Revolution returns

Youth across S.C. head to Columbia for first full-weekend Revolution in years

COLUMBIA—More than 1,000 youth made the Township Auditorium in Columbia “GLOW” for Revolution 2023 Jan. 27-29—the first full-weekend gathering of teen disciples since before the COVID-19 pandemic made such large gatherings unsafe.

Inspired by the Revolution 2023 theme—“GLOW: God Lights Our World”—youth groups from scores of United Methodist churches across the South Carolina Conference experienced a powerful weekend of worship and music. They heard and shared messages focused on sharing God’s message of love and redemption in a relevant way.

Chris Lynch, a congregational specialist for the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, said it was heartening to see youth from across the state making a first-time commitment or recommitting their lives to Christ.

“After a couple years of shifting how we provide an event for young people, this was a great reminder of what God can do when young people gather to worship and be challenged in their faith,” said Lynch, who leads South Carolina Ministries with Young People.

Each year at Revolution, students respond to God’s call and make it known that they want to explore a call to ministry. The event includes resources to help them consider their first steps along that pathway to serving God and others.

“It is powerful to watch as our youth experience The United Methodist Church in connection,” Lynch said. “At Revolution, youth and their leaders witness firsthand the amazing picture of The United Methodist Church in action through worship and mission.”

The youth spent much of Saturday engaged in fellowship, games and service at Epworth Children’s Home. Teens from Bethel UMC, Spartanburg, dedicated most of their afternoon to refreshing an Epworth playground by spreading a new layer of mulch.

Keynote speaker Nathalie Nelson Parker—an educator, author and UMC elder—challenged the youth to consider how they can be used as instruments spreading God’s light in a world of darkness.

Christian pop band Stars Go Dim, whose members have strong roots in the UMC, returned for a second consecutive year to lead worship in a powerful, engaging way.

South Carolina Resident Bishop L. Jonathan Holston helped close the moving weekend of worship and service by leading communion on Sunday morning.

Many pastors and youth leaders who brought their youth groups to Revolution 2023 shared how refreshing and life-giving the weekend was to them and their youth as they continue in ministry post-COVID.

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