At Newday this year, Glo youth had an amazing time. What made our week so remarkable and memorable was the presence of God in all of us, wherever we went, in whatever we were doing. The Holy Spirit began to work in us even before the first main meeting. I think that for me, the presence of God at Newday is specifically what makes it so special; God was touching us, softening our hearts. Being separated from our normal lives gave us the opportunity to put God at the centre of our thoughts and I believe that after God is at the centre he can live continuously at the centre of our hearts even after the ‘hype’ of Newday.

Our campsite was located at towards the back of the camping fields, specifically completely opposite from the Big Top where the main meetings are held, but more positively, we were right beside the toilets blocks and the showers. Throughout the week at Newday we were served by a group of extremely supportive and loving people from the Jubilee Community Church they served us so well each meal time with the pre-made meals from many people from church! The youth leaders who accompanied us and lead us so powerfully were also amazing, every single one of the youth is so thankful for them being there for us.

My favourite highlight from Newday this year was Andrew Wilson’s sermon on Thursday morning during the 15 to 19’s morning meeting. Joel Virgo and Andrew Wilson were doing a four part series on the topic of sex and sexuality, a subject of conversation which is becoming increasingly important and it is crucial that it is discussed amongst teenagers especially at this point in time, in the past term the older part of Glo youth, Encounter has looked well into this through the Moral Revolution programme The Naked Truth: Sex and Sexuality. Andrew Wilson is an elder at Kings Church in Eastbourne, his preaching over the time at Newday was incredible and hugely impacted my soul, my knowledge and my heart to know the wisdom of God. In this sermon, which you can also listen to here,

Wilson was teaching us marriage was a parable of the Gospel and reasons why it is so sacred and important. God has effectively created man and woman in marriage to represent something higher than them, as worship to God. Andrew Wilson further illustrated his point by using a married couple; all dressed in their wedding attire to visually show the marriage between the Church and Christ. The groom was waiting at the altar for his bride, ready and prepared to be joined and united with his soon-to-be-wife whom he loved. The groom is Christ waiting for us, the Church. The bride is at the centre of the wedding, the groom and wedding guests await her arrival and are all in anticipation for that moment when she walks down the isle. She is always beautiful and dressed in white to represent her complete purity. When they each say their vows in willingness and devotion they are finally joined in union. Andrew Wilson used the term ‘asymmetrical mutuality’ between the Church and Christ in reference to the union. Two people become one in marriage and the bride takes on the second name of her husband, his identity, and now they share everything together. From this message we can see why homosexuality and other sexualities cannot be in God’s plan for us: they don’t reflect God and this story of true love between Christ and the Church. Nevertheless being single does not anyone less valuable, singularity is important too, Jesus was single and so many other Christian men and women in the Bible.

Summarily, this sermon gave me so much more understanding and explanation of my views towards marriage and what it truly means between two people.

Another amazing part of Newday was the spirit led worship, the worship team which included Jubilee Community Church’s Sarah Benton, was incredible, their song – writing was straight from scripture and let us all join together in worship and experiencing the Holy Spirit. On Wednesday one of my favourite bands Rend Collective lead worship in the Irish folksy sounds during evening main meeting, it was an amazing time full of dancing and praise, they later performed a full set of the songs after the main meeting and this was one of my favourite experiences of the four Newdays that I attended with Glo youth.

At Newday you get to be with your friends from Glo almost every moment of the day, sharing a tent with at least four other people is really comforting and I was inspired by so many of the youth who gave their testimonies of what God is doing through them daily and even at the outreach which five of our youth were able to attend.

God had his hand over us, holding us closely. He touched and softened our hearts and increased our desire to live our lives to show his love, and this week the most repeated message I heard was the fruits of the Holy Spirit, they were our tent names, and we learned about them in seminars based on the Holy Spirit, so after Newday and throughout our lives we as Glo youth want to be deeply filled with the Holy Spirit and these fruits.

Galatians 5:22 (NIV)

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.