Treasured Foundation is EMMC's youth conference. This event happens every three years at the end of December. TF focuses on connecting youth and youth leaders and inspiring them toward a deeper relationship with God through sessions, mini-sessions, worship, activities, and service opportunities. It is always a highlight for those who choose to make it a part of their year.
Youth gain Insight, Friendship, and Encouragement
By Tim Goertzen, TF 2023 Planning Committee Chair
Treasured Foundation 2023 has come and gone and you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t have good things to say about their experiences and the impact that was had as a result. For those of you who did not have the privilege of being a part of Treasured Foundation 2023, I hope this article will give you a glimpse into what Treasured Foundation is all about, and all that went on December 28-31, 2023 in Steinbach, MB.
Between the youth, leaders, worship team, mini-session presenters, and organizers, 200 people participated in Treasured Foundation. We had groups from Ontario, Alberta, Belize, and Manitoba. We spent the nights at the Roadhouse 52 Hotel, and the majority of the event was run out of Steinbach Bible College.
Our theme for this event was “Voice of Truth: Called by Name, led by Love”. This theme is rooted in John 10 where Jesus spends a lot of time referring to us as sheep, and He talks about how His sheep know His voice. We wanted to spend a lot of our efforts striving towards that with everyone that came.
We had one large group session per day. These sessions consisted of some sharing of what we learned, saw, and experienced throughout the day, worship, and a message presentation. The worship was led by Jeff Neufeld and Redemption Story. They did a fantastic job of choosing songs that connected well with the group and leading us into worship. Our speaker was Kent Martens from the Steinbach Evangelical Free Church. Kent connected particularly well with the youth at the conference. This was largely because of his unique presentation style. Kent draws on his iPad as the image is cast onto the screen while he speaks. These drawings help to keep the audience focused on what he is talking about and allow the audience to connect with his message in different ways. Regularly it was reported that Kent’s sessions were a highlight of the day.
Attendees also had four opportunities to attend mini-sessions. Youth had the option to choose from six to eight topics and attend a session that resonated with them. These sessions were meant to be more in-depth and practical for what we face in our daily lives. Youth and leaders regularly spoke highly of what they were able to learn in these sessions.
Another key component of Treasured Foundation over the years has been service opportunities. We plug all attendees into service opportunities in the surrounding areas. These opportunities included: baking, visitation, thrift stores, food cupboards, soup kitchens, and inner-city ministry and education. As is the case with just about every TF event, these opportunities ended up being some of the most impactful parts of the event. Youth spoke regularly of their experiences and the things that they learned through these opportunities.
Treasured Foundation is a unique opportunity for EMMC youth from all over the continent to get together, connect, serve together, learn together, and grow together. Treasured Foundation 2023 accomplished these goals. We look forward to seeing the fruit that will come from all the seeds that were planted through Treasured Foundation 2023.
Thank you for your support through prayer, encouragement and financial gifts.
“God in the Dark: How God Helps us in Tough Times”
By Pastor David Funk, Niverville Community Fellowship, Manitoba
I was excited to be asked to present a mini-session at TF. I shared on the topic of “God in the Dark: How God Helps us in Tough Times.” My wife and I have buried two of our children, and so have some experience with this. I led the group in biblical reflections on how God actively helps us in tough times in three ways: through praying the Psalms, through the practice of Lament, and through experiencing Jesus as our compassionate great high priest (Hebrews 4). One thing I found surprising was how many youth and leaders were interested in this topic. It’s not an easy thing to think about or talk about. I had prepared materials for 25 students. But we had roughly three times that number. It was exciting to see so many students, to sense their interest and hear some of their questions, and I valued the chance to connect with some of them and their leaders after the session. Building connections with one another in the Body of Christ is a beautiful thing!
Blessing the Next Generation
By Gord Penner
This was the 4th time I attended Treasured Foundation, and again it was a highlight of my year! I was encouraged to see a packed room of youth and leaders leaning forward to connect familiar Old Testament stories into one big story! We recalled stories of God’s faithfulness to His people, in spite of their failures. God’s grace when dealing with His people gave us hope that He will continue to work through us in spite of our failures, and longs to restores us when we fail!
It was great to reconnect with many EMMC youth and youth leaders at TF! I was especially encouraged to see former students who left college to use their training to bless the next generation!
TF continues encourage this “old SBC professor” as I watched youth and their leaders leaning into God and seeking to grow in their relationship with Him!
Movement and Worship
By Richard Klassen
It was an honor to be able to present two drama and one choreography workshop at the 2023 Treasured Foundation event. We had solid numbers of youth join in the drama workshops where they were engaged in a number of theatre exercises, some acting technique, as well as some simple sketch work. For the choreography workshop, the youth were engaged in some discussion as well as involved with choreographing some movement for the familiar chorus “I Speak Jesus”.
The youth were extremely receptive and engaged whole-heartedly in the class activities. It was a pleasure to see their enthusiasm and creativity.