Helping Youth Gain a Sense of Unity

2017. július 18., kedd

Days at the RCH’s Starpoint Youth Festival are organized for optimal spiritual growth – each activity and gathering seeks to promote this. Thought-provoking and relatable speakers will talk to participants each day and their messages will be driven home through a variety of engaging free-time activities open to festival-goers. 

Thousands of young people around the Carpathian Basin, and in fact, around the world, are eagerly waiting for the RCH’s Starpoint Youth Festival to begin at the end of July. Participants will come from many Hungarian churches in the region, as well as from RCH partner churches around the world. They all come to join in fellowship, explore their relationship with God, and delve deep into the topic of Reformation – all led by a talented and diverse team of engaging speakers.

Starpoint cannot officially begin or end without its Opening and Closing Worships, this year led by Violetta Bella. Bella has been excited by Starpoint since 2009, when it was held in Fadd-Dombori. She currently serves in a Mission community at Győrszemere and enjoys getting out of her comfort-zone and pushing her limits, lately through sports. Her go-to bible verse when she needs encouragement is 1 Samuel 14:6, when Jonathan says, “Come, let’s go… Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving...” Her voice will be a refreshing way to begin and end the festival.

Each day at Starpoint begins with morning devotion, and special speakers have been brought in for the international guests at the festival to give reflections in English. Speakers include Ibolya Balla, the vice president and teacher at the Reformed Theological Academy in Pápa who studied in Debrecen and received her doctorate in Australia; Josh Johnston, a pastor from Northern Ireland who recently completed studying for his theology degree at Belfast Bible College; and Aaron Stevens, an American pastor living in Hungary for twenty years who serves at the Reformed Scottish Mission, St. Columba’s Church in Budapest.

Pál Mike will give the daily morning keynote speech at Starpoint, discussing the theme of Reformation from a new angle each day. Pál describes himself as an, “open, curious, social person with tastes and patterns based on the context in which I was raised.” For him, relationships enrich his life the most – the ones he has with his family, with his church congregation, and more. He puts a focus on living your life in a way so radical that others call it into question, which should make for some interesting food for thought at Starpoint.

Following the morning key note speech, young people at Starpoint will gather together for small group discussions based around the message they heard. Following this time of sharing, festival-goers have the afternoon free to explore – some may choose to visit booths of various church ministries, others may attend a craft workshop or try out a group sport, while still others might check out a round-table discussion. The afternoon is prime time for individuals to explore whatever catches their attention and bond with other participants in the process.

Evening devotions then bring everyone back together at the main stage, where participants will hear from Krisztián Lovász, a young pastor who says that Jesus needs young people who are, “online, tricky, seekers, pious, serious, converted, playful, and always ready to change”; Miklós Kiss, a pastor who is passionate about young people; and György Szanyi, the vice president of the Reformed Youth Organization of Transcarpathia.

After the evening devotion, festival-goers will then spread out and take advantage of all the nightly activities that are planned – things like concerts, dance parties, UNHCR simulation games, and more. The nightly free time gives young people a time to unwind, let loose, and hang out with friends. This kind of community bonding time is crucial to the Starpoint festival.

Given that this is the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, the theme of this year’s Starpoint is Re:form! The purpose of Starpoint is to bring young people into a sense of unity with God, and the topic this year will engage the participants in meaningful ways about how the church is currently reforming, how it can continue to reform, what kind of role the can/should play in that, and more! For more details on the festival and it's speakers, you can check out the Starpoint website here


Article by Kearstin Bailey

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