The 1981 Convention

I was asked by the Beacon Lights staff to give the readers my impressions of the past convention. Evidently they felt that I as the retiring spiritual advisor of the Federation Board and as a minister of one of the host societies would be able to give you the inside scoop from a minister’s point of view.

I think the very first facet of the convention a parent likes to know is whether their children behaved as was fitting mature, Christian youth. As one who attended this convention I feel that the young people should be highly commended on the way they conducted themselves. I have attended, as a chaperone or a member of the discipline committee, three different conventions. Behavior-wise this one has been the best. I am happy that I am able to say that too.

Just because this was true however, does not mean that there is no room for improvement. As always, there seems to be a small group of what I would call “rowdies” that like to press the rules just about to their limits. At times it seems that these forget the purpose and intent of our conventions: to meet and date other Protestant Reformed youth and also to listen and derive spiritual benefit from the speeches and discussion groups. Such rowdiness must not, on the other hand, be attributed to the vast majority of the conventioneers. In fact our conventioneers were much less of a heartache to the chaperones than other of our young people, who did not belong to the convention, yet who came at night specifically to cause trouble. It can be said that the conduct of our conventioneers at this past convention has renewed my hope in future conventions.

Besides good behavior there was also a genuine interest shown in the theme of our convention: “The Signs of the Times.” It is my impression that our young people are very much aware that they live in the midst of evil days, and that Christ’s return upon the clouds of glory is coming quickly. This awareness I witnessed in the interest shown in the speeches and discussion groups. One of the four speakers commented favorably to me on the attention and interest shown in what he had to say.

The past two conventions have also increased the number of speeches to four. I feel this has proved to be a real asset to our conventions. I also have heard others say the same thing. The discussion groups too gave a chance for the young people to express many of their concerns.

The last observation I would like to make is that more older young people attended this convention than in the past few years. That was a real treat! I would like to encourage more of them to attend the next one in Iowa. I think they missed a good thing!