Amplify is one of the highlights of my year.
I realise that comparing a creative arts camp to board meetings, proposals and organising stuff doesn’t sound like a difficult choice, but there’s something about Amplify that’s really special.
I’m not sure whether it’s the wellspring of creativity that bubbles all around the camp for a week, or the joy of people discovering and developing their creative abilities, or observing the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirt. I think it’s all of that mixed together which inspires and encourages me every year.
Amplify is a creative arts camp for young people aged 15–30 years. With music and band camps of old all but a distant memory, in 2010 the Youth and Creative Ministries Departments joined forces to create Amplify. The purpose was to value and inspire a new generation of young artists and kickstart a radical development of creative expression throughout New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. Amplify isn’t supposed to be contained within a week-long camp; it exists to equip young people to extend the Kingdom of God on their home patches with creativity and innovation.
Amplify is a strategic investment in young people that The Salvation Army chooses to make each year. Costs for delegates are heavily subsidised. That’s because we want as many young people as possible to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to learn, grow, make friends, have fun and experience God.
The tagline for Amplify is ‘Emerge, Express, Create’. We chose those three words because they sounded good, but also because they encapsulate what we want Amplify to be all about: the discovery and development of creative abilities, and learning new ways to understand and communicate the love and grace of God. We work hard to enhance the Amplify experience each year, and 2013 will be no different—we’re keeping some of the old faves, but we’ve got some new electives and tutors, and we’re tweaking bits of the programme to keep it exciting!
Each delegate selects a ‘major’ and ‘minor’ elective, which they focus on throughout the week. Major electives include dance, visual arts, brass band, media and publications, sound and lighting, sports ministry, and more. Minor electives include photography, preaching, graphic design, vocal, church media, percussion, song writing and others. There are also workshops, small groups, night churches, free time … and the famous Amplify Café!
Night times are special times at Amplify. We have four night churches, consisting primarily of musical worship, a speaker and significant ministry opportunities. I’ve heard incredible testimonies from young people that have had powerful encounters with the Holy Spirit at camp—some for the first time, and many experiencing Jesus in new ways. There has been healing, prophecy and a lot of prayer. Being in the middle of it all is exhilarating and moving!
On other nights, there are camp-wide events. The Amplify Café hosts the acoustic night and the famous Amplify quiz—both events proving extremely popular. Exhibition Night is another great time, when we celebrate all that has been learned and achieved throughout Amplify. This is an opportunity to see what everyone else has been up to during the week and to encourage the diversity of creative ability that exists among us.
1. Amplify is an exciting and fun place to be
2. You can develop your creative abilities, or discover something new
3. You’ll have the opportunity for a powerful encounter with God.
We have large numbers of returning delegates each year, which is really encouraging—we love to see people back again. But we also love to see new people at Amplify! We want Salvation Army young people to have the Amplify experience so they can explore new avenues of creativity, have their unique creative abilities affirmed, and discover ways to serve creatively in their corps and community.
If you’re within the age range, book Amplify into your summer calendar. You won’t regret it! And if you’re not within the range, think about someone you know who would benefit from the Amplify experience: your kids, grandchildren or a young person from your corps? Do whatever you can to encourage them to register!
Amplify 2013 will be another incredible week. See you there!
Amplify 2013 kicks off Monday 7 January 2013 at 1 pm. Ends late morning on Monday 14 January
Amplify is open to everyone aged 15 to 30
Held at Silverstream Retreat, Lower Hutt
Registration is: $230 until 12 November, then $250
Online registration is now live! (Closing 10 December)
To find out more and to register, go to www.firezone.co.nz