Southern Youth Councils 2023
Young people from across Te Waipounamu met in Christchurch for a weekend filled with connection and spiritual growth. Kaitlyn Bunz reports on the event and says the theme, ‘Justice Rising’, placed a strong emphasis on fostering an inclusive environment where young individuals could be their authentic selves while deepening their relationship with God.
The weekend was nothing short of action-packed, featuring a variety of sessions, a cosy campfire, exciting outdoor adventures and engaging workshops. These diverse workshops offered the youth a chance to pursue their unique passions and interests throughout the weekend, creating their own meaningful experience.
This year’s Youth Councils introduced a new feature: the Saturday morning Praise Party. It quickly became a highlight of the event, thanks to the passionate and authentic worship brought by the Cuba Street Sallies’ worship team. What made this experience truly special was the way it brought young people together. In this collective worship they found a unique space to connect, engage and explore their faith in a manner that often differs from their home church settings.
The MCs were a blast! They totally rocked the matching outfits. They didn’t just show up and do their thing, they brought the party to life with their infectious energy. Their casual yet coordinated look, along with their vibrant personalities, set the perfect tone for a weekend of fun and laughter.
God really moved, with legendary speakers Captain Dan Buckingham, Lieutenant Grace Duxfield, and Captain Sammy Millar each bringing powerful words of prophetic encouragement, challenge and healing. Many young people found so much value in spending the weekend with people who want to invest in them and who are paving the way for them to be authentically themselves in church spaces.
For the many young people, the value of the weekend extended beyond the content. It was a unique opportunity to spend time with mentors and leaders who were not only eager to invest in their growth but also actively leading the way in creating church spaces where authenticity is celebrated. This experience left a mark on the attendees, inspiring them to embrace their genuine selves within their faith communities.