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Interpreting Walking on Water

Hey! My name is Jeremy Clevenger a live events content designer. This year I was happy to have the opportunity to design the NCYC image for this year’s conference in Long Beach, Ca. This year’s theme is Walking on Water or Caminando sobre el Agua and I hope that conference attendees can pray with and be inspired with the thematic artwork. 

What were your initial thoughts when being approached with the NCYC 2022 image design?

Making an image for a conference like this is so exciting! Better yet, the theme gave us so much to work with. It encompasses so many different messages we could tell such as trusting in God, making the impossible possible, and responding to God’s call. The first adjectives that came to mind when approached with this project were bright, colorful, and vivid. Immediately, it also made me think of Jesus walking on water. We wanted to create something in a digitally painted artwork that encompassed a colorful walk with Jesus in both the storms and calmness. 

Did you have any goals with this artwork?

The imagery and use of the NCYC letters allowed us to create a narrative around the theme walking on water. As the conference unfolds from Thursday to Saturday, we hope that each letter and its image will help illustrate the theme of the day. In a way, the attendees will travel along with the NCYC letters from left to right in the artwork. 

What do each of the letters in the artwork resemble?

The N stands for “navigating.”

Just like Jesus had called his disciples to get in the boat and set sail, he calls us to embark on our journey. When Jesus had asked this of his disciples, storms were already developing in their course. In our lives, Jesus calls us to navigate through our own personal storms with him journeying with us and leading the way.  

The C stands for “clouds.”

Clouds are usually a sign of a storm or weather pattern coming. As we anticipate hard times in our lives, we continue to show fortitude and hope towards what comes after the storm.

The Y stands for “yes.”

Jesus is the lighthouse amidst the storm, guiding us in the right direction. Just like how Peter is called out onto the water, we also are called to say, “Yes!” to Jesus even when we think things are impossible. Jesus makes the impossible possible even if it is doing something crazy like walking on water. He makes our paths straight and guides us through the rockiness of the water.

The second C stands for “calmness.” 

When we decide to trust and follow Jesus, he makes our storms calm. Jesus not only can walk on the water, but he can control the waters too. Even in our darkest times, we know there is light at the end of the tunnel, or a sun that shines after a storm. 

How do you hope that your artwork inspires attendees of the conference?

The artwork we produced is very literal and has a museum-like quality to it. When people view a piece of art in a museum, they usually notice something different particular to their own experiences in life. In this piece of art, we hope that each attendee will be able to relate to a part of the artwork based on what they are going through. Maybe you’re going through a storm right now and find yourself blinded by the clouds. Or you could be struggling to say “yes” to Jesus’ call for you.  

Did you have any challenges producing the artwork?

The difficulty in designing this image was its duality for application in both a digital and physical space as well as the nature of the conference. This design had to work on things like t-shirts and posters but also had to come to life on the main stage. Creating this painting-like artwork left enough room for expansion on the mainstage and uniformity for other printed media. The image also needed to convey the 2022 theme and embody the sentiment of the conference NCYC. To harmonize this, we used the letters as a central point of the artwork but also a canvas to paint the themes on. Attendees would recognize the familiarity of the NCYC letters but also be immersed in the waters of 2022. 

What does the theme mean to you?

Questions for your own reflection.

  1. Which part of the imagery do you find most relatable?
  2. In your life which part of the journey are you in? Navigating? Clouds? Saying Yes? Calmness?
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2023 Host

Mari Pablo

Mari Pablo is a proud Hispanic and cradle Catholic whose life was wrecked in the best possible way when she finally decided to stop fighting and surrender it all to Him. Mari has joyfully worked in youth ministry for over fifteen years, both as a youth minister and theology teacher, and as a presenter for Ascension Press. Mari has a deep love for food but an even greater love for Christ and is dedicated to helping others encounter Him.

2023 Host

Sr. Josephine Garrett, CSFN

Sister Josephine is a native Texan, raised baptist in Houston Texas. Jesus called her to religious life in 2011 and in 2020 Sister made her final vows as a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth. She ministers as a licensed mental health counselor, and also serves on the community vocations team and as a national speaker. 

You will now be directed to NFCYM.ORG to complete registration.

ABOUT NFCYM

The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) is a membership organization dedicated to advancing the field of pastoral ministry to young people.

Members enjoy:

  • Professional training, resourcing, and support
  • Full access to our resources and webinars,
  • Special rates to NFCYM events, and more.

ABOUT NFCYM

The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) is a membership organization dedicated to advancing the field of pastoral ministry to young people.

Members enjoy:

  • Professional training, resourcing, and support
  • Full access to our resources and webinars,
  • Special rates to NFCYM events, and more.

You will now be directed to NFCYM.ORG to complete registration.

2023 Host

Mari Pablo

Mari Pablo is a proud Hispanic and cradle Catholic whose life was wrecked in the best possible way when she finally decided to stop fighting and surrender it all to Him. Mari has joyfully worked in youth ministry for over fifteen years, both as a youth minister and theology teacher, and as a presenter for Ascension Press. Mari has a deep love for food but an even greater love for Christ and is dedicated to helping others encounter Him.

2023 Host

Sr. Josephine Garrett, CSFN

Sister Josephine is a native Texan, raised baptist in Houston Texas. Jesus called her to religious life in 2011 and in 2020 Sister made her final vows as a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth. She ministers as a licensed mental health counselor, and also serves on the community vocations team and as a national speaker.