Sunday, 11 January 2009

Highlights from YFC staff conference

This Friday signalled the end of another Youth for Christ staff conference, which brought hundreds of youth workers from all over Britain to Bodelwyddan castle hotel to celebrate, and get motivated for 2009. All in all it was a fantastic week, but here's eight things that made it particuarly enjoyable for me (in no particluar order):

1) YFriday
Undoubtedly the best Geordie Christian rock band in the world, YFriday joined us for the week and lead our times of worship. This was brilliant throughout, especially on the final night, which saw a collaboration between the band, DJ Hoolio and a couple of MCs. Bangin' beats, phat bass and the presence of God. Mmm.

2) Breakfast
The only reason I was able to get up each morning was the hot full english buffet that awaited me downstairs. Having said that, one morning my alarm failed me and we only arrived in time for toast.

3) The Bible as Apple, Orange and Ostrich Egg
The keynote speaker was a guy called Leonard Sweet. I believe his middle name is Freekin. Apparently he writes two books a year, and I'd recommend getting hold of some, on the basis that his talks were all awesome. Without going into too much detail, he was saying that we need to treat the bible holistically, like biting into an apple, instead of disecting it like a orange and isolating each part. Part of the challenge is to replace memorising bible verses with memorising bible stories. The ostrich egg reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on Christ in everything we read.

4) Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapwooooclapclapclapclap...
Roy Crowne, national director of YFC is stepping down this year, after decades of leadership. As such, this was his last conference, and he was presented with gifts, before receiving a standing ovation that went on longer than Lord of the Rings. It was quite a special moment (despite the fact I'd never heard of him til 2007).

5) Coincidences
I met a bloke called James from somewhere and it turned out we were both at a friend's wedding in the summer. That was not all however, as it was also revealed that we entered the same Christmas film competition, which I blogged about here. His film actually came 3rd overall, fortunately it was one of the really good ones so I wasn't too jealous. However, it really made my day that he thought my film should have been in the top ten and his youth group were "outraged" that it wasn't! I felt vindicated.

6) Sex with Elaine Storkey
One of the guest speakers, Mrs. Storkey, delivered a seminar on the above topic. I didn't actually go, so it only made the highlights list because of the lol factor (which Roy Crowne capitalized on, having previously given a talk to students that was advertised as "Maximum sex with Roy Crowne").

7) Celebration with Michelle Guiness
Another superb talk, this time on the theme of partying. It really is crazy that having been saved from death into eternal life, we don't have many parties. "Isn't it splendid to be a child of God? Shall we break out the cucumber sandwiches? Jesus really is rather lovely, isn't he?"

8) Beating Texans at Boggle
Yeah. Having played "scramble" on Facebook and lost more than I won, I was wondering whether I was losing my touch. As it happens, I absolutely pwned their faces. I'm sure they still enjoyed it though.

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