Paul Jeffrey

Triennium Ignites God's Calling for Our Youth

Adolescents working together around a table

The Rev. Perryn Rice was 16 when he attended the Presbyterian Youth Triennium in 1986. He stood side by side with thousands of other teens — worshipping, asking the same questions about God and their lives, and growing together in their faith. It was there that he felt the call to ministry. 

“It was the Youth Triennium that rekindled the fire of my faith. I left Triennium knowing what the Lord was calling me to do.” 

Rice is now pastor of Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. Nearly 30 years after his first Triennium, the event is still special to his work as a minister. He has had a role in five other Trienniums serving as a preacher, small group leader, chaperone, or exhibit hall worker. 

Over the years, he has observed youth begin to deal with indecision and internal conflicts at Triennium. They sense their parents, friends, society, and church pulling them in different directions. Triennium helps youth to personalize their walk of faith, and learn to put their faith into action when they return home to their schools and communities.

“The last sermon of the week is always a commissioning sermon,” Rice says. “It’s sending them back home so they can begin to change the local setting and the world in which they live.”

Photo by Andrew Yeager-Buckley