5 days, 150 program events, 3 keynote speeches. Spiritual deepening, worship, dance, and joy, all without alcohol, yet with total liberation. An encounter with the loving God and with 2500 open, loving people who became brothers and sisters by the end of the fifth day - this was the 10th Starpoint, the festival of freedom.
"The open door of the church," this is how Bishop Zoltán Balog, president of the Synod of RCH, described the meeting, opening the largest festival of Reformed youngsters in the Carpathian Basin in Debrecen on Tuesday evening.
It is safe to call it a festival, as concerts, performances and other events took place in dozens of tents, halls and rooms next to the two big stages. Street food awaited those not well fed with lunch at the market square, and cafés and non-alcoholic cocktail bars for those escaping the heat. Young people could buy unique products from the Starpoint gift shop, learn how to dance to the festival theme, watch a fashion show, glue on glitter tattoos, get a haircut, braid hair or raced with a self-driving car. Participants sat around in the grass, sang, danced, played board games and competed in sports tournaments, while night after night they danced to the music of best known Hungarian music groups, including Irie Mafia, Aurevoir and other performers - a true festival experience. But that wasn't the only thing about the Starpoint.
For at the Starpoint, God took two and a half thousand participants by the hand and led them on a spiritual journey prepared just for them. Step by step, those who entered the gates of the tenth Starpoint learned more and more about freedom and gained deep insight into the main theme of the festival.
He took the volunteers by the hand, who arrived several days before the start of the meeting: they built the stages, stretched the banners, prepared the registration, the meals and the accommodation, updated the Starpoint app, helped each other preparing to lead the small groups. Each morning and evening they held devotions, prayed and sang together, and on day zero day of the event, they celebrated communion together to strengthen their relationship with each other and with God.
Finally, on 27 July, through the story of the prodigal son's quest to return to the Father, God took all the participants by the hand, who then listened, morning after morning, to the main speaker’s reflection, how to free themselves from the shackles of hiding from reality, from bad social or family patterns, or from the desires they have set themselves, and how to make freedom their way of life. The small group discussions deepened the understanding of the presentations, the at any time available pastoral care and praying circles, the singing and the evening devotions were all bricks and stones of this spiritual journey, which culminated in the story of the prodigal son's return home and holy communion.
On the field where hundreds of young people was sitting, dancing and laying in the grass, day after day, lines snaked up on Saturday morning: after four days of a joint spiritual journey, participants experienced together the essence of faith and were setting out on the two-year journey that would take them back to the gates of the Starpoint in 2023.
The 10th Starpoint in Pictures - Photo Gallery:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international delegates, who have been invited since 2009, were be able to attend Starpoint this year. The 2021 Starpoint Reformed Youth Festival took place on 27-31 July in Debrecen, focusing on the theme of "Freedom". To get an impression about the Starpoint Journey in the past 20 years, read inspiring reports and interviews and watch videos with international participants from the past years.