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ONE thousand young Salvationists from around the world will attend a World Youth Convention in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010. The gathering, led by General Shaw Clifton with Commissioner Helen Clifton, will run from 15 to 18 July and have as its theme 'Raised Up'.
The venue will be Aula Magna, part of Stockholm University, and the focus of the event will be Salvationism. Discussion topics include 'Realism', 'Idealism', 'Inclusiveness', 'Compassion', 'Simplicity', 'Internationalism', 'Visible' and 'Audible'.
The General writes: 'I invite all Salvationists to be in prayer for this historic occasion. God has blessed us with fine young people all over the world. May those who attend the World Youth Convention be deepened in their commitment to Christ and to serving a broken and hurting world.'
Immediately prior to the convention a number of delegates will take part in a week-long event called 'Time to be Holy 458', to be held at the Centre for Spiritual Life Development in south London, UK. The event's title refers to song 458 in the English-language Song Book of The Salvation Army, 'Take Time to be Holy'. There will also be opportunity for delegates to take part in a 'Time to Serve 24/7' programme hosted by the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland.
World Youth Convention delegates will be chosen by the Army's territories and commands, each of which has been allocated places according to the number of its soldiers. Delegates, aged from 18 to 28 at the start of the convention, must be soldiers or adherents who demonstrate a commitment to future service as active Salvationists. During the convention they will study and debate the General's book New Love, which they will be encouraged to read before arriving in Sweden. The book includes contributions by writers from all over the Salvation Army world and seeks to show that Christian holiness is relevant to every human situation, including the major global issues of the day.
Because the convention is restricted to 1,000 delegates, territories and commands are being encouraged to organise youth events to coincide with the convention. Some of these may be linked to the convention via satellite, enabling the General and others to address as many young people as possible around the world. Internet technology will also be used to make as many Salvationists as possible feel part of the convention even if they are not able to be present in Sweden.
Aula Magna, just a few minutes from Stockholm's city centre, houses one of Sweden's largest and most modern auditoriums, equipped with every technical facility needed for a convention of this kind. The delegates will live in youth hostel-style accommodation within easy reach of the university campus.
The convention will begin with a meeting on the Thursday evening and close on Sunday evening. Saturday will include an outreach event in Stockholm city centre.
Above all, the World Youth Convention will be marked by passion. One territory's advertising material for the delegates announces: '1,000 passionate young adults are gathering in Stockholm, Sweden, in July 2010. Are you passionate about God changing the world, loving others in practical ways, being the Church and living like Jesus? Wanna lead your peers in The Salvation Army as you strive to be set apart – made holy – RAISED UP? If you're down with that then you'll want to be a part of the World Youth Convention. This will be an amazing opportunity for you to make friends from around the world, sing and dance together as you seek God's face and heart, and be spiritually shaped and formed for leading others in living out their faith in action.'
While the convention itself will of necessity be limited to 1,000 delegates, a World Youth Convention website – to be launched soon – will enable Salvationists throughout the world to keep themselves fully informed of all that is planned and to share in the virtual experience before, during and after the event.
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