Steubenville Atlantic kicks off

By  Christine Thibeault, Youth Speak News
  • January 30, 2008

{mosimage}HALIFAX - On Jan. 19 more than 300 people came out to the Saint Mary’s University theatre in Halifax for the Steubenville Atlantic High School Conference pre-launch party for a night of praise and worship music, speakers and testimonies.

Being a witness to Christ is the theme for both this summer’s World Youth Day in Australia and the Steubenville Atlantic Conference which will take place from Aug. 1-3 at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S.

Since the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio launched the youth conference more than 30 years ago it has expanded to 15 conferences in eight American states. The first Canadian conference was held last summer in Nova Scotia. It normally draws about 1,000 youth.

Christian rap artist Bob Lesnefsky, known as “Righteous B,” is the host for this year’s Steubenville Atlantic Conference. He was expected to perform and speak on the theme. Unfortunately, due to the failure of his flight engine from Washington, he was unable to make it to Halifax. There was disappointment in the room when the announcement was made.

There had already been a local Christian band from Halifax scheduled to play, so with a slight change of plan, it led the crowd in a praise and worship session. Jeff Lavery, guitarist and singer, said that despite the sudden change of plan, he felt the event turned out to be a great success.

Grade 11 student Lauren Amyott gave a testimony about her first Steubenville experience last year in relation to this year’s theme. She said that when she was first invited to attend the conference, she didn’t really want to go. However, after some coaxing, she finally gave in and went, and had an extraordinary time. Although she gave a brief speech, she received a standing ovation.

Following Amyott’s speech was another theme-related talk by Fr. James Mallon, founder of the John Paul II Media Institute in Halifax. He humourously spoke about how even though the devil may be trying to sabotage such an event, for fear of so many people coming together to praise God’s name, he will not win. Despite the disapointment that Righteous B could not be there, it wasn’t entirely him the people came to see.

“The evil one is working to mess this event up because he’s scared….In the end, we came here to see Jesus.”

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(Thibeault studies philosophy at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.)

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