BRING JESUS TO YOUTH
The current environment around youth ministry is all about identity and we feel as a group we would like to make that strong representation of association with ZCD, our youth brand which acronym means Zion City Dwellers, our identity with being with Jesus, that name tells our community who we are and what we stand for.
God has been faithful in so much of what this group has done and we take time to honour those who spent countless hours in leadership and support for the youth and we believe that God has not left your service unnoticed and the many seeds sown will find a harvest.
OUR JOURNEY AHEAD
We are embarking on a future journey with a new and excited group of youth and we once again are blessed to have a strong core and committed team to push forward our vision.
We have in our current crop and special blend of nationalities and strong Maori representation which we believe is integral to our future partnership, working towards reconciliation and
forgiveness. They are also special young leaders with one of our leadership team winning the top NZ Apprenticeship Awards for their chosen trades, along with a supporting act of some talented role models excelling in their own fields of vocation.
Half a century ago our assembly collated and created a youth ministry based on our relevance in our community and our vision to make a difference to youth and establish a team, venue and social circle to share the good news of Jesus and to
help and support young adults into a lifestyle of caring for one another and making a difference to themselves and the community. The assembly at the time was pastored by Bill Whitley and the group overseen by his brother Peter Whitley.
With humble beginnings, we began with a group mainly made up of family members then grew very quickly to a core of around 50 committed youth and over the years we have seen many come and go but there has always been a strong core from year to year.
We were providing for up to 80-90 youth most weekends with activities from beach outings, over night camps, fun and game evenings, combined meetings with other assemblies in Gisborne and later with our incorporation into the national group of churches, the Christian Revival Crusade, we joined with the other youth programmes in Rotorua, Taupo, Cambridge, Auckland and Wellington.
The group remained strong to it's vision with many personalities coming and being influenced through their association with the group, with an estimation over the period of time over 3000 have been through since it's inception. This has been achieved by a strong team of support of helpers and parents, who have been committed and resolute in their belief that this group was making a difference, highlighted by Peter remaining in a leadership capacity for over 18 years.
The group has seen only a few oversee this group with Ray Iremonger taking over from Peter, then moving away from the district it was handed over to Peter's son Ian who also remained in leadership the same period of time as his father. He handed the reins to Nathan Whitley and Leighton Evans who were overseers for 5 and half years, Steven Kent and Walton Sadlier have both had opportunity to lead since then.
Enabled to look back at the many youth who have supported us through the years of existence we can see some amazing success stories, which have greatly enriched us as well as the
communities they are now involved in. We can recall back in the early eighties our group inviting a group of 10-12 gang members to a retreat in the Whareratas just south of Gisborne, over the weekend we saw all of the group commit the lives to Jesus, changing their lives and know that most of them leaving the path of gangs and walking with the Lord. Other who have come to us with mental and emotional issues over the years and by the strength of faith in what Jesus can do, have seen countless breakthroughs and transformations in peoples lives and circumstances.
The other positive outcomes have been seeing many of our members in places of leadership, governance and community role models, employees and employers and some still with our
group today in leadership and supportive positions, their stories of success would take far too long to record.
History and hindsight has also allowed us to cast our eyes back and be blessed and thankful for the lives that have made fantastic contributions to us as an assembly, as individuals and as a youth group.
THANK YOU LORD