Raphoe Diocesan Youth Council hosted a youth weekend in Kilrea from Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd November. In total 30 young people plus leaders came to spend time getting to know each other and God. Churches from as far afield as Inver and Donegal town all the way to Dunfanaghy and Castledawson were in attendance and the sessions were lead by Rev Ruth West.
Good weather ensured that as much time as possible was spent outside with activities like the zip line, high ropes and archery proving to be very popular. Rev Ruth lead us in sessions looking at how we can walk with God, how we can talk to God and how we can take on faith for ourselves, and Martin (our DYO) lead the Saturday night quiz. On Sunday we headed to Kilrea Church which was lead by Mr Harry Caskey (Diocesan Lay Reader) and we were treated to tea and coffee after the service.
At the end of the young people were asked for their feedback and opinions, and many said they loved it and would come again - even demanding they come to Summer Madness and On the Move - a request we will do all we can to ensure happens!!
The decision to move this weekend to November from September seems to have paid off with more young people coming. Although called RDYC weekend, it is open to every parish in the diocese, just like the DRY weekend on the 21-23 March which is held in the CEF centre in Rossnowlagh this year.
We would encourage you to keep our young people in your prayers as many now face a Christmas of exams and revision. We also would love you to pray for their Spiritual journeys with God, that they would learn to walk closer with Him and take on faith for themselves in a personal way.
Every year 50 young people from all around the diocese get together to worship God and love their neighbour.
We do this by weeding gardens and public footpaths, painting fences, lifting litter and putting on a community fun day for everyone to come to.
In previous years we have been to Tullyalley, Dungiven, Castlederg, Londonderry (Tulleyalley, Clooney, St Peters and Brandywell) and Castledawson. In total we estimate we have completed over 200 jobs requested by residents and community associations in those areas!
In heading into local communities, we work with a smile, try our hardest and have a lot of fun! The reception from host communities has always been positive, and we always work in partnership with local residents associations, parishes and councils.
We would love to invite expressions of interest from parishes who think they could host the On The Move team from the 8th - 12th July 2015.
This is what we would like:
Two halls to sleep boys and girls separately.
A large and well equipped kitchen for catering.
A large enough area to provide jobs, ideally within walking distance.
The Parish to encourage their own young people to get involved with OTM
The ability to feed us lunch every day. This is usually parishioners bringing soup, stew or sandwiches. We look after breakfast, dinner and supper!
A parish which would use OTM as a springboard or to compliment their existing youth ministry
There is no financial requirement placed on parishes to host OTM, other than the expenses of heat, light and complete useage of the hall. We can not share the hall with other users as we will be sleeping and operating from it on a 24/7 basis.
Depending on grant applications the diocese can cover all other extra-ordinary expenses such as the community fun day, paint and other relevant material. The cost of running OTM is significant, however due to grant applications and the strategic importance of this as a ministry tool with both young people and to the parish, the diocese strives to ensure there is no financial burden placed on the host.
There is an expectancy that the parish will have proper insurance cover to host the team, and to enable the halls to be used for sleeping etc. The diocese has public liability insurance which covers all tasks involved with partaking in OTM.
This is primarily a ministry to your parish and a journey of discipleship with the young people who attend.
It's here, our last day in the Cz Republic. We love this place and we really hope to be back next year God Willing.
We have had a blast - deepened our faith, strengthened our characters and discovered a love for people half way across the world. The team we had this year was awesome - a GREAT bunch of people. We are so blessed to have them in our diocese!
David Boyd shares how Friday went. Today we said goodbye to the children. Very emotional as I am sure you can imagine. Knowing they were heading back to a children's home, and not to a loving family is hard - but pushes us on to pray for them as they go.
We have had an amazing week, and tomorrow is church, a day off, then packing up and getting ready to go.
Today our theme was gifts and how we use ours. We emphasised that everyone has gifts, and they come from God, but that it is up to us how we use them. We watched a few videos, as Olivia points out in the vlog below, and drew around a body which lead us into talking about the body of Christ.
It rained today, so we had to have a last minute change of plans and do an afternoon session indoors. It soon cleared up, allowing us out again for the second afternoon session. We finished the night with a DVD and scary walk - then it was team time before bed time! Rest at last.
Tomorrow is our last full day with the children, and it may be a tad emotional. Please keep the team and the children at the camp in your prayers, and really pray that the love of God will become so clear to them. They are so used to people abandoning them, or being looked after by people who are paid to do so that it is really hard to get across the message of a faithful and loving God. We really need God to move and hope our programme is hel;ping that process.
Thanks again for watching and look out for our next vlog tomorrow!