On Friday, February 15, over fifty youth and leaders boarded a bus and headed up to Sorrento Retreat Centre for the popular annual winter retreat. Organized by the Diocesan Youth Movement (DYM) leaders, the retreat theme was: May the Force Be With You. That’s right, the many Star Wars movies inspired a weekend filled with fun, faith formation, and friendship.
The keynote speaker was Rachel Taylor, Administrative Assistant to the Finance Department on Diocesan Synod Staff (she also fills a variety of other roles on the Synod office staff team, too numerous to mention). Rachel is very knowledgeable about the Star Wars universe, but more importantly she is someone who can facilitate deep conversations about our growth in faith and relationships and maturity using Star Wars as a jumping off point. During her last session we were all divided in groups to put on skits that told a parable of Jesus -- Star Wars style.
The weekend included many workshops and activities including: an escape room, sessions on Christian meditation and prayer beads, transformative make-up, a snowy capture the flag, hunting for constellations, discussions of homefullness, as well as stories of rebellion in the Bible, crafts, an epic trivia night, and more.
Morning and evening prayer was led by the Rev. Clare Morgan. A volunteer choir and band made up of several youth with guitar, harp, ukueleles and oboe enhanced our sound. We sang and chanted songs, (including a setting of the words of St. Julian of Norwich by the Rev. Andrew Halladay), meditated on scripture, prayed, and shared communion with one another.
Sorrento Centre offered us great hospitality and organization as ever. Many youth at breakfast on the last morning wanted to stay longer. The bus ride home on the 18th was filled with laughter and chatter and not a few snoozing leaders. It was the best attended DYM youth retreat to date.
The next DYM youth event is the Maundy Thursday sleepover at Christ Church Cathedral on April 18.
Save the date!
All photos by Lauren Pinkney except where noted