YMCA Lead Chaplain Nicki Sudworth

21 April 2019

On Good Friday I began my message with: “Here at YMCA we hold tightly to our Christian foundation and build on these values to ‘transform communities so that all young people can belong, contribute and thrive.’ ”

So many of the people, young and old, who come through the doors of our centres (whether gyms, hostels, care homes, children’s classes or cafes) come with heavy burdens they carry on a daily basis. I’m not talking about the nappy bags, suitcases, boxes and gym kits but the emotional hurts and suffering of a life that has not been kind. Past traumas, difficult relationships, unforeseen circumstances and mental health affect many of the people we come into contact with and it is our privilege to walk with them in their darkness.

But the exciting thing about spending time with those who use our services is the opportunities it brings to celebrate transformation…

  • The young mum who manages that tricky Pilates stretch
  • The first time a young care leaver cooks their own meal
  • Being involved in a baptism of a young resident
  • Hearing those in the community choir blend their harmonies together as one
  • One of our apprentices finishing their time and landing a brilliant job
  • And so many, many more…

YMCA St Paul’s Group looks to instill hope through body, mind and spirit, bringing opportunities for people to explore the good in their lives as well as the difficulties, and to seek a positive new way.

This Easter Sunday, celebrating Christ’s rising from the dead resonates as we all look forward – wounds and all – to the hope of the future.

I leave you with this blessing from the bible for this Easter day…

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13