Special to Christian Week
July 4, 2008
MONCTON, NB - Under the coordination of the Billy Graham
Evangelistic Association of Canada, New Brunswick youth are being
mobilized to discover their faith and reach out to others.
Epicentre NB, a province-wide, multi-stage youth movement
infusing youth ministry in New Brunswick with new life, launched in
February. In May and June it featured events that attracted
thousands of youth in Moncton and St. John and culminates in August
with a team of more than 30 maritime youth and youth leaders
travelling on a mission trip to Trinidad and Tobago.
"Youth and young adults in cities all across Canada are facing
tremendous pressures and social issues. We want to help them define
their identities, value and purpose," says project manager Mark
The program was originally launched in Barrie, Ontario in 2004,
and since that time, has run successfully in Halifax, Nova Scotia,
St. John's Newfoundland, Victoria BC and London, Ontario. It takes
place over a multi-month period during which youth are mentored,
trained and released to impact their peers and communities, says
Related worship gatherings attracted more than 1,100 students in
both Moncton and St. John.
Teams conduct various prayer and teaching times with groups and
individuals throughout the region. In May two weekend-long retreats
were held, each drawing more than 125 youth. The final event before
the participants are released for ministry is called
"ignition." It was held June 22 at the
Moncton Coliseum and will feature two well-known Christian
bands-Barlow Girl and Kutless-as well as a BMX team and a message
from Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham.
"We've had a great response from many denominations," says Miller.
"From Wesleyan, Baptist, Pentecostal, Anglican, Salvation Army and
others, youth leaders are excited and eager to work together.
"We really rely on the local leaders because we feel that the
success or failure of Epicentre really depends on
how much the local leaders take ownership of it. After all, it's
their city, and they are ministering week in and week out to the
youth. We want to come alongside of the local church to help
strengthen what is already happening in many churches.
"We do not want to come in and 'do our thing' and leave again.
Really, we want to help bring churches together, around the common
desire and goal of encouraging and equipping our Christian teens to
For more information, see www.epicentrecanada.com and
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada