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Where do we meet? When do we meet?

BLAZE at The King's Arms

Fridays, 7.30 - 9.30 pm
BLAZE at TPS Sundays, 11.15 - 12.00
BLAZE Summer Camp 4 - 11th August 2012 "Carry the Flame"

It was the first week in January 2011 and Gerry stood at the front of church and made a call for someone to lead the Youth work on a Sunday morning. A number of changes in circumstances had left an element of uncertainty about the future of the youth work after a number of excellent years of service by key people.

I can't believe that was only just over a year ago. We have a fantastic bunch of young people at Life church and it has been a pleasure and a joy to spend time with them over the last year. So what have we done together over 2011?

We started with committing to offering time together on a Sunday morning to read the bible, learn more about God and pray together, (Ok it's true we do play a number of games but I'm sure that's called fellowship!!) But it gave the young people confidence to lead a Sunday morning meeting. Just after Easter we organised a concert for 'A Kiss Goodbye', a Christian band from New Zealand and had the opportunity to invite along friends and young people from other churches.

In the summer term we run a programme called 'Culture watch', and looked at films and how they challenge/support the Christian life. As amateur film makers we also produced a couple of our own films based on some well-known stories.

Our key highlight for the year was probably the Summer Youth Camp. We camped out at Hurst Barn for a week and had a fantastic time of bonding, spiritual refreshment, and making new and international friends (I'm including Newcastle in that bit!) We played, prayed, learnt, hurt (that was Dan in particular), ached, ate, and laughed. Nehemiah gave us a few things to think about.

And from that was born 'Blaze'. Our youth group identity that explained what we wanted to be - on fire for God, blazing a trail, connected to the Holy Spirit, fanning into flame our gifts. During the autumn term we started Blaze on a Friday night (opening with a bonfire party), with the aim of having something we could invite our friends along to and introduce them to Christianity and ultimately Jesus. We meet in the King's Arms and have guest speakers come along and share their testimony and vision.

The beginning of December we had our camp reunion event, and then led the Sunday service on the next day sharing a little of our camp experience. The young people shared their testimony, their voice, their musical gifts, their dance ability, all in worship to God.
And that was 2011. So what lies before us? Well 2012 has started with building stronger links around what we do on Fridays and Sundays as we are covering the book of James and following the church vision around discipleship. We still have our film nights at the Kings' Arms once a term. The older teens (year 11+) have just started meeting socially on a Friday night after Blaze to develop their relationships.

Our vision for 2012 is to look into 2 or 3 events, a musical one, a sports one and maybe a drama one. We hope that the first 2 will be done with PACT as we are currently working to develop the relationship with those who work with the young people in other churches. We will also be running the Summer Youth Camp again and have had a lot of interest. Rory Malone (a Kiss Goodbye lead singer) will be having Life church as his base as he does his UK tour in 2012 for 6 months and we hope he will be spending good amounts of time with our young people.

Do we need help, yes please. We are looking for another regular leader on a Sunday morning and would be interested to talk to anyone who would like to help at Camp. On a Friday morning we have a prayer meeting for young people between 9am – 10am at Hurst Barn and you are welcome to join us or let us know if you can pray for our young people and we will fill you in.