Home > Queensland Synod News > More than madness – it’s growing faith

More than madness – it’s growing faith

There has been nothing like it since the 1980s as 300 young people and leaders from 30 youth groups across Queensland came together at Alexandra Headland for a weekend of Summer Madness.

Billed primarily as a spiritual growth opportunity with great teaching, discipleship development and worship, Summer Madness was a cooperative venture between Queensland Uniting Church Youth Workers and lay leaders with the support of the Synod Youth and Children’s Ministry Unit (YACMU).

YACMU Director Michael Jeffrey said he believed the event would be a kick start for congregations’ youth ministries for the year.

“We believe it was a blessing to the young people participating in the camp and that they grew in their faith and developed in their faith practices over the weekend,” he said.

Redcliffe Uniting Church Minister Rev Peter Armstrong said Summer Madness reminded him of the great camping days of old, and described it as a fantastic weekend with a good variety of speakers who stepped up to the mark in terms of connecting with young people, creativity and realness.

“It was the best event I’ve been to in the Uniting Church that focused on growing disciples,” Mr Armstrong said.

“Everything pointed to following Jesus in the world, doing it together and sharing Jesus with others.”

Young people who attended echoed the sentiment describing the weekend in glowing terms.

Daniel Green (14) from Edmonton Uniting Church in Cairns said Summer Madness had affected his relationship with God “immensely”.

“I feel closer to God than ever before, and know that I am never alone and God is with me 24/7,” Daniel said.

Jessica Swindon (16) from Indooroopilly Uniting Church said, “Summer Madness has really given me an open mind to understand that there are different ways to have a relationship with God.”

Emily Crabtree (14) also from Indooroopilly said, “Summer Madness has helped my faith grow because I believe it has exposed me to what God is really all about, through having friendships with others that believe in the same things I do and the small group discussions gave ideas of how to have a healthy relationship with God.”

Marda Pitt (16) from Old Mapoon Uniting Church said Summer Madness had strengthened her relationship with God and she had been blessed to be there.

“The small group discussions helped me to be more open with sharing my faith with strangers which is something I wasn’t able to do.”

Sean Patton (15) from Indooroopilly found Summer Madness an inspiration for the practical outworking of his faith.

“I hope that my faith will grow more, because my new aspiration for the future is doing charity and, to me, that is spreading the word,” Sean said.

Youth Ministry Worker Alison Cox challenged the young people to respond to what God was saying to their lives.

Ms Cox asked young people if they wanted to follow Jesus, be part of what God is doing in the church and to love and serve the world, to stand up. Seventy percent did.

Mr Armstrong said for him it was a great experience of hope and vision for what God is doing in the Uniting Church in Queensland.

“Meeting some of these young people who are so passionate and real about their faith really surprised me.”