CPYC Day 1
Written by Claire Temple
Before departing from Nashville yesterday, a friend and I picked up a student who was a first time CPYC attendee from the airport. After learning a bit about his life in Florida, I ventured into telling him about what he should expect in the coming week. I opened with the simple statement of, “You will love it”. I told him about the other students, how they’re from a variety of states and countries and how he will make friends quickly. I told him about the staff members, how they double as mentors and good friends. I told him about the worship services, how they include music and readings and drama and powerful messages.
This is my fourth year at CPYC. Talking with my new friend was a nice opportunity of reflection as I began my last time around in such a beloved conference. I believe that heaven will be like CPYC: worship, fellowship, and abundant joy. Through the years, I’ve been suitemates with girls from Illinois, Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, and various parts of Tennessee. Through the years, I’ve been in small groups with people from Colombia and Japan. Through the long walks from Heritage Hall to Vera Low for meals, I’ve walked with friends both old and new, conversing about small groups and the volleyball tournament. Through quiet time, I’ve found peace and the beauty of shutting my mind off to allow God to speak. Through it all, CPYC has been my little slice of heaven.
Many Christians see denominations as barriers among the family of God. I believe that being a Cumberland Presbyterian is the opposite of putting up barriers. CPYC is a time of unity. We bring our stories, and we bring our listening ears. We pray together, sing together, energize together, and explore what it’s like to be a Christian as a teenager together. There is something special about Christian youth meeting together. Today’s culture does not always coincide with what Jesus calls us to do and be, but CPYC allows us to share in these difficulties and develop a confidence to live life with steadfast faith. Our lives then become dedicated to living with the grace of God, extending it to people of all faiths and denominations.
I am much different from the girl I was walking onto Bethel’s campus for the first time in July 2013, but through it all, CPYC has remained constant. I love CPYC’s culture. It’s accepting and joyful and vulnerable and grateful for the mercy and goodness of the Lord. Although leaving CPYC feels like going back to reality, we have the blessed assurance that God’s unfailing love is our reality.