Past Events 2018
Strategic Planning / Foundations for Effective Youth Ministry
August 8, 2018
Facilitated by Johanna Freer from Youth for Christ, this workshop shifted the focus from events to purpose. Instead of asking, "What can I do with youth?", youth leaders learned to ask, "What do I want youth to discover about their Christian faith?"
The workshop started by exploring our mission, vision and values before continuing on to understanding the philosophy and culture. From there, leaders learned to develop strategic plans and budgets.
Canada Youth 2018
July 2-7 2018
From July 2-7 youth and youth leaders from across Canada gathered together at Brock University in St. Catharines for a week of worship, fun, and learning. We were blessed also by having a number of youth and their leaders from Ghana, Malawi, Taiwan, and Lebanon. This year's theme was Stirred, Not Shaken.
A bus-load of our own youth and youth leaders from across the Synod of Eastern Ontario and Quebec (as well as a number who took the train) were among the many attendees. We signed up for one of the four tracks: Youth Track (grades 9 and up); Discipleship Track (ages 19-25); Youth Ministry Training Track; and Next Track (for congregational leadership).
The weather was hot but that didn't stop us from doing a number of activities, worshipping, learning, eating, and generally having fun.
Spring Youth Retreat 2018
May 19-21 2018
Each Victoria weekend, our youth have a weekend retreat at Gracefield. This year's theme was Amazing Grace. Each team was given a mascot to take with them in the events. At the end was a slide show of the best pictures from the different teams and one final winning picture selected.
Youth competed in games, climbed ropes, canoed, hiked - and the rain basically held off until we finished. They also tie-dyed T-shirts, took pictures, and led worship.
Our guest speaker this year was Johanna Freer from Youth for Christ.Her talk picked up the theme of life as a race and how hard it is at times to hang in there. One exercise she had was customizing key biblical verses: for example, "God so loved the world that..." (Jn 3:16) became, "God so loved me that ...".
On Sunday, youth walked the labyrinth, did some journalling, or went on a prayer walk. Later, they worked on the worship service which they led, with Johanna preaching.
Music, as always, was an important dimension for the weekend and we thank Gracefield staff with leading both the music, the indoor campfires, and Gracefield's own version of Hollywood Squares.
Thanks to all who came, to all who helped with the event, and to Gracefield for hosting and helping us.
As usual, the Presbytery youth Winterlude event took place mid-February.
Our theme this year was Space for Grace. The weather was great for outdoor activities that emphasized the difference between human grace (which comes and goes in spurts, like snow balls) and God's grace (which surrounds us all the time, like being buried in snow). Swings, slides and snow forts were also popular!
Then it was time for indoor activities like ice cube relay races and balancing marbles on top of ice cubes! Worship was a time to debrief from the outdoor activities, and learn more about different spiritual gifts. Then it was time for supper, clean-up and more fun.
Thanks to all who came, to all who helped with the event, and to Westminster Presbyterian for hosting us.