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Teen aims to unite Christian youth

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Taylor Anderson is outgoing and never had a problem making friends at Rio Mesa High School where she participated in band and the school’s student council.

The 18-year-old Camarillo resident maintained a small group of friends who shared her love of the Christian faith.

“We were all ‘Jesus freaks’ and we were really open about it,” said Taylor, who attends Calvary Nexus in Camarillo. “All of our friends would go to each other’s youth groups.”

Even though she participated in the Christian club at school, Taylor said she discovered there were many young Christians sitting next to her in homeroom. She realized, however, other teens didn’t feel as comfortable as she did talking about Jesus at school.

“It’s a little weird to casually bring up (whether you are a Christian) in conversation,” Taylor said.

To bring together young Christian teens throughout Camarillo— outside of school or church—Taylor created “One Youth,” a free music worship in Constitution Park from 7 to 9 p.m. on August 1.

Taylor said she hopes the event will help freshman high school students meet friends who share the same Christian beliefs.

“I’m hoping it will speed up the process,” Taylor said.

Taylor initially thought of the worship concert idea last year when she and a group of friends sang worship songs in the park.

“It’s something that’s been tugging at my heart for a while now,” said Taylor, who will attend California Baptist University in Riverside in the fall. “I knew this summer was my last chance and God said to me, ‘Just go for it.’”

Taylor emailed local pastors and asked each of them to share the event with their youth groups.

The two-hour event will feature a short message from Trevor Gavin, a youth director at Calvary Nexus, followed by singing.

“Youth always want to make a difference and change their world and the future,” Gavin said. “We need to empower (the youth) and say you can do that now. You don’t have to wait until you’re out of high school or until you become adults.”

Where most churches have a long message and a small amount of worship music, Taylor said she wanted the event to be more about music.

“We relate better to music,” Taylor said. “Everyone comes together through music and we respond really well to singing.”

Calvary Nexus used its insurance to secure the park from the city and Taylor used her own money to market the event. She will sell $5 T-shirts to help raise money she spent on the event.

Taylor said she hopes 300 teens show up at the park and wants this to be an annual gathering.

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