Archive for July, 2011


July 1st, 2011

EMERGE has arrived! It’s been a long time in the planning, development and strategising, but at last, it’s on the map, in the calendar and finally, last weekend, on the road! Andy Back takes up the story…

I have long been committed to the age group of young teens between 11 and 14 years – kids who are too old for Sunday School, and yet too young for a traditional Youth Group. It’s been fulfilling, hilarious, sad, exciting and brilliant to see young people packed with potential, to help them to discover the truth about God and his love for them, and to see many of them flourish.

So it is with the young people at Churchcentral. They many not be many in number at the moment, but they are certainly noisy, energetic, constantly astonishing, competitive and rewarding.

Nathan, Ben, Olivia, Josh and Wei Xi (plus our most recent addition, Reuben) have enjoyed our first few meetings, so we decided to put their skills to the test with the first-ever (but probably first of many) West Midlands Spycatcher Caper, which is a fancy name for a clue-based tour/puzzle/orienteering/supervised rampage, which included having to spot various team members disguised as shoppers in Wolverhampton’s shopping centre. I was alarmed to see several of them set upon a nice gentleman calmly reading his Sunday paper (James Serpell) and then surrounding a dear old lady, who turned out to be Becky Wilson. Pam Serpell wore some extremely bright clothing and a well-pulled down cap and bamboozled several, while my waterproofs, bushy beard and tam o’shanter fooled no-one but got loads of double-takes from other shoppers as I strolled around before I was challenged by the EMERGE youngsters.

It was a jolly day, with great weather, fine food, lots of fun and laughter, and some of the most appalling e-number-ridden green fizzy pop I’ve ever encountered, which had an alarming effect on already-hyper-enough-thank-you young chaps.

It was great to have Jo Chumbley with us to lend an air of calm, and Pete Halford as well towards the end of the day, when we discussed a Scruples question about dodgy friends, wild promises, parental love and some significant theology about God’s protection.

I believe being a part of EMERGE will have a positive effect on these young people and the many more who will, in time, be entitled to attend. Please pray for us as we seek to honour the excellent work the parents of these young people have done to provide us with a group of lively, informed, spiritually receptive and highly delightful young people.

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