ENDICOTT, N.Y.-“Passion: Is It in You?” was the theme of the 2009 Empire State Fellowship Youth Seminars. This annual Bible conference with 1,535 teens and leaders in attendance took place in four locations in New York: Marilla, Horseheads, Norwich, and Poughkeepsie on the weekend of March 20 and 21.

Each of the regional speakers (Mark Shaw, Dwight Peterson, Andy Giessman, and Dan Dark) developed messages on the theme verses, Psalm 63:1 and 2 (“My soul thirsts for you . . . “) and on the passion exhibited in the lives of Bible characters. The teens attended three of nine workshops on passion of purity, simplicity, people, suffering, humility, perspective, overcoming, and obedience. While the teens were in their workshops, the 300 leaders attended sessions that trained and encouraged them in their ministry working with youth. The “Passion of Giving” was demonstrated when $4,800 was given for persecuted Christians in China. The money will be used to help support a Chinese pastor for a year of intense training in Saipan.

Souvenir T-shirts with the passion logo, meals, giveaways, videos, music, games, a sleepover, preaching, learning, celebrating, decisions, fun, high energy, and fellowship were the many ingredients that made up this tremendous weekend. Youth Seminars, which have been conducted for the past 40 years, are designed to help Christian teens practically apply God’s Word to present-day issues. Once again, God impacted the lives of hundreds of young people from 108 Regular Baptist churches.