Thursday, January 24, 2013



Youth gather in 'One' voice

Thursday 24 January 2013

By Edwina Hall
YOUTH from across Melbourne gathered for the inaugural event 'One' last Friday night, enjoying a time of spirit-filled Christian worship and preaching. The title of the event 'One' represents the notion of one God, one spirit and one church.

Part of the organising team, Lily Rattray said that over 300 people gathered at Central Hall in Fitzroy to hear international guest speaker Mark Nimo, an evangelist from Ghana and a fusion of Melbourne’s hottest musical talent.  The event however is the brainchild of Lenyce Willason, one of the coordinators of the Catholic Charismatic renewal in Melbourne.

'She had heard Mark Nimo talk in Singapore at a youth event and was inspired to organise a similar event in Melbourne,' Lily said.
'Lenyce invited young people from different parishes and communities around Melbourne to help organise it. The night was an amazing display of unity and included a 12-piece band made up of members from St Augustine’s in the city, Disciples of Jesus Covenant Community in Burwood and emPower youth group at St Simons in Rowville.

Hospitality and welcome was taken care of by the Indonesian youth and the Flame youth group in Keilor. The MCs for the night were an MGL seminarian and a parishioner from St Benedicts in Burwood. Also helping out were Kerygma teams, Catholic Charismatic Renewal and lots of other young people from around Melbourne.
According to Lily, the purpose of this event was to evangelise young people. 'As committed young Catholics ourselves, we felt inspired to present our faith in a way that would inspire young people, to try and bridge the gap in culture young people often feel at church and to present the Gospel in a way that is relevant to their lives and really engaged them.

'To do that it’s really important to have good music, and to have other young people there and some really inspiring preaching from someone who has struggled with the same issues that they do. We wanted to present Jesus in a new way, in a language that they understand, in a way that is relevant–but it’s the same Jesus, it’s the same Spirit.
'Sometimes in church the message can be so gentle that people never really hear it, they never realise you need to make a personal decision about following Jesus. We wanted to make it real and raw. Jesus died for you so that you could have life in its fullness, so what’s your response? Christianity is a challenging message and a challenging way to live–you don’t need to hold back from that when you are preaching to young people, if there is anything they really want, it’s to be challenged!'

Lily said that young people from parishes across the state attended this event. 'One young woman saw it on Facebook and drove down from Myrtleford for the night. Another young woman I spoke to was visiting from Ireland and saw a flyer in the Cathedral and came over to see what was happening.
'The youngest participant was 7 weeks old and the oldest was a grandmother, most people were 15 to 35 years, with about equal men and women.'

Lily said that Mark Nimo’s preaching was inspiring, the music amazing and that it was great to meet so many new people. 'Mark has recently completed a masters in theology in Chicago, so had been living there for the past 8 years. He is married with three daughters and travels the world preaching as a Catholic lay-missionary.

'Mark’s main message was that God has given us gifts, and he wants us to use them in reaching out to the world. He encouraged us to give our whole lives to over to God, and to become holy so that God could use us in his work.
'He told us that when we live our lives only for ourselves, it leads to deep unhappiness. He said people are often scared of giving their lives to God because they think it won’t be fun anymore–but the opposite is true. When we give our lives to God, he does more with it than we could ever image, and we also find true joy.

'Mark told us his testimony as an example; he went from thinking about committing suicide, to being married with three beautiful children, travelling the world and studying for a masters in America.

A personal highlight for Lily was seeing so many young people really convicted by the preaching, and making a decision to commit their lives to Jesus.
To keep up to date with future events like this visit: email:

To read more of Mark Nimo’s testimony visit:

Photos courtesy Lily Rattray.

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