.”
The musical performances at the summit—by the likes of Alex Cook, Tessa and Jay Frost, and Grant Taylor—also received high praise from the student participants.
All in all, said junior Sydney, “I would definitely recommend this experience to other students.”