From News Release, April 24, 2015: More than a thousand Adventist young adults from across the southwest United States convened in Arlington (Texas) for the fourth annual Young Adult Festival of Worship. Pastor Helvis Moody and Pastor Tyrone Douglas inspired the Millennial generation gathering with preaching centered on Christ Jesus as greater than all. In addition to the over 1,100 attending in person, hundreds more around the world tuned in on line for the event, specifically contoured to spiritually encourage new generations of believers. Moody is young adult ministries director for the Southwestern Union Conference of the Adventist denomination and Douglas is youth director for the denomination’s Southwest Region Conference.
“Our Arizona young adult community jumped online joining the young adult festival,” stated Pastor Benjamin Lundquist, director of young adults for the denomination’s Arizona Conference. “We were incredibly blessed as a generation was celebrated, Jesus was uplifted, and leaders were challenged. It’s time these festivals begin happening all across the country.”
As part of the day’s worship, participants spent time Sabbath afternoon at Mission Arlington, a faith-based organization that serves neighborhoods in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metroplex with compassion, community-building and caring assistance. Engaging community children with songs and smiles and popsicles, young adults were immersed in the joy that comes from sharing Christ’s love.
“I’ve got to say, there was something special about seeing young adults gather to serve the community,” said Debora Obeng, a 21-year-old software engineering major at the University of Texas Arlington campus. “The interactions with the communities we visited were the most inspiring aspect of festival.”
In an interesting turn of events, during the final worship session, tornado sirens went off signaling severe weather approaching. Evacuating downstairs to a standing-room-only space, the young adults continued undaunted. The worship leaders adapted seamlessly to an impromptu acoustic set. While the storm raged outside, Moody challenged and called all to live 24/7 lives of worship to which the young adults eagerly responded. “It was refreshing and encouraging to see so many young adults with a passion for worship and a willingness to serve their community for Christ,” said Douglas.
Saturday evening was devoted to fellowship as Encounters Café provided young adults with a chance to enjoy table games, refreshments, and loads of laughter. Finally, the group headed out to enjoy broomball at Ice at the Parks, a nearby ice skating centre. Needless to say, the laughs continued as dozens of young adults took epic falls in their efforts to score goals. “Our only disappointment with the festival was the inability to play broomball online,” quipped Lundquist from Arizona.
The Young Adult Festival of Worship aims for next generations to honor Christ Jesus as Lord by expressing grace, embracing fellowship, and pursuing intimacy with Him. This invitational Sabbath gathering intends to inspire the young adults of the Southwestern Union and beyond to live 24/7 lives of worship for the fame of Jesus Christ.
Resources from the festival are available on the Web at: festival.ygchurch.com