For the first time ever, Dublin West Seventh-day Adventist Youth Ministry hosted a youth banquet under the theme ‘Purposely Unique’. This was a long-awaited event held on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at Bracken Court Hotel, Co. Dublin. The joyous occasion drew more than 50 young people from Dublin West, Drogheda, Ranelagh, Cork Seventh-Day Adventist churches, even non-Adventist in attendance. It was an evening of elegant where the youths were given the chance to socialise and celebrate their identity in Christ.
The evening began with welcoming the young people into the hall. The hall was arranged with tables and chairs, and a touch of autumn colours filled the room with balloons and flowers decorations. Each table had as its centrepiece, a set of balloons with flameless lanterns, and flickers candles seated in handcrafted flowers. Meanwhile the stage area was stunningly decorated with handmade flowers, all arrayed in the colours of autumn. Alongside the stage laid the theme, ‘Purposely Unique’, in bold sparkled letters.
As the number of young people arrived so did the loud outburst of joy and laughers filled the room they hugged and greeted each other. It was a moment in which old friends reunited and new friendship formed.
This connection continued as the banquet program provided interactive activities for bonding and togetherness. Special music, piano recital, special prayer, and the sound of Christian music in the background added a touch of inspiration and ambience to the event. Throughout the evening as the attendees mingled, they enjoyed a variety of delicious finger food, non- alcholic drinks and buffet dishes.
The keynote speaker for the evening, Pastor Damieon Lewis, Dublin West and Drogheda district of churches pastor, admonished the young people to preserve their uniqueness because ‘they were made in the image of God, built to be different, built to change the world.’ He also encouraged them to be careful with their choice of friends that may impact them negatively as well as the losing of their individuality that may result in them becoming the ‘ugliest version of the crowd’.
The event culminated with a photo slideshow of the young people. This was used to remind the attendees that they are special and ‘God’s not done’ with them yet. To mark this moment, each youth received a small gift and a flower, and a dedicated prayer. This symbolised how precious and valuable they are, and that God is still writing their story.
Indeed, this was a memorable evening. To this Dublin West Youth ministry express gratitude to Pastor Dan Serb, the Irish Mission president, Ps. Jeff J Melki, the Youth Sponsor, Pastor Damieon Lewis, the devoted parents, and the Dublin West Youth ministry team for their kind support. In fact, many attendees and parents hope to make this an annual event.
Sis Melissa Mckoy-Eke( DW youth leader