Soul Survivor – Romania – reports about young activities from Jonathan and co

Official camp photo

Today was the Sunday when, each year we hear about youth activities over the summer, and have a preview of the programme for young people in the year ahead.

Five young people from Hilton attended Soul Survivor this year, accompanied by Simeon Ewing and Ken Walker – they were part of a group made up of folk from several Inverness churches. It was, we heard, a very positive experience for those attending.  They encountered, as Simeon put it movingly, a ‘God who is good and kind and caring, helping people in a freeing kind of way.’  We often hear it suggested that God has given up on the new generation, or that they have given up on God.  But the fact that 1000 young people attended the Scottish Soul Survivor at Lendrick Muir, and that 6000 young people attended the similar events south of the border indicates that God and young people have not given up on one another.

Casa Name BoardWe also heard about the team from Hilton who helped run a camp at the Casa Harului in Romania over the summer. We watched Fiona Waite’s video of the event, and heard an enthusiastic report from Liam Morrison who spoke about a spontaneously-arranged walk involving all the campers, their cares and the Inverness and Romanian teams – somehow, Liam said, it represented in the joy, peace and happiness which everyone experienced the camp as a whole. A mutual walking together.

And Liam told the story about the Inverness Team’s concern about whether they would reach Timosoara airport in time to catch the plane home, after there had been a misunderstanding over the flight time. It was a chance for the team to put into practice the ‘Trusting in the Lord’ which had been the theme for the week. And they made it to the airport in time…….

Most of those on their year’s team are planning to return in 2019 to share more of this ‘walking together’. The dates will be 27th July to 4th August.  This trip will be open to adults as well as teenagers.  An initial information evening will be held in the small hall on Tuesday, 4th September at 8pm.  Please note that attendance at this meeting will not be taken as a commitment to go on the trip.  All are most welcome to attend.  Information leaflets are available in the foyer and there is a sign-up sheet in the link corridor for those interested in finding out more.

Jonathan spoke about the youth programme over the next academic year. There will be a four-weekly cycle of events focussing on teaching, mission, socialising and mentoring (the mentoring programme has been going well, involving groups of two young people building a close, intentional relationship with an adult.)

The teaching programme will focus on the them of ‘Grace and Mercy’, based on John 1:16-18, which reads, in The Message:

16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God andis in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Jonathan confessed that he finds himself falling in love once again with Reformed Theology, with its emphasis on the extravagant abundance of God’s grace.

Jonathan asked for prayer for this work, for his involvement at the Inverness Royal Academy, and for his lecturing at Highland Theological College on Youth Ministry in the coming months.  He also asked for prayer support for Simeon’s work in local primary schools. ‘A church, or a youth group, only goes forward on its knees,’ he concluded.



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