In March, members of the 787 leadership team attended the Young Adult Initiative Consultation (in other words, a conference that brings together all the organizations doing similar work as the 787 Collective for assessment, sharing, and reflection) hosted by the Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis. One of our young adults, Evan Hearn, shares his thoughts about the weekend below.
Name: Evan Hearn
Relationship to the Collective: Young Adult Advisor
Describe the event in three sentences or less: Over the course of two days, leaders and participants of spiritual innovation hubs from across the country met against the backdrop of the historic Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis. Our objective was to share the experiences, successes, and shortcomings of our respective initiatives – each seeking in its own manner to bring together young adults and the Church in new and lasting ways.
What did you notice during or about this event? Everybody came with questions and left with more, yet among all of us there seemed to be a sense of optimism and faith. While none of us had any definitive answers to the big question of, “How do we get young people involved in their communities in a spiritual sense?”, all of us appeared to be advancing down our own paths.
What impacted you the most? I was most impacted by the richness of interaction between older hub leaders and young adult participants such as myself. It would be no exaggeration to say I was able to converse with some intellectual titans of Christian thought and spirituality – people who have dedicated their lives to this kind of work. Yet simultaneously, I was able to learn much about the work my peers are involved in – this diversity of backgrounds made for a constant exchange of perspectives and lessons learned.
What about this event struck you as spiritual and/or carried spiritual significance for you? As someone who has struggled for many years to find a faith community, being able to participate in this event carried a significant spiritual weight for me. There is a lot of spiritual joy to be felt in being welcomed and accepted by strangers at every opportunity, and these two days were filled with such moments.
What new or next thing, if anything, did this experience inspire you to do/be/or try in the future? This gathering reestablished in my mind that the project I am helping with, the Good Start program, is on a good track. While there is still much to do and further to go, I feel confident that we are advancing towards making a real material difference for young adults in the Marble Falls community, which will undoubtedly entail and facilitate spiritual growth.
If you want to find out more about how the “In Our Words” series got started, click here.