Category: Year 13


In this week’s sydneyanglicans.net the Year 13 program is featured alongside the Church Army program in this story on gap year programs.

Here’s an excerpt:

Most Sydney Anglicans probably know a teenager who is wondering what to do with their lives. In the past, teenagers went straight from school to a trade or a degree. Today, Christian teenagers have the option of trying something new, seeing another part of the world and building up their Christian faith.

Read the full story here, and check out the forum in which I have been invited to participate.

Radar 'Keeping the Faith' Cover

In today’s Radar (a section of the Sydney Morning Herald) they ran a feature on religion amongst young people. Lia Timson, the journalist, interviewed a number of young people, as well as consulting some other opinions, including mine.

She suggests that “Rumours of the death of religion among young people have been grossly exaggerated.”

Read the full article here. 

 

Here’s an excerpt:

“There is a resurgence of spirituality among youth,” says Jodie McNeill, a theology lecturer at Youthworks College, an Anglican school. “It’s a lot to do with generation Y needing to have experiences rather than explanations.”

 

McNeill leads a new chapter in the life of the church. Using his Blackberry, a blog and two websites, he keeps in touch with students and parishioners at the Sylvania diocese where he is a minister.

 

He also runs Year 13, a program for school leavers who want to make a contribution to the world and their own religious upbringing. Last year, 16 students took the course, which included a trip to disadvantaged communities in Africa. This year, 30 have enrolled and another 50 are studying for a diploma of theology.

 

“We live in totally decadent times,” McNeill says. “We have so much prosperity, we’ve got all the toys – the latest iPod and phones – [yet] young people are wondering how come they are still not happy.

 

“After they immerse themselves in the whole materialistic thing they feel an emptiness and a sentimentalism, to a certain extent … There is a longing for a time when it was right to be an activist and fight for what really mattered.”

 

He also says we live in conflicting times, torn between consumerism and the need to sign up to worthy causes – hence our readiness to buy $2 wristbands and cause-related pins. But for some young people, that is not enough.

 

“It has to do with being post-Christian, as well. Before, kids could ask their parents what it all meant. Now the parents don’t know. There’s a spiritual desert out there. So [interest] is bubbling to the surface.” 

Mike Baird meets Year 13

Mike Baird is the new MP for Manly, following his win in the NSW State Election on Saturday. I’ve known Mike for almost 20 years, from the time when we were both involved in the youth ministry at Christ Church St Ives Anglican, to the present. In fact, Kerryn Baird was one of Mandy’s bridesmaids 15 years ago.

Late last year, Mike generously offered his time (and the board room of HSBC Bank) for the Year 13 students when he talked about being a Christian in the corporate world.

I offer Mike my congratulations and prayers, knowing that parliament is not an easy gig for a Christian. However, I know that Mike is passionate about service, and parliament is a great opportunity to serve his constituents and colleagues as he follows the example of Jesus.

Year 13 2007 Kicks Off

Year 13 2007 Kicks Off! 

Year 13 has started for 2007 with a terrific weekend away, followed by two great weeks of lectures. The gang of 26 students and 4 staff have quickly settled in to what is shaping up to be a great year of service and growth.

Many of the changes for this year have been received well, including the new online learning and the introduction of the ‘Doctrine’ course.

Stay tuned for more updates, especially as we start to lock-down some of the new changes for 2007, including a local alternative to the Africa mission, plus other surprises!

Year 13 Growing and Growing!

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When people ask me how Year 13 is going, I nearly always try and talk about the amazing growth in the course.

The greatest growth was seen in lives of the sixteen 2006 students. I’ve witnessed the ways in which they have grown in their knowledge of God and of his word. I’ve been astounded in the ways they have grown in their maturity, both as young adults and as Christian men and women. I’ve rejoiced in the growth of the Gospel as the students have proclaimed Christ as they served God in their many contexts, both locally and in Africa. And I’ve marvelled at the way in which the group has grown together in love and unity.

But 2007 is also about growth. We have grown in our number of students. At the time of writing, we expect to double in the number of students, with an estimated 30 enrolments. We have also grown in our number of staff. We welcome Trinette Armitt and Pete Gunning to our team, bringing our number to four.

Please pray that Year 13 2007 is a great year of growth in the lives of the students and staff, as together we serve God and grow in love for him and each other.

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