Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Real Faith, Real Lives

I thought I would move Laura's response to today's blog from comment to "front page" status. Very encouraging!

A fabulous weekend with fabulous kids, truly. I know pride is a no-no but at times this gaggle of goofy, United Church kids with all their energy, antics and courage (to head off on a retreat with friends and strangers to talk about their faith) makes my heart sing. The weekend was called Real Faith, Real Lives and the kids got to choose a stream for their workshops from Pop Goes Your Faith (pop culture based, including an infamous episode of Glee)to Where is God When Life Sucks? to Our Whole Life (sexuality and faith, for older teens only)all key issues for our youth in living their faith.

Saturday evening proved to be a huge hit. We began with a simulation game based on basti (slum) living in India, where the youth were put into random families, and circumstances and they had to survive. It was both fun and meaningful, and a bit crazy at times, when they got desperate.The evening closed with an hour of silence.Who knew it possible?

A dozen plus spiritual practice stations were set up in the sanctuary, lit by candle light, and we moved in silence through different areas with guided spiritual meditations of all kinds including movement,touch,taste, journal writing,scripture reflection,art,etc. Some youth were moved to tears and comforted by their peers,others reflected on the silence and sense of peace and safety they felt and most evaluations remarked that spiritual practices should be a part of every retreat. Life skills introduced,I believe.

There was lots of beautiful music and the youth led worship for St Matthew's congregation on Sunday AM, including one of St Paul's, senior youth Chris, who shared a God-some moment in his life with eloquence and faith-filled wisdom. We ate lots (thank you food committee of St Matthew's Belleville), slept a little and were a little sad to see it end.Thank you St Paul's for supporting our youth to this life-changing adventure. You'll be hearing from us.

1 comment:

IanD said...

Not sure why this didn't post yesterday, but all of you at St. Paul's who work with our kids need to be congratulated and appreciated for what you do.