This past weekend we had a fantastic time a Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church in Scarborough.
Friday night we started off the weekend with Get to Know You Games! A lot of laughs and fun games got us going and creating the wonderful community for the weekend. After a brief introduction, we started an intense team build activity. Participants were split up into groups of six, and there was a race to complete! My personal favourite was where each group was given three pieces of rope and had to hold on to one end. With a time limit, each group had to create the largest and most complicated knot without letting go of the ropes! Another team then had to try to untie the rope with the same rules. Needless to say, groups got competitive!
After some tasty apple cider, we head out to worship in Guildwood’s beautiful sanctuary. Although we’re all from different cities, backgrounds and churches, it’s amazing to know that we are all connected through our belief and love of God. After worship, we headed out to our fantastic billets for a good night’s sleep.
Saturday was definitely eventful! As an ode to Valentine’s Day, we played a game with “people,” versus “Cupid’s minions.” The people wanted to steal the secret of love from Cupid’s fortress (the sanctuary), and Cupid’s minions wanted to keep it a secret. Trying not to get tagged, the people tried to bring the secret of love back to the common place. Unfortunately, Cupid’s minions won, but everyone found out that the secret of love was in the bible!
After this loving activity, we joined in on a Yoga class in the church with Cathy Mines. Cathy led us through some heart opening and relaxation practices. After yoga, we went to worship where we sang, laughed and listened together. Our speaker, Rev. Tim Raeburn-Gibson led us through the process of discerning God’s call. Tim led us through the story of Joseph, his brothers and the coat of many colours from Genesis. We learned about how Joseph was uncovering his purpose and where God wanted him to go.
After each theme speak with Tim, we separated into discussion groups where we could talk about our beliefs, ideas and problems we all encounter on our spiritual journey. Discussion groups are such a great time to connect with like-minded people and talk about similarities and differences.
We had a delicious lunch of sandwiches and soup, then headed out to play an epic game of capture the flag at the Guild Park down the street. Overlooking the lake, we tried to steal the foam swords from each other’s teams!
After playing outside, we sat down to listen to Bonnie and Luna from Guildwood about their mission work with Amnesty International. We helped sign petitions and write letters to help those around the world. Our afternoon then went into a worship service, theme speak with Tim and discussion groups, we had a bit of free time together.
A delicious four cheese lasagna got us ready for an evening of crazy activities. We started with a real life game of “trivia crack,” where we tried to answer trivia questions on entertainment, art, sports, history/bible, science and geography. The only catch was that both teams could challenge each other to make the other team have a disadvantage. My personal favourite was the no hands pantyhose chase! Three people from each team had to put a pantyhose leg with an orange on the bottom over their head. Without using their hands, they had to swing the orange to try to pull off the pantyhose of of the other team’s heads! It was hilarious to take part in!
After Trivia track, we packed care packages for Arise mission. Arise focuses on outreach, case management and spiritual care to individuals involved in the sex-trade. We were glad to take part and help out!
We then got musical and participated in a Pitch Perfect-esque “Riff-Off.” Everyone definitely had fun trying to come up with more songs to sing!
Sunday morning, we participated in the service by singing The Lorica, and speaking about our experiences with mentors. After lunch, we had a fun Photo Booth time to end off our time together.
PYPS is an incredible opportunity for youth to share our common experiences and celebrate our differences. We had such a fantastic weekend, and would love for you to be a part of our next event at Glen Mhor Camp, May 29-31st, 2015.
Thanks again to Rev. Tim Raeburn-Gibson for sharing your personal stories and wisdom with us, Rev. Hugh Donnelly and Bruce Morrison for providing us with food and such a welcoming atmosphere, Cathy Mines for leading us in yoga, Bonnie Horton and Luna for sharing your Amnesty International mission work, and all of the billets who opened up their doors for us.
What a wonderful time to be a youth in the church!