Connect Weekend - November 2021

What happens if you bring together 30 young adults from five different continents (Africa, Asia, North America, South America and Europe) and four different New Ground churches (Mosaic Brussels, Redeemer Maastricht, Redeemer The Hague and Redeemer Delft), with a desire to spend time with God and worship together? You get a weekend filled with inspiring teaching, fun activities, good food, deep conversation and many new friends.

The main topic of the Connect weekend was ‘Walk in the Light’, centred around 1 John 1: 5-7, addressing our identity in Christ. An identity that is received, rather than achieved, and freely given to us by the one who perfectly knows us and the purpose we were created for. Discussing the teaching in small groups gave us the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the material, share experiences and get to know each other better.

On the Saturday, the inhabitants of Lunteren, The Netherlands, got to witness enthusiastic groups of young adults wandering around a forest clad in autumn colours, scouting the vegetation for marshmallow sticks, recreating famous movie scenes, constructing human pyramids, and hugging trees. Despite paths hidden by golden leaves and an early sunset, every participant made it back and got to enjoy worship, a cosy bonfire and marshmallows.

To me, it was fascinating to experience how quickly the group came together. One aspect I would like to highlight was serving each other through various practical tasks. In order to have excellent meals, some had to cook, others would set the tables, and others would clean up. Thus, putting C.S. Lewis’ writing into practice: “When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love them.”

I would like to conclude with a remark on ‘community’, taken from the teaching. When we refuse to walk in the light, in the sense of living our lives transparently, we impede deep fellowship. My hope and prayer is that as each of us return to our home congregations, we will dare to be an example of what it means to live transparently, so that we may have deep fellowship with God and with each other.