IYD 2019: Goose bumps, anticipation, ideas

“We have already accomplished a great deal,” summarises Rainer Storck, the hosting District Apostle of the International Youth Day (IYD). “We have a rough outline of events and have defined the participant groups.”

On Ascension Day 2019, tens of thousands of young people from all over the world will celebrate their International Youth Day. The weekend is being organised by members from North Rhine Westphalia, and will take place in the Düsseldorf (Germany) Fairgrounds. The members will be supported by helpers from neighbouring District Churches.

“The IYD steamship has begun its voyage, the boiler is pressurised! What we need now are ideas. We want to think very broadly. And yet we must also keep a handle on what is actually feasible,” explains District Apostle Storck (North Rhine-Westphalia). It is immediately clear that he is looking forward to the four-day celebration, but it is just as obvious that he is fully aware of the work that remains to be done, and the challenges that remain to be met.

More than just an EYD revival

Ten years after the European Youth Day and five years after the International Church Convention, New Apostolic young people from all continents will come together here from 30 May to 2 June 2019. All young believers between the ages of 14 and 35 are invited to this big event, irrespective of marital status.

The first divine service of the event is already scheduled to take place on Ascension Day Thursday, 30 May 2019 at 6:00 PM. Over the three ensuing days there will then be well over 100 offers on the programme, which will challenge participants to reflect, do some hands-on work, and take part in workshops. And divine services will also be conducted—some in small halls, some under the clear sky, and some in other languages. And at the end there will also be one big divine service for everyone in the large “esprit Arena”.

Enjoying fellowship beyond national borders

In May 2009, ten thousand enthusiastic participants gathered in the arena to join in the song, “The Lord is my salvation”. Together with Chief Apostle Leber and young Christians from all around the world, they experienced something that had previously seemed impossible, namely a youth day with participants from around Europe and many other countries. It was an event that still gives the participants of the time goose bumps: “Awesome weather, awesome people, awesome blessing,” says one young brother in summary, as he recalls the event.

The District Apostles not only responded to, but—in their meeting in autumn 2015—also officially approved, the often expressed wish for a repetition of this grand fellowship: in 2019, the Church will offer another such Youth Day, this time with participants from all over the world.

The wishes and ideas of the youth are important

As of summer 2016, ten Project Groups have been developing concepts ranging from content to music to communication. They regularly present their individual results in meetings with the 25-member planning committee. “We have already accomplished a great deal,” summarises District Apostle Storck. “We have a rough outline of events and have defined the participant groups.”

But the programme of the IYD is by no means one that has been created by the Planning Committee! Apostle Franz-Wilhelm Otten explains that a participant survey is to be published over the coming weeks. “An online questionnaire is to decide which requests and ideas are to flow into the Youth Day. Thus the young people will already be able to contribute to the big event long before it actually takes place, and thereby have an influence on their next big Youth Day. This is of great importance to the planning group.

Helping along in the Youth Day

However, the group is not just calling for great ideas, but also for active support. Reinforcements will soon be sought to help the individual Project Groups. Beyond that, up until 31 March 2017, the project managers will be looking for volunteer workers in the following areas by way of the following posting:

  • Assistants in the project office
  • Project Group Leaders “Exhibitions and Displays”
  • Project Group Leaders in the area of events

A small New Apostolic city

A space usually only frequented for a few hours at a time by fair visitors will be home for a few days to visiting youth: over 30,000 participants will spend three nights and four days together. They will require some 300 tonnes of drinking water, ten tonnes of fruit, many truckloads of food, as well as toilets and charging stations for mobile phones… The organisers are also taking all of this into account as they make their plans.

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