Our young adult years are critical in forming our life path and our identity. We make big decisions, from what career we would like to start pursuing, who and how we may marry, where we will live and what values we want to uphold in our lives. There are many challenges to surmount and milestones to celebrate.
The organisers of the recent “Companions of Faith” workshop, Miwa S., Carmel M. and Pyong-Chan D., believe these ups and downs should be experienced with the support of a loving community, and definitely a connected peer group. This is why they brought together a group of more than thirty 18-22-year-old second-generation members, to have time to create deeper bonds, reflect on ways to grow, recentre their faith, have an amazing start to their academic year and potentially the start of a new chapter!
The workshop was hosted by Livingstone House between 17th-19th September, for a packed weekend of talks, discussion groups, sports, games, worship, prayer, reflection, catch-ups, goal-setting and sharing.
Going into the weekend, all staff and participants were aware that this may be the last workshop our beloved community property, Livingstone House, was going to host. On top of this, after experiencing an intense and somewhat distant year or so in lockdown etc. coming together to study and reflect in fellowship was a big deal.
With great seriousness and excitement, the participants engaged with content given by brothers and sisters: Yebuny H., Sean Greaves and Pyong-Chan D. on the key theme of commitment, related to preparation for matching and Blessing and developing a life of faith during studies and work.
Takeaways and feedback from the participants:
“A realisation that there is a community here that cares for one another and is yearning for connection and a deeper life. We are not alone; we have companions for this adventure of life. That’s precious.”
“I feel that this workshop is another power up in keeping the momentum of what I’ve learned and developed this summer and I’m glad to have this space with my peers to be my authentic self. I have started to realise through the content that I am worthy of more and I do have the ability to commit to the future and take active steps now to see the goals I have realised.”
“Recognising the importance of gatherings such as these, to nurture the community but also to nurture our own potential to love and grow together. I very much would like to try to organise some kind of get together with B.C.s in my community or individually. It’s good preparation for the future.”
“The most valuable activity for me was to be able to talk to and to share thoughts in group discussions and pair sharings. It was nice to have an opportunity to talk to people I don’t usually talk to and see where everyone is at in their lives. It also made it a lot easier to digest content and talk it through.”
“The main message that stood out to me was that commitment is a sacrifice. If I want any of my commitments to last, I need to be willing to give up certain things in my life for them.”
“I could connect very much with the motto ‘Companions of Faith’. It gave me a new understanding of friendship. I had some really nice experiences with some people this workshop. Super wholesome.”
We would like to say a special thank you to our chefs for the weekend, Nittaya and Adza M., who cooked several amazing Thai dishes and made everyone feel welcome to eat well.
We would also like to say thank you to Clive and Maria P., who made staying at Livingstone House very comfortable and even gave some keen participants of the workshop little tours of Livingstone House.
Lastly, we would like to say thank you to elder brothers and sisters for supporting our Companions of Faith project, particularly Yebuny, Sean, Jess and Kenneth who joined us for our main content day. Without whose contribution, it would be very difficult to pull off something meaningful for the age group.
The first time we held a Companions of Faith weekend workshop was in September 2018, and three years later we have held the second one. This initiative comes out of the context of a shifting young adult scene for the past three years, of which the pandemic did not help in solidifying. It is our hope that over the next few years we can develop more stable and substantial educational and support systems for this age group, particularly those most recently transitioning out of secondary school, as it is such a crucial time for growth and laying foundations for one’s life.
Overall, we can see the results of the endeavours this summer to put on different community programmes since restrictions have eased, and intend to build on the momentum created for this age group.
Written by Carmel M.
To keep up-to-date with the activities of our young adult community, please visit the Young Adults Grassroots Initiatives UK Facebook page. You can also keep updated through the Instagram page.