Young people who attended a youth conference organised by the Church of St Anthony say they have benefited greatly from it.
“I have gained a deeper understanding of the word ‘love’,” shared 15-year-old Joel Tan.
“I learnt more about the Holy Spirit and learned to appreciate Him just as much as the other two persons of the Trinity,” said Brian Paulo, 16.
The two teenagers were among 90 young people from the parish who participated in the Dare to Love conference.
The event, held from June 18-22, aimed at helping participants show Christ’s love to one another.
The young people were from 13-25 years of age, and came from the parish’s various youth ministries and confirmation classes.
During the conference, parish priest Fr Terence Pereira and spiritual director of the youth movement spoke on spiritual growth and how to measure it. Participants also wrote their reflections on how much they think they have grown spiritually from last year’s youth conference.
These reflections were then placed on a wall to form faith-related pictures.
Participants also discussed the topic of love.
Various groups debated on topics related to love and boy-girl relationships (BGRs). The debate motions included “there is no problem with BGR at our age” and “there is no difference between my love for God, and for my boyfriend/girlfriend”.
Participants also took part in an activity which saw them writing down the sins or obstacles that prevent them from spreading God’s love.
They then shared in small groups the areas in their lives they felt needed conversion.
Games such as Pictionary and charades were conducted to help participants learn more about how the Holy Spirit moves them to love.
Parents joined the young participants on the last evening.
The adults discussed how they can help the young people achieve the goals of the conference while the latter discussed how they can put what they have learnt into practice.
Dorothy Phng, 18, said she came away from the conference with the desire to be more open to God’s love.
She added that she now knows “it is of utmost importance to be able to dare to love others”.
By Sheila Fong