Over 370 youth, young adults and pastors/leaders, representing nearly 40 BUV churches gathered for our 9th Ignite Multicultural Youth & Young Adults Conference at Syndal Baptist Church on Saturday 1st July. Ignite provides an opportunity for young people, many of whom are 2nd generation Australian, to gather together, hear inspiring stories and teaching on life and faith, celebrate through song and dance and worship God. The theme this year of ‘Come Follow Me: Embrace the Way of Jesus’ encouraged and challenged young people to prioritise Jesus in their lives and take the next step in their discipleship.
We opened the conference with Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Norm Terrick, who is a member of Melbourne Indigenous Christian Fellowship. Keynote speakers included Rev Marbuen Diaz (Baptist Association NSW & ACT) and Bianca Manning (Common Grace), who shared their stories of following Jesus.
For many, the Ignite Conference is a highlight of their year. One young person commented, “Ignite has been very encouraging for my faith and it is one of the things I look forward to every year!”
New Vision Baptist Church, and City Baptist Church led us in heart felt worship and praise. Various cultural performances from Victory Baptist Church, Pwo Karen Baptist Church, and guest African drummers, were enjoyed by all. A participant shared that the “cultural performances and diversity amongst the people made me feel connected on a spiritual level.” Other favourite moments mentioned were seeing everyone dancing and being prayed for.
Workshops also provided opportunities to dive deeper into topics on life and faith, as well as training for pastors and leaders in building resiliency in young people.
Ketsu Tuitama, one of the youth leaders from Victory Samoan Baptist Church, shared a word of encouragement to the participants. He started his Ignite journey back in 2019, with only 4 of their young people, and now brings over 30 of his youth along to Ignite. It’s been a space of encouragement for him and his church.
We are looking forward to celebrating our 10th Ignite Conference in 2024! Save the date – Saturday July 6th 2024!