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B.C. Youth Convention Reactivated

Photo by Kevin VanderLeek

Re:activate 2019 was held in September at Willoughby Christian Reformed Church in Langley, B.C., bringing close to 200 young people from 15 CRC congregations together for worship and community and team-building activities.

The weekend for youth groups and their leaders to be reactivated together in their faith required its own literal reactivation this year. After a break in 2018 from a previous four-year run, partially caused by a change in original leadership, a cohort of youth pastors from Classis B.C. South-East and B.C. North-West reactivated themselves to organize the 2019 event. It also was moved from Abbotsford to a recently renovated gathering space at Willoughby CRC.

What did not change was the event’s purpose: to “unite and inspire Reformed youth to live out the call that God has placed on each of them.”

Curtis Meliefste, youth pastor at the host church, explained that the planning group worked hard to give the young people a well-produced and valuable convention experience that was distinctly Reformed in its perspective. One aspect of this was to impress on the participants that God is present and is to be worshiped in all places, at all times and in all moments of our lives.

Pastor Grant VanderHoek of Mission Hills CRC gave keynote messages on the theme ‘Unashamed.’ Participants ate, played, and many also camped together on the church property.

Volunteers preparing food for the weekend committed to doing so with minimal waste. They encouraged youth to bring reusable water bottles and obtained composting and recycling stations from the township. Faye Schoenit, a member at Willoughby CRC who headed up the volunteers, said the weekend garbage amounted to just two bags.

Three Christian universities—The King’s, Redeemer, and Dordt—sponsored a portion of the weekend. Their representatives were given an opportunity to speak and interact with participants throughout the event.

In Sunday morning’s closing worship, the youth from northern B.C.’s Terrace, Smithers and Telkwa CRCs were recognized for having traveled the longest distance—more than 1000 km (620 miles)—to attend. The cohort is already working on plans for re:activate 2020.

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