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Jun14MonMore than 250 delegates take part in virtual territorial youth event. June 14, 2021 by Abbigail Oliver
More than 250 delegates across Canada and Bermuda gathered for a virtual territorial youth event during the last weekend of May. Delegates “spawned” (appeared virtually) on a beach in a video game-style web platform called GatherTown, crossed a bridge to the gates of a castle and entered the virtual world of Voit/See Connect 2: Electric Boogaloo (VC2).
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- Territorial News
Captains Marc and Mariska Potters, children and youth department, International Headquarters, kicked off the event on the digital main stage where they introduced the theme of the weekend: new hope. They focused on Exodus 18, prompting the youth to think about the roles of Jethro and Moses, and to consider the people in their lives who act as mentors and teachers, and those who may need a mentor or voice of wisdom. The night closed with illusionist Zak Mirzadeh who shared his own testimony after a hit illusion performance.
Saturday morning began with “near screen-free challenges” that encouraged delegates to take some time away from GatherTown to engage in a bake-off competition; a five-kilometre prayer run led by Major Terence Hale, territorial youth secretary; do-it-yourself heavy metal art with Salvationist Deryck Robertson; and “quick mission projects,” where Lieutenant Adriane Cartmell, divisional youth secretary, Bermuda Division, sent participants out to do small acts of kindness for their community. The group reconvened for online breakout sessions on topics such as innovation and leadership, mental health, healthy sexuality and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
On Saturday night, the group revisited the main stage for testimonies of faith, worship from Outside Worship, a comedy show by Jaron Myers and a late-night Rocket League tournament. Twenty-five participants battled on the online soccer field to become the territory’s Rocket League champion.
Throughout the three-day event, delegates found innovative ways to use the digital space. They played virtual hide and seek, and caught up with friends across the territory in common rooms. They formed teams to search the map for “Boogles” to earn prizes and purchased $2 pigs in a virtual “pig pen” for Partners in Mission. A breakout prayer room was also available for a quiet place to reflect and pray.
VC2 ended on Sunday morning with worship led by Captain Juan Chirinos, divisional youth secretary, Quebec Division, and Captain Norm Porter, divisional youth secretary, Prairie Division, Bible study with Captains Josh and Joyce Downer, divisional youth secretaries, British Columbia Division, and a formal passing of leadership to Captains Jason Dockeray and Kristen Jackson-Dockeray, who will step into the roles of territorial children and youth secretary and territorial secretary for candidates on July 2.
Reflecting on the weekend and its message of new hope, Major Terence says, “This gathering of young people from across the territory embodied that theme,” he says. “From coming together to rekindle or birth friendships signaling a hope of a near future with fewer social restrictions, to pledging to serve Jesus who both ‘sees’ and ‘saves’ by bringing that message of hope to the world, the young people and leaders gathered to embrace the God of new things that we see in Isaiah 43:19. For me, this weekend felt like a step into the brave new world that this generation will lead us into and through.”