With the pressures of life; school, self images, work, family, friends, relationships, sex; the youth of today are being bombarded by "what they need". It comes from friends, parents, the media and even schools. With so much confusion over which way is the right "path of life", it is becoming more and more crucial that youth turn to the one thing that is no longer socially acceptable among their peers. It's time for youth to return to the Church.

All over the world youth are coming to know God, not only as their creator, but as their friend. Youth groups are being formed globally, and teens can join together in prayer and can strengthen their relationship with God. One drawback is the lack of interest that the youth of today have in the Church.

For this reason youth met in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, on the weekend of September 29 - October 1, 2000. Their main purpose: to find their position in the Church and to make Church a more exciting place to be. Through various discussions and activities, the youth at the conference came up with many ways to become more active members of their church and ways to draw more teens back to their spiritual foundation. This would help change the superficial appearance of the Church, so that it will no longer be a last resort for youth who are being overcome by the tension that is experienced during the "best years of their lives".

One youth who attended the conference, Dawn Marie Patey of St. Peter's Anglican Church in River of Ponds, said that she felt the weekend was "exciting and exhilarating. It really brought me closer to God and it made me feel like a part of the Church."

Youth all over the world should be making comments such as that. It is not only essential that youth feel like a part of the Church, but also that they feel close to God and that they will always have someone to turn to when stress and pressure becomes too much for them to bear.

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  • This piece looks at an interest situation -- how young people may well be interested in God, but aren't particularly interested in "the Church" as an institution. I think we could be a bit clearer about the difference between the two, though, and also need to be clearer about whether we mean ALL types of churches or just one denomination. Did the Deer Lake weekend involve numerous different ones? That's an important point. It's also wise to follow up with people we interview. Dawn Marie says this has really helped her feel closer to God and the Church -- but what's more interesting to our readers is specifically HOW. And it would be good to also describe the sorts of activities that helped achieve this -- just discussions? But in an opinion piece of this sort, it's great to see even this much description and use of quotes, rather than just writing off the top of a person's head. The best opinion pieces are ones clearly linked to the real world!

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