Posts Tagged ‘nya2008’

A moment like this…or maybe not.

September 11, 2008 1 comment

Right, so I’m back again but not for any great length of time. Have been having a huge ponder about all of Mark’s talks in general and I’m not convinced I’ll ever be able to put the challenges and thoughts into writing but I may try and put some of them on over the next few days.

I’ve currently been laughing at how unproductive my day has been. Actually, it has not been that unproductive but when you’ve been at something like NYA, everyday after that feels unproductive for a while. I got excited about going back to uni for quite some time and actually started learning about some law myself. I didn’t learn about any law I need to know about at this moment which is what makes my learning all the more bizarre. I started looking up some Church flavoured law. I have to confess to being quite a fan. I kind of wish I could spend my whole life being at uni and learning things but I realise this is somewhat unpractical. I also realise I may not be saying this in four years time. But I had a kind of happy time today. I had some rather bizarre thoughts during the summer that I had maybe chosen the wrong course all along and should have done some maths/science related learning but all those bizarre thoughts have gone and am really excited about getting right back into it.

I had a church meeting tonight and although that should have really been quite a non-exciting prospect it felt quite the opposite. People knew I had been at Youth Assembly and I couldn’t wait to start telling people all about it…in fact I probably started telling some people who didn’t want to hear about it some stories. oops! The chat was not for that long really as that was not the purpose of the meeting but someone asked me; “what was the best bit?” and after my blah blah blah…I suddenly went “oh”. I really struggled to pin point a “bit” but I don’t think I wanted to. I didn’t want the whole experience to revolve around one particular moment cause that wasn’t what the weekend was about. There were amazing moments that I talked of in my previous post but I couldn’t tie any of those down to being the best thing. I suppose maybe when I answered the person who asked the question I didn’t quite word it that way and perhaps ended up saying something much more vague. Youth Assembly, this weekend, wasn’t about having a series of mind-blowingly amazing moments…I mean it has contained them and will do but for me what is really special about it was the atmosphere, the constant buzz of excitement, the thinking, understanding, the love….hm. I could go on but maybe none of these things can be defined by a moment, maybe it takes more time than that. I think I have actually lost sight of what I was trying to say. I hope I am not sounding too superficial but I know I am sounding random. Anyway, I’ll come back another day with possibly more clear thoughts and probably much different to the ones I have here.


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End of part one…

September 9, 2008 4 comments

I’m now back from horrific driving experience of the year and am back to thinking about Youth Assembly 2008. I think I am one of many that feel that going to youth assembly each year is like coming home which, I guess, is a slightly bizarre statement in that we only spend one weekend of the entire year there. But I reckon the time spent there is irrelevant and home to most people is where they feel accepted for who they are; a place full of love and grace. There is always a big build up to the event and the excitement spread by everyone is impossible not to catch hold of. In fact it’s very hard getting the bus into uni/town everyday, driving past the Apex and not feeling some kind of excitement about it all. NYA 2008 was really special, it was different. Here are some of my favourite things about it…

  • The people. There are always new people to meet, old faces to see again. It’s amazing how close you can get to people over the tiny space of the weekend. Everyone is so different in where they come from, lifestyles, beliefs and opinions yet in the diversity there is real unity. You are accepted for who you are. It’s sometimes really overwhelming to experience grace on a human level like that and it’s a really special part of the weekend.
  • Space. It really is one of the busiest weekends, there is always something going on and you always want to be part of that something. Yet in that time, there is space. Space to think, space to feel, space to encounter God, space to question. One of the things I really valued this year was the time set aside for silence. Silence is one of these very simple things, yet is so hard to find and is often something people don’t feel comfortable with. In fact, I have never felt comfortable with the silence but have discovered it’s a real time to meet God, to listen to him, to speak to him and to be honest.
  • Christmas Dinner. It’s really good fun yes?! But also, really amazing. Christmas Day for me usually involves working in a hotel, serving people their Christmas dinner, which actually is no bad thing. There is a strange joy in that. But at the same time, it was really special to celebrate, sing and laugh with people I love. 🙂
  • Worship. I really valued the fact there were different worship sessions in the morning. It made worship really comfortable and inclusive, people could worship in a way that was comfortable to them and this to me really, once again, highlighted how important it is to people that the Assembly is an inclusive, accepting place. It was also really cool to be able to explore different styles of worship that I had never experienced before- I saw some of them as a challenge but really rewarding challenges!
  • Openness. This isn’t so much a particular comment about youth assembly 2008, but more a general thing that has developed over time. I remember coming to my first youth assembly in 2005 and being absolutely terrified of everything…People are so open at NYA and I guess this has helped me to become more so. I’ve realised it’s ok not to feel on top of everything, it’s ok to feel terrified and it’s ok not to know things. It’s given me the opportunity to ask ridiculous questions, grow in confidence and feel safe. I learn so much every year about the church, people, God, myself…etc. and this learning has been so valuable.
  • Debates. It was really good being in smaller groups to begin with for each debate this time round. It gave more opportunity for everyone to have a voice in the debate. It gave us a chance to really get to grips with the topic and really understand what we were talking aboutand therefore allowed us to get passionate about the subjects! The debating on Monday was reeeeaaallly good because of this. Thought it was really cool to have lots of council people there- it showed our voice was valued and the church really care what we had to say on issues. Iain was also a super moderator, and to quote Margaret: “Alan McDonald prize for moderating!”. 🙂
  • Enthusiasm. Everyone is so excited about everything! It really is infectious and I always really appreciate how much the staff put into it the event. Everyone is really passionate about it and it makes the event really exciting!
  • Mark Yaconelli. I felt like I could sit and listen to him for ages…in fact, all negative thoughts about sitting on the floor vanished at 9.30am! Think the talk that really challenged me was where he talked of avoiding our weaknesses, the surprise wedding and the prodigal son etc. He always spoke so honestly and in a way that resonated deeply with many…I guess I am still finding his talks quite challenging and I’m not sure I’m able to put any thoughts into words very easily just now.
  • Communion. It’s always such a moving part of the weekend. It was really important to share in the Lord’s Supper with the people we had shared in fellowship with over the weekend. We could share in that knowing we weren’t being judged, we were welcome and there was a place for us.

I guess I could sit and talk about NYA 2008 a whole lot more and there are so many thoughts I cannot really make sense of just now but that should do for now I think. Youth Assembly rocked and I’m missing it a lot right now but am having fun looking at all the photos along with my sunburnt duck!


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…



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September 9, 2008 1 comment

Blog, blog, blog?

I am not convinced I shall enjoy blogging but you never know, I may well get carried away with it. Just as long as I don’t have to make it look attractive or anything? That might be too much effort.

So I was at the National Youth Assembly of the Church of Scotland at the weekend, and there was a debate about the media. The media is growing, growing, growing and I guess I wasn’t actually that cheery about that thought at first. I fear technology, well except facebook, so I thought I would try a new thing to challenge that thought.

I have many a thing to write about Youth Assembly 2008 but before that i have to go and frighten the drivers of Dundee in the form of my driving lesson. I think I would rather be napping.


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