A special Youth Celebration Service was held in St John’s Church of Ireland, Kilteevogue, near Stranorlar, on Sunday evening to celebrate the Parish Group’s new partnership with the Christian youth ministry, Exodus N.S.
The local Rector, Rev Adam Pullen, said he was delighted with the number of parishioners who attended the service and with the range of age groups represented in Sunday evening’s congregation.
During the service, Rev Pullen commissioned two members of Exodus, Andy Lamberton and Clodagh Dickson, as they prepared to begin working with local young people. The Rector was assisted in the act of commissioning by parish readers Elsie Stewart and John Kee, and by Brigid Barrett of the Church of Ireland Priorities Fund, which supported the initiative.
Rev Pullen said the service had been arranged to give thanks to God for the support of the Priorities Fund and to seek His guidance for youth work in local parishes.
During the service, Clodagh and Andy were ‘interviewed’ by Rev Pullen about their own journeys to faith and their hopes for the partnership with the Stranorlar Group. The Rector shared his own faith journey, too, illustrating his sermon with old photographs :to prove that I was young once”.
Rev Pullen said he hoped that people of all ages would support the Group’s new youth outreach initiative. “As parents and grandparents and as members of His Church,” he said, “God places the responsibility on each of us to support and encourage our young people in the development of their faith.”
Rev Pullen told teenagers in the congregation that the older generation weren’t seeking to talk down to young people; they were getting involved because they cared. The Rector said the different generations could learn from each other. He hoped to harness the wisdom of older parishioners and the energy of the Church’s younger members.
Among the first tasks facing the new youth workers will be involvement in the annual Diocesan outreach, 'On the Move', which will be coming to Stranorlar for the first time ever this summer. Dozens of young people will descend on the town from July 3rd to July 7th, to take part in daily devotional activities, as well as community-based activities such as litter-picking, garden-weeding and fence-painting.