Group and other youth work
Whatever Group, for teenagers, has continued running this year with Mary organising the rota for herself, Keren, Paul, Sheila and Andy. This, by the way, is something Mary has been doing for just over 10 years now! We have continued to meet in the Parish Rooms in parallel with the 10:30 Sunday morning service and have highly variable numbers, depending on sports commitments and other draws on the young people’s time.
All in all though, we’ve had fun, eaten cakes and explored the Word through the year. It has also been great to see the young people contributing to the services at different times and in different ways throughout the year, especially Stephen and Matthew Macaulay.
Latterly we have run the youth equivalent of Christianity Explored, called Soul, which is, in my opinion, excellent material and pitched very well for the 15+ age group. Given the variation in numbers and our broad age range, it presented a few challenges for us but I for one would be willing to re-run it in the future.
Questions frequently arise over the future of the group. Should we be better running at a different time? Should we be running a different format of meeting? Any answers from teenagers, or parents of teenagers especially, gratefully received.
As to more outreach activities, the Youth Club continues on. It is what it is and with numbers steady over the winter at around 20+ for our mainly Community Centre based activities. The attendees (and some of the parents) have clearly valued it. Jacquie also did great work on the ice skating trip and is currently organising a bowling trip. Since the Winter Olympics, a big draw for the boys (and some girls) is our indoor curling equipment.
With the Youth Club the issues are slightly different. The club has sufficient equipment and resources (as could be seen by those who came for the pudding party) but, in the autumn, Ann Barnett will be stepping down after four years as co-ordinator. Also, I am feeling rather on the endangered list as the only male leader left. We are actively working on both these issues but prayers and support are always welcome.
On a real positive note though, I must pay tribute to Jacquie, Jane and Deanne who are absolutely great in the way they contribute their time and talents to the club. There are plenty of opportunities for people to help out, either at a meeting or by helping the meetings to happen. Occasionally parents do help but none have committed regularly – yet, except (and I must say that I’m really grateful) for Suzanne Goodier, who has taken over as Treasurer.