Christian faith have anything good or interesting to say about our day-to-day lives: how we work, how we relate, how we grieve, how we face disappointment, how we plan and how we celebrate? We think it does.ou’ve been told that following God matters to all of life. But does it really? Does the
This summer, join other young professionals, creatives, and students from across Aotearoa, New Zealand at the Venn Summer Conference, as we dig into and wrestle with these questions and together seek answers in the Bible and theology, as well as history, culture, and the arts.
Know the gospel; know culture; and translate.
he week-long conference is challenging, life-giving, and creative; it’s for young adults 18-30 years old, is fully residential, and is held in the beautiful Waikato.
During the week you can expect to:
t Summer Conference we’re privileged to host an exceptional group of speakers from across New Zealand. At the Venn Summer Conference 2018, we will hear from:
uring the week we’ll explore what the gospel means for all of our lives. We’ll do this by asking: what does the Bible say about God, God’s purposes in the world, about what it means to be human, and about the nature of world we live in?
We’ll also ask how our answers to these questions relate to other stories about life that we find embedded in current NZ culture, such as consumerism, individualism, and collectivism.
The week isn’t just about gaining knowledge; our prayer is that you’ll encounter God, and through that encounter, you’ll come to know him, yourself, and others better.
he conference is designed with a particular flow. Each day will address a major theme or question. These themes follow the arc of the biblical story.
Creation: What is the nature of the world we live in?
Humanity: What does it mean to be human?
The Fall: What’s gone wrong with the world?
Jesus: Who is Jesus? And what does he mean for us today?
Holy Spirit and Church: Who is the Spirit? What is the Church?
Redemption: What is the end of our story?
Culture: How should we engage culture faithfully in 21st century Aotearoa, New Zealand?
ach morning you’ll get to participate in a mixture of creative workshops, lectures, and learning groups, as we explore the key theme and questions of the day. Each evening there’ll be an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve been learning and to consider what it means for our lives. Our hope is you’ll come to a deeper understanding of the gospel and what it means for your life.
The week will be full, but there is also plenty of time each afternoon to relax, to enjoy the local area, to pray, to worship, and to have fun.
Prices include all meals, accommodation, and conference materials.
*All prices are NZD. Earlybird pricing closed October 31, 2017. Student standard price is only applicable to New Zealand full-time students. Registrations close 30 November, 2017.
Registration priority will be given to people living in New Zealand. If you live internationally and would like to register, please email Michelle Young.
We encourage you to first seek support from your church, family and friends.
A small amount of sponsorship money is available from year to year. When applying for sponsorship we will ask you to let us know how much you can contribute and a little bit about your situation. Sponsorship is not guaranteed. Apply for sponsorship here.
Worldclass, engaging, experienced communicators who love God. Here’s a brief intro to our 2018 lineup.
It’s not the end! We host a range of different post-conference programmes and events to help you continue exploring some of the themes introduced during the week. If you’re keen to stay connected, check out a snapshot of what’s on offer. Or, if you’re interested, find out more about the Venn Residential internship.
Summer Conference wrecked my life. I didn’t expect it to. But it did.
Having been a Christian since I was a kid, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what God’s doing in the world. But Summer Conference knocked down some walls that I didn’t even know were there.
I was faced with questions I’d never been asked before. What’s the purpose of stories? Where do they come from? What’s God’s story really about? And what does that mean for my life; my own story?
I was struck by the realisation that God isn’t just sitting on a cloud, throwing lightning bolts at us while playing Angry Birds on his iPhone. He’s right here. We can see him in in the glow of a sunset; the honk of a horn; the force of an All Black try. And his desire is not for us to cruise through life, constantly trying to avoid screwing up. His desire is bigger, bolder and grander than any of us can imagine.
It’s a vision of life in which Christians are creative. Christians have great conversations. Christians engage with the world around them, rather than trying to escape it. We watch the news. We reach out to people who’re hurting. Rather than running away from awkward or difficult issues, we run towards them. How good does that sound? That’s the kind of community I want to be part of.
Over the course of the week, I came to this conclusion: despite all its sharp edges, dark corners and potholes, the world is a pretty beautiful place. It’s easy to forget that.
I came to this conclusion: despite all its sharp edges, dark corners and potholes, the world is a pretty beautiful place . . . And the kicker: God has tasked us with looking after this beautiful, broken world.
Summer Conference reminded me of the sheer awesomeness of space; the vast expanse of human history; the depth of our culture. All of it is mind-blowing stuff. And the kicker: God has tasked us with looking after this beautiful, broken world.
For me, this changes everything. It means all these moments are part of a much bigger story. It means that our choices matter. How we spend our money; how we treat the environment. What kind of conversations we have; what kind of people we surround ourselves with.
At Summer Conference, I met a bunch of beautiful, funny, smart people. They challenged me on an intellectual level. I had hoped they would. But what really surprised me is that I left feeling loved by God in a way I’d never felt before. I felt small. I felt insignificant. I’d been humbled. But I felt deeply loved, by none other than the creator of this crazy universe, in which my story plays an infinitesimal part.
Once you get your head around that, you have no choice but to live differently. To ask different questions. To make different choices. For me, this changes everything.