This summer, Lila Danielsen-Wong attended the Western Regional Youth Event (WRYE), hosted here in Seattle by the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. Though it wasn’t a Disciples-sponsored event, it was in our own backyard on the Seattle University campus. Our denominations are close cousins theologically and historically, and we share many ministries in common—so it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up! I finally got caught up with Lila to ask her what it was like:
Katy: What is WRYE?
Lila: A youth conference with kids from all over the western US—there were about 300 kids from as far away as Colorado and Hawaii. We stayed on campus at Seattle University, and had workshops, worship, a service project, and a day to explore Seattle.
K: What workshops did you attend?
L: I went to one with a transsexual speaker, who spoke about her transition, which was really interesting, and another one where the Christian band Lost and Found just chatted with us and answered our questions. They were hilarious!
K: What was the worship like?
L: Amazing. One worship service was hosted by the Hawaiian youth. We sang this beautiful song that they taught us to sing in parts, and also said the Lord’s Prayer together in Hawaiian. Another high point was seeing Mary Lambert. She sang “Same Love,” the song she did with Macklemore, as well as some other songs. She was amazing—she said we were a really good audience!
K: What was your service project?
L: Different groups were assigned to different projects. My group went to the NW Harvest Food Lifeline, where we packaged oats (I swept the floors). It was totally cool and awesome, because it was really impactful, yet so simple.
K: How did you explore Seattle?
L: I actually got to ride the ferry and explore Bainbridge Island, which was really fun. A lot of the kids I was with had never ridden a ferry before, so that was cool.
K: What was the best part of WRYE?
L: Getting to know kids from across the country, as well as many from Seattle. Also, seeing Mary Lambert.
K: Would you do it again?
L: Yes—especially if others in our youth group came with me!