MAD 2016 gets 'Plugged IN'

28.10.2016 | Youth & Children

This weekend will see around 1,000 young people, leaders and helpers from over 40 youth groups across the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) descend upon Ulster University, Coleraine.

Now in its 18th year, MAD, which stands for ‘Making a Difference’, is an annual two-night residential that focuses on helping young people aged between 11-18 years grow in their relationship with Jesus – and this year, through the theme ‘Plugged IN’.

Over the course of the weekend three speakers will share different ways of getting plugged in. Melissa Piper, of World Evangelical Alliance, will speak on plugged into Jesus; Stuart Hawthorne, assistant minister at Abbots Cross Presbyterian Church, will speak on plugged into the church; while Rick Hill, PCI Discipleship Development Officer, will talk about plugged into my world.

Graeme Thompson, PCI Youth Development Officer, said, “We hope these talks will help young people understand more about the power of having a relationship with Jesus, the importance of the local church, and their own potential in God’s hands to impact their school and friends.

“Rick will give the young people ideas on how they can make an impact with their faith in school. We hope to send them out on the Sunday as missionaries.”

To support those attending to do this, a number of seminars will be available, covering topics ranging from the Bible, sharing your faith, and school, to drama, mountain biking and the online world. Crown Jesus Ministries will also contribute during the weekend.

“Outside of learning, there will, of course, be time for fun – and lots of it. There will be a variety of fun zones, where the young people can participate in drama workshops, computer gaming, or even try out some inflatable fun,” Graeme said.

Considering why the MAD weekend is such an important and valuable event in the church year, Graeme continued, “It is important because we want to give space for leaders to make or deepen their relationships with the young people in their youth group. We provide everything so that they can simply spend time with the young people.

“As always, we hold the expectation that God will work in the lives of our young people, changing and equipping them – and that they will come to faith or grow in faith. This is not a hope, but a real and definite expectation.”

The MAD Weekend ends on Sunday, Graeme also extended his thanks to local congregations opening their halls to accommodate the sleeping arrangements of those attending.


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