Diocesan Winter Youth Retreat – Hope for Today’s Church

There’s nothing like a group of dedicated, enthusiastic Christian teens to bathe the heart with hope for today’s multi-variant expressions of Christian faith. Such was our diocesan youth retreat at Sorrento – a mid-winter snowy adventure full of holy fire.

A community came together from around the province  and a few from beyond (forty on a bus from Vancouver) – to embrace the reality of being loved by God and to accept the challenge to serve Jesus in the world.

Worship was contemporary in flavour – meaningful and engaging. Workshops and activities covered a wide range of interests from expressing faith through art, to some interesting kinds of spiritual practices to learning how to deal with bullying in Biblical and restorative ways following the example of Jesus. As Trivia Night quizmasters, Phil Colvin, Cameron Gutjahr and Alex Starr were at their usual best. I still don’t know if there really is a movie called “Sharktopus”, but the video question itself was engaging, to say the least!

Archbishop John Privett spent some time in a “Dish with the Bish” session and had a significant and productive meeting with the executive of the BCYAYM (The British Columbia and Yukon Anglican Youth Movement). BCYAYM is a group on the move and its capable youth leadership structure is very serious about its mission.

Sorrento is a wonderful place – even in snowy -17c conditions.  The facilities are first rate and the food and staff are wonderful.  I hope every Anglican teen has an opportunity to attend and maybe even be part of the “crew” at Sorrento at some point.  What impressed me again is the importance of camping and retreat ministry for our young Anglicans. I discovered once again that a significant number don’t attend Sunday church regularly, but have built meaningful spiritual life and community around their summer and retreat experiences at places like Artaban and Sorrento. Enough said.

For Phil Colvin, this retreat formally ended his time as our diocesan youth coordinator as he moves into another position at the Synod Office. Phil was duly thanked for his excellent work during his time as youth coordinator and was presented with a beautiful tie to suit his more “formal” work atmosphere.

Many thanks to the dedicated youth leaders, speakers, worship leaders and father who came to support our Anglican youth and who helped make the weekend a memorable one for them.

Indeed – “Keep Calm and Love God”.

Steve Bailey is a deacon at St. Laurence, Coquitlam and a blogmaster at NW Anglican Blog. He was very blessed to be part of the “Keep Calm and Love God” Retreat.

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