Monday, 9 August 2010

From Youth Club to Vicar School

Daniel's Farewell from the Youth and Children at St Paul's

Daniel Natnael, Youth Pastor at St Paul’s for the past 5 years, is off to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, to train as a vicar. We said farewell Sunday 8 August, and wished him and his family well in the next stage of their lives.

Together with our gap year students, Afua and Kiran, Daniel and the team have formed a close relationship with local schools such as Kings International College, Collingwood College, and Crawley Ridge Junior School. Amongst their many achievements, the Youth Team led the Gospel choir at Kings, which has been a popular choice for pupils.

We interviewed him for the blog this week, to find out about how he spent his time at St Paul’s.

What was your greatest achievement?

Daniel and his son“After 400+ Freezone & Rock Sessions, 400+ Morning evening youth cell sessions, Equal number of visits to the local schools for assemblies, lessons & detached work, hours of music practices, countless team and committee meetings, 4 youth alpha and confirmation courses, 5 youth baptisms, working with few but committed youth leaders, 11 gap year workers from 8 different nations, 3 different curates, under the leadership of 1 great vicar & being part of 1 amazing Church – you can’t help but witness God doing so many great things. As I write this a song comes to mind - It’s all about you Jesus. “

How do you feel about the next stage of your spiritual journey?

“Well, I am leaving behind not only the church and the young people that I love but also I am leaving behind my 17 years of youth work as well. So, this is a bit of a bereavement time for me. On the other hand I am looking forward to the next stage of my ministry and excited to see where God will lead and what He is going to do. Another thing comes to mind – this time from the bible “Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 So watch the space. “

What was your most humorous moment at St Paul’s?

2009_0621FathersDay0025“I am not sure if I should tell you. It is probably better left untold as it could be a bad example for Sarah. “

What lessons have you learned along the way?

2010_0711DanielsLeavingParty0013 “One of my favourite stories in the bible is the story of Moses and his stick. God gave to Moses a monstrous task - ‘deliver Israel out of the land of Egypt. Moses, being only human, felt ill equipped for the task. "What is that in your hand?" God asked. "A staff," Moses replied. He saw no special significance in it. But God demonstrated to him the miraculous potential in that seemingly insignificant staff - something simple and common, turned into a powerful and authoritative tool. When God finished showing to Moses that his staff was an instrument of divine power and authority, it was all he needed to fulfil his task. With that rod Moses defeated the magicians of Egypt, stripped Pharaoh of his power, humiliated Egypt's gods and brought Israel out from slavery to freedom on the edge of the Promised Land.

One of the significant lessons I have leaned along my journey of faith is when God calls he also equips. But sometimes I, like Moses, treat my small and common things as insignificant & simple instead of trusting God’s equipping through them. Another bible verse - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Sorry if I’m sounding like a vicar already. “

The Future

DSC00025Sarah Percival has taken over as Youth Director at St Paul’s, and we wish her a warm welcome.

More on Sarah in a future article.

Youth and Children’s Work

St Paul’s run the following youth and children’s groups, and everyone is welcome, regardless of faith.

  • Freezone – youth club for year 6-8. Thursday & Friday evenings
  • Rock – youth club for year 9+. Thursday & Friday evenings
  • Youth Cells - Sunday discipleship programme for young people
  • Youth Alpha – introduction to the Christian faith for young people
  • Creche – during our Sunday services, a creche is provided for under 3’s
  • Climbers – Sunday group for year’s 1-3
  • Scramblers – Sunday group for children aged 3-4
  • Explorers – Sunday group for year’s 4-6
  • Toddler Group – meet during the week

The annual Glow Party (October), and Duggie Dug Dug (March) events are hugely popular.

For more information on youth and children’s work at St Paul’s, Sarah may be contacted at or telephone 01276 700210.

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