Two-hundred and twenty Anglican intermediate and youth leaders from around the country gathered in our diocese over the weekend to worship and receive teaching together at annual event known as The Abbey.
El Rancho Christian Camp in Waikanae played host to the conference, which included 67 leaders from our own diocese, and the Diocesan Youth Co-ordinator, Luke Paynter, says it was an awesome time of fellowship for all our leaders present. Luke noted that the teaching, from NZCMS’s Kirsten Cant and 24/7 Youth Work founder Duane Major, was excellent, and that it was great to celebrate together with leaders from across the diocese.
There were the odd epic fail moments however, including the moment when, after hours of work to get the diocesan pizza oven to right temperature, one leader asked the rest of the crew “did we mention that we ran out of cheese last night?” And the inter-island soccer match didn’t go so well for the North Island, but above all the drama, the feedback coming in is that this has been one of the best Abbeys ever.
Despite the cheese incident, Luke shared his pride in our young leaders: “We were in charge of hospitality, and we had the pizza oven and coffee machine running at the camp. I’ve received lots of compliments from other dioceses about the way our young leaders just pulled together and got things done.” His comments reflect positively on the growing culture of family within the diocese, and inside the youth movement specifically.