The Southeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodist for Church Renewal, Inc. hosts the Harambee conference annually to help African American youth develop their spiritual, leadership, and interpersonal relationships. Our desire is that youth will begin to develop stronger relationships throughout the connection, and learn how to bridge the gap from generation to generation. The conference is designed for youth ages 12 – 18 years of age.
Even though the youth are our primary focus, we’ve found that the Conference helps youth and adults explore what it really means to “pull together” and work together in Christian love. It provides opportunities for praying, singing, working, fellowshipping, developing knowledge of the United Methodist Church and building meaningful relationships with God and each other. The conference is a BMCR outreach to our youth, but anyone who believes in our mission and the principles of BMCR are welcome to attend. We have hosted up to 500 at this event.
One of the most successful aspects of the event is the development of the “youth leadership team”. This group of African American young people serve as the guiding force for conference leadership from beginning to end. Young people from ages 14 – 18 serve on this team, with immediate graduates ages 18 – 22 returning to serve as senior leadership team members.