Monday, 18 July 2016

Young and Restless at NYALC

Written by Semisi Kailahi

Youthful enthusiasm withstood continuous sleep deprivation as 130 young Christian leaders from around Australia met on the Gold Coast for the UCA’s National Young Adult Leader’s Conference (NYALC).

For six days a diverse group of the Church’s future leaders got to learn from each other.

Participants at the conference learned about life in Indigenous communities, and heard Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Congress leaders Rev. Dennis Corowa and Pastor Ray Minniecon looked at breaking down complex issues such as treaty and sovereignty.

Young members of Congress travelled from across the country to attend.

There were also group sessions for young people facing the challenge of being a 2nd Generation leader in a multicultural congregation.

Despite the collective tiredness, spirited dancing and loud singing remained a staple of daily worship.

The greatest display of creative energy was at the NYALC’s talent show with strong lively audience participation from the audience.

There was plenty of food for thought and nourishment for personal growth.

Many of the young people at NYALC are already leaders in their faith communities.

There was lots of room for storytelling and listening in the cafeteria, during jamming sessions or on the beach at Burleigh Heads.

It was an important opportunity for some to speak openly and frankly about their struggles with faith and life in general. It says something about the sense of community that was created - that this level of sharing was possible. 

Nothing can prepare you for what happens when 130 young people get together.

I left leaving encouraged and inspired by those I met.

I am truly grateful for my interactions with everybody there.

It was loads of fun and like many of those who attended, I look forward to the next time we meet!