A major ‘Celebration of Youth’ festival is planned for Connor Diocese in September.
Entitled Energize, the event aims to challenge, inspire and enthuse young people and their leaders about youth work and the impact it can have on church and community.
The evening, which will celebrate the vibrance and power of youth ministry, takes place in St Brigid’s, Glengormley on Sunday September 28. It will be followed by roadshows in Connor’s three archdeaconries during November.
The evening gets underway at 6.30pm, and as well as worship there will be a juice bar, a coffee dock, arts, drama and music, visual displays including inspirational photos of youth work in the diocese, and prayer spaces. It will conclude at 9pm
The aim is to have young people aged 12 and over, along with leaders and volunteers and clergy from every parish in Connor represented.
The Connor Youth Council event is being organised by a special committee comprising Connor Diocesan Training Co-Ordinator Peter Hamill; Keith Neil, youth worker at Lisburn Cathedral; Diane Rhodes, youth worker at St Paul’s and St Barnabas, Belfast; Sharon Hamill of the Church of Ireland Youth Department (CIYD) and Lee Redmond, St Saviour’s, Connor, a member of Connor Youth Council.
Peter Hamill said: “Energize is about celebrating youth work and the work of volunteers across the diocese. It will be a very modern, young person-focused service. We hope to follow the evening event up with a series of seminars to re-invision youth ministry volunteers and help parishes start up new youth work.”
Keith Neill added: “We want people to come along and be inspired for fellowship. We want to bring together all our young people, their leaders and youth volunteers. This will capture the imagination and will be a platform for us to say to people all over the diocese we are going to come out into the diocese and meet you.”
The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, is backing the event and will preach on the evening.