Saturday, January 25, 2014
Canadian Lutheran-Anglican Youth (CLAY) Gathering
Registration opens today for CLAY 2014, running August 14 to 17 on the campus of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.
"It's probably one of the best experiences that a youth can have in their church life," says Aidan McBride, who was part of CLAY 2012's "specialist home team"—youth old enough to be CLAY delegates who instead help out behind the scenes.
"It's great for them to experience something more, something larger, something made especially for them. You come together with around 1,000-plus of your closest brothers and sisters in Christ. It is quite a powerful thing."
McBride will be returning to CLAY this year, but this time as a leader-bringing his own youth group along for the ride.
"Anyone who's thinking of taking a group should really try hard to make it accessible to anyone, without consideration of their financial situation," says McBride. "My church helped me to go to my first CLAY; I got hooked and went again and again. Money should never be a reason for someone not to go."
CLAY 2014 will offer participants similar events to those at previous CLAYs, including outreach, educational workshops, and late-night social events.
This year's new feature, however, is the "Ministry Project." Groups will spend some time exploring a particular interest in depth, such as art, drama, or social justice. At the end of the gathering each group will present a final project or performance.
The ministry project experience is designed to inspire and empower youth "to express their faith using their gifts," and make CLAY "more engaging, relevant, and accessible for all."
CLAY 2014's keynote speaker will be Irish blogger and author Scott Evans. Evans is known for his frank presentation of his own struggles with finding a place in the church, and organisers hope his experience will resonate with attendees. His blog, Falling from the Front, examines pop culture from a Christian perspective.
This year's event in Kamloops will be the third to include Anglican youth. Organisers are keen to point out that all aspects of CLAY reflect the Lutheran-Anglican full communion partnership, and hope Anglican attendance will continue to grow in 2014.
To register now for CLAY 2014, or to learn more, click here.