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Council Conference on Youth Ministry in New Cumberland

NEW CUMBERLAND — The annual fall event for West Virginia United Methodist youth may be taking a different form this year, but teens throughout the state are looking forward to the fall workshop just the same.

Plans are under way for the Council Conference on Youth Ministry to host a live, drive-in style event at 18 sites across West Virginia from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The local event will be at the Nessly Chapel United Methodist Church on state Route 2, north of New Cumberland.

“This is all the vision of young people,” said the Rev. Shea James, director for Young Disciples and Outdoor Ministries. “What they decided was that they did not want to do something virtual. They have enough of that with school and extracurricular activities. They wanted to have fun together, and they wanted to somehow encapsulate the spirit of their traditional fall weekend, safely.”

For more than 50 years, UM youth have gathered every fall at Cedar Lakes Conference Center for a weekend of youth-led fellowship, worship and workshops on a variety of topics ranging from scripture studies to geocaching. Because of the pandemic, however, that entire weekend has been condensed into two hours. “It’s a fun chance for our students and for young people in each community to get together and play games and have some time for worship together,” James said.

Having 18 sites may require more tech help, “but it also means no one is driving two and a half hours to a site, and it’s an opportunity for young people in the area to come experience something together but safely separate,” James said.

It also means it’s an opportunity to invite friends, she added, explaining that while some teens outside of the church may be hesitant to attend a weekend long out-of-town celebration, those same teens may be more likely to say “yes” to a friend’s invitation for an evening at a local drive-in with prizes, giveaways, and a few tricks on its screen.

Not to spoil the surprises, James said it may be a good idea to avoid a thorough car and purse clean-out prior to the event. There may be a scavenger hunt. “We want teens to come with an adult and stay in their car with their quaran-team,” James explained. (A quaran-team should consist of family or friends already within one’s COVID circle.)

A local master of ceremonies will lead games, and those in attendance will be asked to flash lights, beep horns, use large poster boards or communicate with whatever outside-the-box material has been deemed suitable for each activity. There’s even talk about an attempt at a stadium-style headlight-flash wave. Between games, attendees will watch recorded videos centered around the theme “What to do when you don’t know what to do,” based on Matthew 6:25-34.

Architecture grant offered

for West Virginia students

CHARLESTON — AIA West Virginia and the West Virginia Foundation for Architecture provides scholarships for West Virginians studying architecture, generally out of state, as the state currently has no NAAB accredited architecture program.

The deadline to apply for the 2021 spring semester is Nov. 25.

During the past 32 years, they have distributed more than $297,000 to 116 students. For information, visit www.aiawv.org/awards-scholarships/scholarships and to apply, go to https://aiawv.submittable.com/submit. Each applicant must be a West Virginia resident and have completed six or more semesters in a NAAB accredited undergraduate architecture program with intent to enroll in an accredited master’s program by May 30.

Candidates must participate in an in-person or virtual interview.

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