What do you get when you add over 170 energy-filled young people with games, worship and minimal sleep? The answer is Easter Madness 2017. Ben Tupou reports.
A week before Easter, young people from across the state gathered at the Sunshine Coast Recreational Centre to worship, express their creativity, and learn more about God and faith in today’s society.
An annual event organised and run by the Queensland Synod, Easter Madness is a state-wide Uniting Church camp for high schoolers (grades seven to 12) and young adults (up to 25-years).
The theme for this year’s camp—“True” —inspired attendees to explore the concept of “real world faith”. It was an opportunity for young people to ask those real and often tough questions about God, life and their journey.
South Australian guest speaker Danica Patselis led campers on a journey to unpack challenges they face not only as millennials but as Christians in today’s society. Danica emphasised a message of hope and celebration that God is with us, reminding young people that they are beloved sons and daughters of God.
Rev Peter Hobson, a member of the camp’s organising team and camp chaplain, stressed that a focus on faith was the prominent feature of the event.
“Activities across the weekend included the usual art and craft, games on the oval, and trips to the beach, but the highlights for everyone were undoubtedly the times of intentional worship and discipleship,” he said.
“The worship team created a space for singing and praying and reflecting on the Easter story that was very meaningful for campers across the entire age spectrum.”
The camp has seen a growth in numbers from last year and funding from the Easter Madness Appeal allowed numerous campers from rural and remote Queensland to attend.
Raushen Perera, Queensland Synod marketing and fundraising manager, is encouraged by donor generosity.
“For the second consecutive year, young people in our church have the support of people whom they may never meet, who believe in nurturing their spiritual and leadership potential.
“Thank you to all the donors to the Easter Madness Appeal, whose support enabled sponsorship for 17 young people from Mornington Island, Beaconsfield, Dalby, Chinchilla, Napranum and Toowoomba to attend the camp free of charge.”
Peter Hobson is optimistic about the future of Easter Madness and the part that these events play in the wider church.
“Easter Madness will be back next year—better than ever —and will continue to be a formative part of faith and discipleship for the young people of our Synod.”