We catch up with one of our participants at the National Young Adult Leaders Conference (NYALC), six months on. In this email, Emily Mills from the QLD Synod shares how taking part in NYALC began a whole new journey of growing her faith and leadership.
Life post NYALC has been a whirl-wind experience, sending me to so many events and bringing me so much growth.
The people I met at NYALC and the community we made truly has impacted me as an individual, as a leader, and in my faith.
When we returned to our Synods we were invited to a dinner with all the QLD delegates and our Moderator. Rev. David Baker urged all seven of us Queensland delegates to attend the 34th Synod.
For me there was a slight hiccup in the plan - I was not baptised. So, after many other unrelated conversations with others, praying about it and talking with God, I felt a real sense of "this was the right time."
This was God giving me a kick in the back side saying "you've put it off for long enough, it's time for you to become mine."
And so I did - I rushed home, had a meeting with my pastor, and away we went! I got baptised in March! And my was it an incredible experience I got to share with so many of my loved ones (I even live streamed it on Facebook).
Since then, opportunity after opportunity has been opened for me. One opportunity that came my way was being a leader on the Easter Madness camp on the Sunshine Coast.
I drove down on the #LuketheLikeBus making it possible for rural youth to be a part of this crucial state-wide camp, which was incredible!
I was assigned to be the small group leader of the Year 12's. I was extremely nervous about this and was not sure it was the right choice. Being only one or two years older than the members of the group, I wasn’t sure I had enough wisdom or knowledge to be able to lead them.
However, as it began, I realised what an incredible learning opportunity it was for me. It all worked out amazingly.
I was close enough in age with them that I could share and understand their experiences and could give scenarios relevant to their lives. It also meant I didn't necessarily have to lead from the front, but could lead from within as a friend as well as a leader.
I was also fortunate enough and very lucky to have an extremely wise and knowledgeable co-leader, Tim Griggs, who supported what I was saying with Bible texts and more wisdom.
From this, I was incredibly humbled to receive the Young Leaders Award, ensuring my return to Easter Madness next year ;)
I then attended the 34th Synod in Session, in which I was one of 15% of people under the age of 40. I was humbled to be a part of the worship team and ballot committee.
This was a full-on experience, but an incredibly eye-opening one.
I learnt so much about the workings of the church and had fellowship with some incredible people. Leading worship with the rest of the team was such an honour.
I am currently in the process of planning road trips with fellow youth in the Townsville area to visit some rural churches to encourage their young people and to invite them to our youth camp on Magnetic Island just off Townsville.
Sooooo much more has happened and will be happening this year. I think by the end of this year I will have been to seven camps or events! It's been crazy, it's taken me to so many different places to do so many different things, but it's been so good!!