Youth Round-up: Oct 09

Welcome to the Outreach Youth Worker’s latest roundup looking back over the month of October.

Breathe (A Contemporary Youth Retreat) – ‘Breathe’ is the new name for the holiday I help to run in Dovedale, Derbyshire. Some young people from FAITH attended last year’s holiday (then called Altitude) and reported back as having had a great time! (see parish blog for some pictures). But Breathe is more than just a name-change, it’s a ‘contemporary youth retreat that gives you the chance to experience God in a new but old way’. Faith is the focus and it offers practical ways for young people to explore and grow in their faith. Look out for more information.

FAITHFUL and Coffee – During the half term break I relocated my office to Coffee Republic in Birmingham city centre and invited the young people from FAITHFUL to join me for a drink and a chat. It was great to catch up and to spend some social time at a different venue – thanks to all who made the effort to come!

St Francis Prayer Community Launch – On 4th October we invited people to begin to pray with us in the Spirit of St Francis. Cannon John Austen gave the sermon (which can be found on the parish blog) and spoke about the challenge and the benefits of praying in a characteristically Christian way. The invitation consisted in praying three times a day (morning, midday and evening) and to commit to doing this until the end of 2009. Thank you to all who spoke to me at the end of the service – my hope is that a number of parishioners, and especially young people, will pray like this on a regular basis, so that we can grow together as a community of prayer.

An Orthodox Baptism – During October I had the privilege of attending a Baptism at the Serbian Orthodox Church in Bournville. As well as the beautiful and fascinating building, the service gave me plenty of food for thought. For instance, all the Sacraments of Initiation are administered at this service. My understanding is that the child is Baptised and Confirmed and is able to receive Communion (when they are old enough to take solids).

An interesting ceremony was also performed whereby four locks of hair were snipped from the child’s head and ‘glued’ together using wax from the Baptismal candle. It was explained that, in the days before certificates were issued, this served as a proof of membership of the Church.