2011 YOUTH COUNCILS– ‘Epic Love’
Southern California divisional youth councils’ delegates experience God’s epic love.
By Aleen Bradley
To embrace the epic love of God—that was the purpose of the 2011 Southern California divisional youth councils, held at Camp Mt. Crags in Calabasas, Calif. Upon arriving, approximately 250 delegates immediately encountered the theme for the weekend in an original song by Lincoln Hawk:
A cross, a King; together they
From death to life, forever
through the sacrifice…
Holy one to you we reach,
make us complete,
You give, we keep this epic love.
The weekend’s events included epic slang card and DJ hero battles between our divisional and territorial leaders, workshops, discussion groups, girls’ and guys’ sessions and a VIP corps cadet lounge. Territorial youth leaders are Majors Ivan and Jennifer Wild; divisional youth leaders are Captains Matt and Dianne Madsen. Also participating in the battles were Lt. Colonels Victor and Rose-Marie Leslie, Major Steven Bradley, Majors John and Pamilla Brackenbury and Lt. Colonels Dave and Sharron Hudson.
The weekend’s special guest, Canadian communicator Michael Collins, spoke on Saturday evening, addressing the seemingly “epic fail” of Christ’s death on the cross, but assuring Christ’s resurrection power. Collins encouraged young people that the real “fail” comes when they don’t allow the Lord to take control, saying, “If Jesus has you in a choke hold; tap out.”
Collins paved the way for Hudson’s Sunday morning message about the “epic victory” found in Jesus, which challenged delegates to value the gift God gave us through the sacrifice of his son. Every young person responded to the challenge by applying a temporary tattoo of the Epic Love logo as a sign of commitment.
During the weekend, youth from Salvation Army social services programs joined local corps to be able to participate in divisional youth events. By the end of the weekend, three of these attendees accepted Christ for the first time.