The future of youth events in SA

Posted in Family

State Youth Events Letter to Church

Dear Uniting Church in SA congregations, ministers, leaders and members,

We are writing to you to detail some changes in the way our Synod State Youth Events (SAYCO – South Australia Youth Camp Out and LLL- Live Life Loud) are structured. It may not surprise you to hear that our State Youth Events have lost momentum over the last 10 years. They are at the point now where the practical, financial and relational viability needs to be assessed. Programmed Youth Ministry across the board just isn't as strong as it was across the Synod 15 years ago. That's not to say that there are not healthy, strong and viable programmed Youth Ministries in our churches. There is! But, there is less of them. So we need to rethink the way that we collaborate as Youth Ministries across the Synod going forward, including taking into account the new level of collaboration with the Presbyteries. We need to think about what will strengthen grass-roots youth ministry going forward.

Last year we gathered a representative group of Youth Pastors and Leaders to have an open dialogue and discern together a way forward. Out of that conversation came “SAYFest”, a farewell and celebration for SAYCO. The Mission and Leadership Development (MLD) Board agreed with that group's recommendation that SAYFest brings the SAYCO chapter to a close. This letter is about what will come next.

After further consultation with local leaders, the following recommendations from the Intergen Team to the MLD Board were accepted:

Live Life Loud (LLL) will no longer function as one event in many locations, but as a family of events occurring over the course of Term 2 (generally end of April until beginning of July). These events will still be promoted and resourced by the Intergen Team, but local churches will be given more creativity to work together to contextualise the key objectives of LLL in and for their communities.

However, sadly due to COVID-19 and its potential 6 month disruption to Youth Ministry, we will not be holding any LLL in 2020.

As previously stated SAYCO has reached its conclusion as an event in the life of the Uniting Church in Australia in SA and will not be run again. A State Youth Ministry Development Team is currently being built, and part of the responsibilities of this group will be looking at what collaborative events, if any, are needed to develop Gospel ministry to teenagers across South Australia.

We understand SAYCO has played a huge part in the faith journey of many people. A lot of young people met Jesus for the first time at a SAYCO! We thank God for the blessing it has been to our church, but it's time to look at how we resource youth ministry for a new generation.

If SAYCO has been meaningful to you, or you have concerns or questions about this, please don’t hesitate to drop an email to"> We would love to hear your stories.

With love,

Tim Littleford and the Intergen Team

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Comments (3)

  1. Sue Ellis 19 may 2020, 16:39 Link
    Dear Tim and the Inter-Gen team — congratulations on the way you have handled the demise of SAYCO through the SAY-fest event and for your creative and thoughtful way forward. I am sure there will be many opportunities that will emerge for our young people for today's time. Thank you for your passion for all you do and for the way you are listening for Christ's Way for today.
    1. Tim 31 july 2020, 10:13 Link
      Thank you Sue :)
    2. Timothy Prior 21 may 2020, 20:45 Link
      to all those involved with putting SAYCO together in past years I extend a great big thankyou. SAYCO was an exciting part of our youth programme from 2006-2010. It also proved to be a valuable part of my personal learning to be a youth leader. I always felt it was a place that gave glory to our loving God.
      I look forward to seeing what the spirit has in store for our youth into the future.
      God bless