On Friday, September 6th all 6th – 12th graders were invited to our 1st Annual Youth Retreat! This retreat time focused on acclimatizing our newest youth members into the group and engaging in three distinct ministry areas – Inward, Outward, & Upward!
- Inward: Our group paired up and toured the church to scout out great hiding places for sardines. While touring each pair shared something that they struggle with spiritually. Some of the groups shared that they struggle with prayer, reincarnation, or other aspects of our faith. After this talk, each pair joined together with another and painted images of hope and inspiration. It is our plan to hang these paintings in the youth rooms to remind us that it’s OK to struggle – and it’s OK to doubt. Our faith is a journey. We are here to help and support each other – not to judge or condemn. Many aspects of our faith can be difficult to comprehend or practice – but we always have our friends and family to guide and comfort us along the way.
- Outward: Our youth were tasked with making table decorations for the dining area at the Haven Day Shelter. Using talents from within our group we constructed some beautiful origami flowers and wrote prayers along with words of encouragement and hope on each of the flower petals. It is our prayer that the people who read these messages will know that they are loved by God and by each of us!
- Upward: For the youth who were able to remain through mid-morning on Saturday – we spent some time in quiet contemplation and focused our thoughts and prayers on meeting and engaging with God. We listened to music and sculpted a scene or symbol of where we want to – or need – God to meet us. Many youth created sports symbols or school items to request that God be present in that aspect of their lives!
Of course there were the mandatory rounds of “Sardines.” – but we also added in a few games of Capture the Flag! These epic events took over the entire church and I think the remnants of one rocket battle can still be seen in one of the stairwells! This was a great time for all involved – Thanks to everyone who came out and participated