High numbers of our rangatahi (youth) are attending Easter Camp, youth groups and other youth events throughout our movement, but the same levels of youth attendance are not being seen in our Sunday worship. That’s the challenge weighing on the minds of our Anglican Youth Movement (AYM) leaders at the moment, and their new initiative will help to rectify this trend.
The AYM team is to launch AYM Youth Church – a weekly, inter-parish youth service at the Cathedral with a supporting parish small group study available to local youth leaders. Our youth are invited to “storm the Cathedral” every Sunday evening between Discipleship Camp and The Abbey (the end of June until the middle of August), gathering to worship Jesus and see what God might do – and then return to their parishes the following Sunday morning to participate in a study on the theme of the previous week.
One of the organisers, Guy Benton from our Lower Hutt parish whānau, said “We needed to find a bridge between big youth events and the local church; a way to engage young people in church through speakers and music that is designed specifically to reach them in their age and interests. Our aim is to create a space that young people can meet with each other and Jesus in a way that is accessible and exciting for them.” Guy, along with one of the other co-ordinators, Andy Spence, say that with all our support, our young people will start to feel encouraged to be part of their local church and serve in a meaningful way.
The Cathedral team have lent their support, seeing this as a great way to use this “huge Anglican building in the heart of the city” as a gathering place on a Sunday evening, and a place of support towards other churches within our diocese on Sunday mornings.
The opportunity now is for our ministry leaders of the greater Wellington region to get behind this initiative, and utilise the resources being made available to help disciple the young people in our parishes. We encourage vicars, priests in charge, youth group leaders and parents to bring or send your young people along on the 7th of July, and secondly, to contact Guy and Andy to participate in the weekly small group studies on Sunday mornings.
Guy and Andy share: “We want to create a new generation of disciples who are ready and willing to go where God is calling them and who are excited and empowered to engage in their local church.” If you have questions, you can contact Guy on email@example.com or Andy on Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.
AYM Youth Church
Starts 6pm Sunday the 7th of July, Wellington Cathedral of St Paul
Runs weekly until the 18th of August
All details on the AYM Youth Church Facebook page.