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02 October 2013

Visions for Belfast

Visions for Belfast

Carla Prentice reflects on a day of significance for young leaders in Belfast…

Friday 27 September was a significant day for young leaders, influencers and culture changers in Northern Ireland We were challenged and inspired to share our dreams for this place – our city.

Seventy five young people who love Jesus and care about the peace and prosperity of this place gathered at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast to attend Stimulus; an event organised by WhatNow in partnership with the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland.

Speaker Jude Hill challenged us to love the whole city, even the ugly bits. David Capener didn't hold back on the daily death of Christian life. David Dickinson called us to look around, look up and look in.

Tash Creaney helped us to see how messy being Church is and encouraged us to get stuck in. Andrew Masters spoke passionately about pushing the boundaries on 'impossible', asking if we are limited more by our thinking than reality.

I loved Marie Lacey's colourful exploring of the hope and vibrancy in this city. And there was much more.

The day was about more than simply listening to speakers – it was about our visions and dreams of what could be. We were inspired to action and left aspiring to be better leaders.

The word 'stimulus' is defined as a thing which stirs up activity or energy in someone or something, a spur or an incentive. I feel it did exactly what it said on the tin.

Together we dreamed together and committed to telling a new and better story in this city, one about the love, grace, forgiveness and hope of Christ.

God is doing big things here in Northern Ireland, and in particular, in the city of Belfast.
With the launch of fresh expressions of Church, Street Pastors and a Belfast City Centre Chaplaincy we are bringing new light here.A new Belfast is emerging. There is no plan B for this city.

We must take the little things in our hands and allow God to do far more than we expect.

When surrounded by a group of passionate young leaders, a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland feels within our grasp, in the words of David Capener: "our story has no full stops".

Carla Prentice is an intern at the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland