Young URC members make their mark at second Big Speak Out event

BSO group news bannerMembers of URC Youth from around the UK took part in the second Big Speak Out residential weekend organised by the URC’s children’s and youth work team (CYW).

The event is an opportunity for 11-18-year-olds connected in any way with the United Reformed Church (URC), to explore putting their faith into action. It took place in Derbyshire in early July and was themed ‘Making Your Mark’.

Hollywood film Up! – about a 78-year-old widower who ties thousands of balloons to his house in order to travel to South America and complete a promise made to his late wife, Ellie, but inadvertently takes a young stowaway with him – was used by the group in conjunction with readings from the Bible to explore issues such as identity, unexpected heroes, standing up and making your mark, and what God may be calling us to next.

Lorraine Webb, Programme Officer (Children’s and Youth Work), spoke about how much fun the group had making replica models of the house in the film.

“It was great testing the houses to see how many helium balloons it would take to make them fly. The very impressive.”

BSO house news imageSaturday afternoon saw the young people choosing from a series of workshops where they could make their mark in very practical ways.

“Some wrote songs for worship,” continued Lorraine. “Some tried their hand at writing for Reform magazine, some learned how to run an activity as a young leader, some prepared a drama or a dance for Sunday’s worship.

“Most popular of all was a “church and community” workshop where a group walked to Repton URC, litter-picking on their way. Once at the church, they worked incredibly hard to make their mark on the church premises by clearing an overgrown garden, filling hanging baskets and flower pots, painting a gate (and each other), and decorating the noticeboards with two inspiring displays to encourage the congregation that they too have a part to play in the mission of God.”

The group invited the congregation of Repton URC to join The Big Speak Out for worship on Sunday. Worship was led by the young people and included contributions from the various workshops.

The event concluded with intergenerational team games, an indoor picnic, and an award ceremony.

Alongside The Big Speak Out, the Children’s and Youth Work Team also ran a parallel training and networking weekend for volunteer leaders which included sessions on engaging children and young people with the Bible and an introduction to the URC’s Friends On Faith Adventures, a new programme being developed by CYW and Pilots for children aged five to 11.


Published: 17 July 2019