Sunday, October 11, 2015

Jesus - a friend for life. Celebrating 25 years of Hy-Tec, our youth group

Hy-Tec Celebration Service
11th October 2015

Welcome to everyone sharing with us in our services today and a special welcome to everyone joining us to celebrate twenty-five years of Hy-Tec and get to the heart of what it’s all about.

Highbury Youth – The Eternity Club is a bit of a mouthful.  So it’s always been known as Hy-Tec!  Twenty-five years ago people at church had a passion to share the Christian faith with the young people who were growing up in the church, with their friends and with others too.

Starting with Kev and Jenny Elliott, moving on to Mary Buchanan and then to Adrian Blazey and to the current team of Adrian, Geoff and Ruth, Hailey, Matt and Beth there have been a whole host of leaders who have helped out with Hy-Tec through the years.  A big thank you to them all.

At the heart of everything Hy-Tec has done has been worship and prayer.  As well as our 10-30 and 6-30 services there’s a time of worship here in church most Sunday evenings at 8-45.  It’s the culmination of a fun evening taking a sideways look at the things that matter through the eyes of Jesus and brings each Sunday to a close with praise and then, linking hands, prayer.   So celebrate with us, think about the things that matter … and join in prayer!

Praise and worship with Hy-Spirit

We began with a couple of the very early songs that were favourites at Hy-Tec, Come on and celebrate and over all the earth.

Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

Only Connect

It’s great celebrating Hy-Tec – 25 years – Highbury Youth – The Eternity Club

We miss Mary Buchanan, one time leader of Hy-Tec and now our Youth Ministry leader, who is up in Glasgow where her mother is far from well – she has sent an email asking for prayers especially for her mum and her family as her mum is not well.

Was trying to think of some sort of 'inspirational' message to pass on to everyone - but at the moment inspiration is failing! So I'll settle for 
- sincere apologies for the absence of haggis cake. 
- hope it's a memorable weekend (please put the pics on facebook, I'm getting hooked and I have got some internet access!)
- lots of love to all
- thanks to everyone who has had to pitch in and do extra because of my absence. 

I'll be with you in spirit.

Love Mary

We are thinking of Mary – who is with us in spirit – and we are thinking of her mum, Margaret.

It’s great to feel that connection with Mary now as we are sharing in our worship.

It’s great to make connections – between the youngest one here and the oldest one here – say 90 years. Youngest is Lucy at 2 – oldest is the oldest is Ellen at a little over 90!
 It’s 1982 years since the death and resurrection of Jesus – 90’s into 1980 –
22 people – fewer than the number who have come specially to the Hy-Tec celebration! - That’s what connects us to Jesus – historically.

Wow – a very close connection with Jesus himself.

So we have a quiz to do – the Hy-Tec Only Connect Wall – inspired by the fourth round of the great quiz show, Only Connect.

You can have a go on the wall here … through unless you know our Hy-Tec you won’t be able to get very far!

The Hy-Tec Only Connect Wall

Explain the connections

The original eternity clubbers

Mary and Martha –

The Mary Connection

Mary was a very spiritual peson and Martha a very active person – we need both, we need to be both – but they lost their brother – and Jesus was a great comfort to them - Martha just wanted to talk, and Jesus talked with her and said I am the resurrection and the life, those who believe in me, though they die yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.  Mary couldn’t say anything she just was weeping – and Jesus just wept with her – now words.  And then he brought them resurrection for their brother.

We remember in the very first year of Hy-Tec Emma died – and we remember her and remember her family today.

Luke and John – Luke brought us the story of Jesus and the story of how the first followers of Jesus took Jesus into the heart of the Roman Empire, Rome  and John just selected seven things Jesus did and through the words of Jesus brought out what they meant – that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, that Jesus is the light of the world, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life

That’s the most important thing of all – that we each of us connect with Jesus – and find that he is a presence with us who can shape our lives and be with us come what may.

Only connect – through reading the Bible – those gospels – and getting to know who this Jesus is.

Only connect – through prayer – really important

Only connect – by simply letting him be there alongside you in the whole of your lives

John – was one of the youngest followers of Jesus – loved to share the Jesus message – when he was old carried into church – God is love – love one another.

Along with the Gospel he wrote he wrote a kind of accompanying letter that sums it all up
1 John 4:7-12

Dear friends, let us love one another,
because love comes from God.
Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.

8 Whoever does not love does not know God,
for God is love.

9 And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world,
so that we might have life through him.

10 This is what love is:
it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.

11 Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.

12 No one has ever seen God,
but if we love one another, God lives in union with us,
and his love is made perfect in us.

A Hy-Spirit Song

Our God is big not small, he loves us all
His love is … amazing
Written by one of the first Hy-Tecers – James Gregory.

Sunday Special continues
For over 3’s

Making connections

[ The next little bit was in my notes … but didn’t get into the service itself!!!   Christabel Burniston would have been well over 100 – her parents were passionate for women’s rights – Christabel Pankhurst – the film Suffragette out this week.

Went to church at the end of a conference and the preacher had walked across Selma bridge with Martin Luther King – we are showing the film Selma on Saturday night

And on Saturday morning – A21


Human trafficking fuels the growth of organized crime, undermining health, safety, security, and the basic needs of humanity. It is the fastest growing crime in the world.


We are a non-profit organization who believes that together, we can end human trafficking.

 Here is our strategy:

Prevention – Protection – Prosecution – Partnership – Minster 11-00 on Saturday morning.]

There’s another TV programme that focuses on a well known TV show like Dad’s Army and then asks what happened next to the cast, the script writers, and everyone involved.

So we went on to hear what happened next to one of the very first Hy-Tecers and one of the seven who was at the very first Hy-Tec twenty-five years ago.

One of the very first leaders Jo told the story of what happened next after leading Hy-Tec in its first five years.  How she made a commitment to Christian faith in the very first Hy-Tec weekend away, then after leading Hy-Tec for five years married Matt, has a family and has become very involved in church in Midsummer Norton, where she leads a club for years 5 and 6 and hosts with Matt a house group each week.  She recalled using the script of the Cheltenham Passion Play to take the story of Jesus on to the streets in Midsummer Norton in 2008, calling it Passion – 8.  Jo spoke movingly of the way her Christian faith is such a strength to her, providing her with that solid presence of Jesus with her and alongside her through all of life’s ups and downs.

We went on to hear Helen’s story who had been at the very first Hy-Tec twenty-five years ago.  She had gone on to Uni,in Lincoln,  into teaching and has stayed in Linclon where she has been very involved in the life of a church that has a massive commitment to making a difference in the community.  After 14 years as a classroom teacher she now works as a peripatetic RE teacher and goes into church to share her Christian faith as a teacher, a very different approach from the one she had been used to as a permanent teaching in a school.  She spoke of the difference Jesus has made in her life and the strength he has been through everything.

They then went on to read wonderful words Jesus shared with his closest friends the night before he died, when he spoke of them as friends.

Maybe that’s the hope and prayer we have for us all – that we can treasure that friendship we have with Christ and the friendship he has with us and take that ‘connection’ with Jesus through the whole of our lives.

John 15:1-17

 “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener.2 
He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit,
so that it will be clean and bear more fruit.
3 You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you.
4 Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you.
A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine.
In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine, and you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit;
for you can do nothing without me.
6 Whoever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up;
such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burnt.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it.
8 My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit;
and in this way you become my disciples.
9 I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love

11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
12 My commandment is this:
love one another, just as I love you.
13 The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.
14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you.
15 I do not call you servants any longer,
because servants do not know what their master is doing.
Instead, I call you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit,
the kind of fruit that endures.
And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name.
17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another.

Hy-Spirit went on to share the song that has most recently become a favourite.

Song 10,000 reasons

Kev, the first leader of Hy-Tec then movingly shared his Christian story.  He spoke of growing up in church but coming after a short illness at the age of 10 to a realisation that God was with him.  Then going off to Uni how he felt he had been led to be in just the place God wanted him to be.  He spoke then of the way he had married, moved to Cheltenham and become very involved for the next thirty years and more in Christian youth work.

He spoke of how well that work was going when he found Highbury were looking for someone to help them set up a youth group.  Feeling he couldn’t ask anyone else to go, he and Jenny came across and started something that is still going 25 years later.

In all that he has done, with youth work nationally, setting up The Ocracy at Highbury with alternative worship, detached work in Whaddon in Cheltenham in Charlton Kings Baptist church and at Highbury the thing that has driven him has been the difference being attached to Jesus and having that presence of Jesus with him makes in the living of his life.

We went on to sing In Christ alone.
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! - who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe.
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand:
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

Stuart Townend & Keith Getty
Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music

Worship at Highbury happens each Sunday at 10-30, 6-30 and again at 8-45 when Hy-Tec share in praise and worship with hy-Spirit our worship group and then link hands around the table on the platform and share prayers people request.

We linked hands around the table and around the church and shared in prayers, remembering people known to us, not least our Youth Ministry leader Mary and her mother who is not well at the moment, and especially children caught up in the refugee crisis.  With prayers for peace and the grace our Hy-Tec celebration came to an end

With a wonderful lunch to finish the weekend it was great not just to look back, but to look forward and to share the weekend with the current hy-tecers in the hope that we can pass on the faith we share so that more may come to know that Jesus Christ can shape our lives and will always be there to see us through the whole of our lives, an ever present strength, come what may.

No comments:

So much to pass on at Highbury

If you give a little love you can get a little love of your own

A blessing shared at Highbury

Now and the Future at Highbury

Dreaming Dreams Sharing Visions at Highbury

Dreaming Dreams Sharing Visions

Darkness into Light