Welcome to the URC Youth Website! It’s hugely exciting to have our new online space up and running and I hope you’ll be able to find everything you’re looking for.
We’re just a couple of days away from Youth Assembly this coming weekend, which again is so exciting. I can’t wait to meet everybody on the Friday, to get stuck into our programme together, and to be inspired as we part. It might feel strange to be thinking about leaving before we’ve even gathered, but that’s what Youth Assembly is all about. Coming together as a community of young people who are part of the URC to be inspired and enjoy the space of being together but in an outward looking, rather than navel gazing, kind of way.
Hopefully you’ve already seen the #myURCYA16bag posts on Facebook – as you get packing, get sharing! I know that over the past couple of years I’ve written plenty railing against consumerism and our obsession with our stuff – if we’re not careful we fall into the trap of thinking our happiness/popularity/self worth is defined by what we buy. Before I get sidetracked though…
Our things – especially the things that are special to us – tell a part of our story. Where we’ve come from, the decisions we’ve made, what we value – but also where we’re going and what we need to be prepared for that. In much the same way, our theme for the weekend is Roots and Foundations – Growing in Faith. Thinking about our story from the context of where we have come from, and exploring what that means for where we’re going – or where we should be going. It’s a theme that has an impact for our own lives, but it’s just as powerful when we begin to think about where we’ve come from and where we’re going together as the people of God. If this has got you thinking and you’re not able to join us for the weekend, don’t worry – we’ll be sharing bits and pieces as we go and we’d love for others to be joining in with conversations online. The theme will also continue for the year, and I’m sure it’ll be explored in all sorts of different places.
I don’t know if you’ve come across @TwopTwips on Twitter. I think it’s pretty funny, but maybe it just appeals to my sense of humour. Knowing that coming to Youth Assembly can feel a bit daunting the first time, maybe some of us that have been before should start putting out some #URCYATwopTwips. I’ll get the ball rolling…
— Andrew Weston (@Andrew_West0n) January 20, 2016
This was meant to be a great pun based around quitting what you do in your day to day that involved a towel. I’m quite happy to admit it might not have worked… Wondering why on earth we’ve been talking about towels so much lately? I don’t blame you! The venue we stay at doesn’t provide them so we wouldn’t want anyone to forget now!
Having opened up much potential hilarity (I’m waiting for it to go viral), I’ll end on a more serious note.
Looking back, I challenged myself with the following at the beginning of this year:
How do we as the URC, at an Assembly, synod and local church level, disciple all of the young people in a way that both supports and stimulates in their journey with Jesus, but also that leads to an equipping for mission in both evangelism and social justice? How do we as the URC change our attitude from managing decline to growing the Kingdom?
My prayer for the year is this: that we would know the love of God, keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It’s gonna be a cracker!
Looking forward, the big questions are still there, as are the big prayers. So will you join me in continuing to explore them – this weekend, and beyond?