This year, Christmas in the Stable took place at Trinity in Kanata/Carp. It was a cooperative effort by four congregations: Knox, Ottawa; St. Andrew's, Stittsville; St. Stephen's, Ottawa; and Trinity, Kanata/Carp.
The weather was perfect - but a bit cold, and there was a good turn-out. A short welcome, introduction and worship, and then people broke into groups. Each group visited 4 different areas but at different times. Mary and Joseph, and a recalcitrant donkey, welcomed people to the stable where they shared their story. The Innkeeper defended his actions quite well - even saying he hadn't raised his prices! People were invited to sign the guest register. The Magi talked about why they brought the gifts they had. The biggest hit, however, were the shepherds - and people were able to touch and even feed the sheep, goats, donkeys and llama (OK, so the story changed a little bit!).
Wherever they went, people were free to ask questions. If they didn't want to go outside, a small prayer room was set up for people. Of course, there was food and drink.
A short service at the end - with a beautiful solo - and we set up for hot chili dinner. What a wonderful way to get ready for Christmas! Where were the youth? They were Mary and Joseph, guides - musicians - and generally helping out wherever they were needed!
Stay tuned for next year's event!
Youth Leaders Meet-'n-Greet
November 13, 2018
Our "Meet & Greet" events are times when for youth leaders (including clergy) come together for fellowship, fun, and shooting the breeze.
We've met a couple of times now. At Gloucester Presbyterian Church this past November, we welcomed some new youth leaders. At St. Andrew's (Ottawa) this past month, we did some brainstorming as we shared what we were doing in our own congregations and what events we would like to attend with other Presbyterian congregations. We also talked about some of the challenges youth leaders (who might also be Christian Education Leaders) face.
Both events were successful and we look forward to future Meet-&-Greets. Thanks to both Gloucester and St. Andrew's for hosting our first two events.
Future plans? The focus has been on fellowship and networking. While we want to keep programming to a minimum, we will be adding a short devotion to out meetings. Days, times, and locations are flexible. Whichever congregation hosts the event gets to choose day and time!
So - Where? Whichever congregation is willing to host the event! When? Day and time is decided on by the host congregation.
Covenant Chain Link IX: Reconcili_ACTION
October 19, 2018
Kairos' Healing & Reconciliation group held its 9th Covenant Chain Link activity in Ottawa this October. The theme was Reconciliation in Action OR Reconcili_ACTION.
The event itself was a 2-day event, but the first day (October 19th) was open to youth from across the region. Over 80 people attended and were treated to a remarkable day.
After an official opening by the Committee Chair, Master of Ceremonies, and Elders, the floor was turned over to the keynote speaker Theland Kicknosway. Theland is a 15-year old, Grade 10 student who had just returned from a presentation to the UN in Geneva, and came to CCL-IX to share his thoughts about reconciliation. Afterwards, he called on volunteers to come and learn the basics of Hoop Dancing.
Afterwards, participants broke into smaller groups and attended different workshops where they learned more about Indigenous peoples, treaties, or could do a Blanket Exercise which had been developed by youth from Cornwall!
A fun time for all - and an event that will be repeated in 2019!
Leading with Care
September 29 & October 3, 2018
What is our Church policy re working with youth and other vulnerable people? Why is the issue important? How does it impact our ministry?
A Leading with Care workshop for youth leaders was held in September at St. John's Presbyterian Church in Cornwall and in October at Trinity, Kanata.
Participants learned why the issue is important, and how it affects church dealings with vulnerable people in our congregations. They learned that it was not simply a matter of how many youth leaders were needed for special events or what was appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. They learned that Leading with Care also involves safety in terms of building maintenance, signage, and emergency procedures. Using case studies and lots of discussion, participants explored how the policy affected what they did, as well as exceptions and modifications.