I was really excited when I heard that Diamonds Scotland were putting on a full day conference for the first time. I remember Bridget first telling me about Diamonds and feeling so excited that something was happening in Scotland to address the identity and worth in God that teenage girls have. Diamonds run quarterly evening café style events, each one themed around an area about our identity in Jesus. I have travelled from Glasgow to Aberdeen to volunteer at two events already and just love everything about how Diamonds runs and what they stand for, that I just had to bring some girls from my Youth Group at church to the conference in June.
I left Glasgow at 7.30am to travel up to Aberdeen taking 4 girls with me, all really excited about the day ahead. It was one of the girl’s 18th birthdays and so we had fun celebrating on the way up the A90. We arrived not long after the doors opened and were greeted with a warm welcome by some of the Diamonds volunteers, offering us a hot drink and a pastry. As soon as we walked through into the next room the four girls squealed with excitement as they saw the carefully thought out decorations hanging everywhere, the cute nail bar and the girly bookstall. They loved it already! They described it as being ‘SO Pinterest!’ – a very worthy compliment! One of the girls said, ‘It was evident that so much effort had been put in to organising the event and the decorations were just gorgeous round every corner!’ These things matter to teenage girls and to God – He loves the small details as well as the big ideas.
We then headed to a lovely, open, light space upstairs in Hebron Evangelical Church for the first Main Session. Caz McCrone, our own Youth Pastor at Queen’s Park Baptist Church was the main speaker and she was speaking on the theme ‘Chosen’. The first session was about how we are ‘Citizens of Heaven’ and that nothing we can do can change the fact that Jesus has done everything that was needed for us to go from being ‘Citizens of Earth’ to ‘Citizens of Heaven’. We are:
“… a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
1 Peter 2:9
The girls commented on how great the worship was and there was a really intimate atmosphere throughout the main sessions and into the seminars and free time. One girl said ‘I loved the worship and the small, family feel of the event as it made it more comfortable and enjoyable.’
There were two optional seminar sessions for the girls to go to. I went to a seminar on being ‘Chosen to Belong’ and what it means to be a part of a church community. I then went to the ‘Chosen for Relationship’ seminar, where I came away knowing that I’m valuable and I’m worth being in relationship with! Both seminars were really challenging and engaging.
We finished the day with the final session titled: ‘I don’t want an empty passport by the end of my life!’ In Jeremiah 29:5-7, God is telling the exiles to live their life to the full, to love and invest in people and to lose their inward focus. God has chosen us for a great purpose; HIS great purpose! We finished by singing a beautiful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ together with the challenge to take God’s light out in to the places where God has put us to shine His light and live our lives Chosen for Him.
From the care taken to think about all the small details in the goodie bags and décor to the big moments of revelation and worship in the main sessions, the girls who came to the Chosen conference left knowing they were chosen by God and were made for His purpose!
I’ll leave you with this last quote from one of the girls who travelled up for the event:
“It was so good to be reminded of my identity in Christ and to know that I am chosen; words I think every teenage girl should hear.”
That’s what Diamonds is all about.
by Ruth Atherton