TEENAGERS and young adults “woke up” – spiritually – during a recent weekend in the Redlands area on Brisbane’s bayside.
The “wake up” experience, organised by members of Birkdale Antioch, welcomed 35 young people.
Organisers Luke Hovarth and Kiri Groeneveld had planned the weekend for six months.
“Kiri and I look outside the box,” Luke said.
“Our youth group (Birkdale Antioch) has been going a number of years now and we wanted to bring some energy back to the group and inspire them to follow that through.”
The weekend of prayer, music, games and guest speakers centred on relationship with God.
“The weekend was set up as a story line,” Luke said.
“We started with communication with God, then friendship with God … (then) learning to share God’s friendship with everyone and maintaining that for the future.”
Kiri was “constantly conscious of the participants getting something out of” the experience.
“By the last day, I could see the enthusiasm and passion with which they (the youth) engaged in the weekend and that is what I will be taking with me from this experience,” she said.
Guest speakers included Brisbane archdiocese’s youth ministry development officer Michael Hart and Beenleigh parish priest Fr Tony Girvan.
The organisers were pleased that the weekend achieved its aim of “waking up” the youth present to the promises of lifelong faith, with members of the local “God squad” (other youth who offer hospitality) being on hand to provide much-needed help.
One of five parent helpers, Kerry Hovarth, described the weekend as “amazing”, with new faces welcomed.
“We had five young people join us for the first time,” she said, adding, “(And) they’d never experienced anything like it … They all seemed to love it and want to come back.”