Public Campus Ministries remains an integral part of the vision of the North England Conference (NEC) Youth department and thus each year we hold two key events ‒ this year the ASC Student Training Retreat took place 2-8 September and the NEC Students' Day on 28 September. Both serve a key purpose. Due to the cyclical nature of student ministries with student leaders coming and going on a 3-year cycle, it leads to a need to have constant training events for the new leaders.
Each year we hold a training event at Aberdaron that aims to equip and train the student leaders in how to effectively run a campus society. Workshops were given on how to give Bible studies to students, how to get Bible study interests, how to be a president/secretary/treasurer of a society, what is the history of campus ministries in the church?, science and the Bible and how to lead when no one wants to. Training was also given on how to use the FAST Bible study resources that are an excellent tool for small group ministry.
We were blessed this year to have Jermaine Gayle with us who serves as the programme director for the Campus programme in the Michigan Conference as well as the pastor of the campus church. He shared with us some excellent personal stories of how God has worked on the campus where he ministers as well as some very effective advice on how to be a missionary student on campus.
It is our vision to see an active and healthy ASC Society on every campus within the NEC to give our Adventist students a place that they can identify with and call home on campus. It's often lonely being away from home and however large or small the society may be, having a presence at a Freshers' Fair can make a big difference in the life of somebody who leaves home for the first time. We look forward to hearing the stories of how God has blessed on the campuses that were represented at the retreat.
The second event that we held in September (Sabbath 28) was the NEC Students' Day at Leicester Central Adventist church. We were blessed to have Pastor Israel Ramos with us who has been involved in campus ministries for 20 years. He is also one of the founders of General Youth Congress (GYC) and has a real passion to see young people involved and active in ministry. The theme of the day was 'A Higher Calling' as the students were challenged to seek a calling in God, that is 'Higher than the Highest Human thought'. We held workshops in the afternoon by Sam Walters that looked at 'Your calling and your peers', Ricky Morgan and Laura Jeffers looked at 'Your Calling and your Profession' and Israel Ramos looked at 'Your Calling and Your Personality'.
NEC Students' Day was attended by over 200 students with over 400 people in attendance on the day. Many of those who came were first-time students who will be starting university this year and so it gave them a chance to meet other students from around the country. Leicester Central church once again were the perfect hosts and we would like to thank them for their hospitality and for providing the opportunity for the students from around the country to meet up.
Please pray for all the university students as school starts again soon. A public university is not an easy place to live and practise one's faith and our students need all the support, encouragement and love that they can get.
Photos of the day can be found on the Adventist Students on Campus Facebook and Instagram pages ‒ @adventistsc and also on the NEC Youth pages @necyouth.