Laura Lambert, associate director of connectional ministries, reported that 161 attended, including youth, band, staff and volunteers.
In recent years, Assembly was held at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens. This year, students returned to Emory & Henry College and delighted in staying in new residence halls, Lambert said.
Highlights included a Stop Hunger Now activity on Monday, when youth slipped on hairnets and packaged more than 10,000 meals for hungry nations.
Other highlights included the “Festival of Gifts and Talents” on Thursday.
“Students who participated in worship arts groups for dance, songwriting, drama, visual arts and photography shared in the festival as well as other students. It is always a fun night to see the way students support one another and share the gifts God has given them,” Lambert said.
Aaron Miller, age 17, said that he also enjoyed the talent show, singing a rap song he wrote with two friends from his home church at Central United Methodist Church in Radford, Va. Miller is the son of Pastor Mark Miller of Fairview/Sidney United Methodist Church in Riner, Va.
Attending Assembly for the fifth year, Miller said that “family groups” are consistently one of the best parts of the annual experience. “People just feel comfortable sharing because we bond over the week,” Miller said. “Smaller groups just have less pressure with less people.”
Lambert also said she is impressed by the impact of family groups. “At the close of worship that night, family groups take communion together and it never ceases to amaze me how these groups truly do become a family throughout the week.”
Miller said that he wished more youth could experience Assembly.
“A lot of people go to Resurrection,” he said, referring to Holston’s winter spiritual event. “We have thousands at Resurrection and what, a hundred and something at Assembly? Resurrection is good because a lot of people find Christ there. But Assembly is a week-long event where you find yourself, and you don’t get that at Resurrection. I think more people like me should invite other people to Assembly.”