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YouthLink 2000 organizers pursuing Y2K compliance


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Leaders preparing for the YouthLink 2000 events are monitoring closely work on the Year 2000 computer chip problem, according to co-chairpersons Dean Finley of the North American Mission Board and Richard Ross of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Scheduled Dec. 29, 1999, to Jan. 1, 2000, in seven U.S. cities, the YouthLink conferences are expected to involve tens of thousands of Southern Baptist youth in worship, Bible study, ministry opportunities and interactive exhibits.
At the national level, the YouthLink 2000 executive steering committee is working directly with national hotel chains, arena and stadium management offices, public utility companies and city governments on their work toward Y2K compliance.
At the local level, YouthLink 2000 site coordinators, meeting planners working full time for YouthLink, are doing similar monitoring with local hotels, transportation systems and support services.
Both national and local YouthLink 2000 leaders also are collecting certificates of Y2K compliance from entities related to the event.
The YouthLink 2000 Internet site (www.youthlink2000.org) provides full information about the event. Beginning in early February, visitors to the site will be able to read city-by-city progress toward full Y2K compliance, including information on meeting facilities, hotels, transportation systems and public utilities.
“Because YouthLink 2000 ends at midnight on Dec. 31, the event will be over before any potential chip problem might arise,” Ross said. “Since the potential for problems is anticipated during the hours immediately following the close of YouthLink 2000, the executive steering committee feels a strong responsibility to be aware of any potential problems.”
Earlier this year, SBC pastors and youth ministers were sent a letter encouraging them to meet with their youth parents late in 1999 to plan the trip home from YouthLink.
Ross said, “Based on their perception at that time of how serious the Y2K threat is, we want them to consider:
1) Staying through the midnight service, returning to their hotel for a little sleep, and then driving home Saturday morning.
2) Staying through the midnight service and returning home that night, thus avoiding any possible glitches in hotel equipment and services.
3) Staying through the noon service on New Year’s Eve, and then returning home for a local service at midnight to harvest the decisions that have been brewing during the three days at YouthLink.
“We want churches to consider these options,” he continued, “rather than have their teenagers miss the entire event.”
Finley added, “All 700 adults working toward YouthLink 2000 feel a strong sense of responsibility for every student until they are home with parents. We are going to keep the pressure on until we have hard evidence that services, accommodations and transportation on the first day of the New Year will be safe and crisis-free for traveling youth groups.”
Leaders and parents with concerns not addressed in the information on the YouthLink Internet site or who do not have Internet access may call the YouthLink 2000 national office toll-free at 1-888-YOUTHLK.