Walk on Water
a student reflects on the European Kairos Weekend in Belfast
by Sean David O'Neill
It was a dark and stormy night as the European region’s Kairos Weekend began in a draughty upper room in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The room, filled with more than 100 young people from communities and outreaches in Europe and the Middle East, was imbued with a palpable buzz - a positive energy that defied the miserable weather. Expectation for weekends of this sort is always high: the worship, the fellowship, the friendship. Expectation, as always, was to be fulfilled.
to step out in faith
With the theme firmly fixed in their minds, participants retired for the evening: native Belfasters to their homes, and visitors from foreign lands to a cosy hostel in a pleasant area of Belfast close to the weekend’s main venues. In the morning, there was animated conversation at the breakfast tables. Many of the European and Middle East region’s youth appear to be morning people.
call to "slay our giants" and to realism in the Christian life
Martin Steinbereithner, the regional mission director, and Elaine Roub of Belfast then talked on the nature of intergenerational community, taking as their example the story of Elijah passing on his mantle to Elisha. The driving challenge thus far in the weekend was the call to realism, to acceptance of the torch of Christian life, to take up the individual cross that we all must bear.
inter-unity prayer event in Belfast
The next morning, after church, Dominic Perrem of Antioch (née Dublin) expounded upon the ubiquitous problem: applying the fruits of a retreat to one’s normal life. In a short time Dominic dispelled ambiguity and outlined how best to proceed – move with faith in every area of life and work. Be led by the Holy Spirit, feet firmly in reality. Despite time-constraints, he managed to give a thoroughly decent and practical talk.
The retreat ended with a time of prayer, especially for individual needs, which many participants said was deeply moving and powerful.
up the banner of Christ
[Sean David O'Neill is a
student at the University of Glasgow. He is actively involved in Kairos
and its local outreach to university
students in Glasgow, and with the Community
of the Risen Christ in Glasgow, Scotland.]
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