Episcopal Youth Event

Reflection on EYE 2017

Seventeen youth and four adults from ten different congregations of the Diocese of Chicago attended the Episcopal Youth Event held July 10-14 at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. The event featured programming centered on the theme of "Path to Peace." The Chicago delegation to EYE enjoyed rich worship experiences along with the 1500 EYE participants gathered from all corners of the Episcopal Church, featuring lively music, dance, and engaging preaching from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and others.

Chicago youth also attended Plenary Sessions to hear from guest speakers on the event theme and Praxis Sessions, which offered opportunities to learn about topics such as non-violent communication. Chad Senuta, Associate for Youth and Campus ministry for the diocese, led a session on conflict resolution. This wide variety of offerings provided participants the chance to learn practical ways to channel their leadership as peacemakers in the world.

A highlight for many was "Oklahoma Day," which took participants off campus to visit sites around Oklahoma City. Participants visited a variety of sites around the city including the State Fairgrounds, the National Cowboy Museum, the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, and others. Hannah Hill from St. John's, Lockport appreciated the chance to learn about the local culture and said, "Everyone there was friendly, everyone smiled, and everyone wanted us to have an enjoyable experience in their city." The day concluded with the "Red Dirt Carnival" in downtown Oklahoma City, culminating in a prayerful procession through the downtown streets to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial where all 1500 participants gathered for a beautiful and moving compline service. 

Each participant from Chicago brought back a new understanding of how to be a peacemaker in the world. Jon-Edward Stokes from St. Thomas, Chicago summed it up well, "To me, the path to peace means uniting everyone... people that are all different, but most importantly, those people don't treat others differently just because they may have different skin tones, different ideologies, different genetic makeup, or they're different in some other way. Those people accept and love all for who they are." View photos of the Diocese of Chicago enjoying EYE 2017.