Edited post: Link to all the weekends videos has been added to the end of this post!
I slept until 11.55am on Monday morning - 13.5 hours in total which can only mean one thing - I'm just back from our 20:20 Winter Retreat. I generally find there is a correlation between tiredness and how good the weekend was so my big sleep is an indication of a fantastic weekend!
We had 50 people attending this year's retreat at Castlewellan Castle aged from 15-21 and a few leaders in the 25-30+ bracket! I remember writing a blog last year about the winter retreat and calling it the best ever so the standards where definitely high approaching this year! However, i can easily say that the retreat this year was of an equally high standard - if not even better!
The theme for the sessions this year (voted by the young people) was 'God's Will - Hear the Call'. Session 1 explored 'How does God Speak?' and for this we engaged the young people in a couple of experiential spiritual exercises that they loved. I'm pretty sure that some young people understood how God can speak for the first time. Session 2 looked at 'What are my gifts?'. In advance of this the young people had completed a heart's desire survey and gifts survey from the Prepared to Serve Course. You may be familiar with similar courses such as Network or SHAPE. This session was very practical and discussion based for the young people and very enjoyable. In Session 3 i attempted to tie the 2 together by encouraging young people to consider where they thought they could best use their gifts to serve God. I also reminded them that gifts used without love are useless (1 Cor 13).
The worship throughout the weekend was fantastically led by the young people themselves and really helped everyone to focus and reflect on who God is, what He was saying, and what response He was calling for.
The entire weekend was made so much more enjoyable by the fantastic range of games and activities organised by the rest of the leaders. We had 'The Price is Right' on Friday night, 'The Crystal Maze' on Saturday afternoon and 'Play Your Card's Right' on Saturday night! I had no organisation responsibilities for any of this which was a great help for me. On top of that the video production and drama team put together some of the finest quality amateur videos i have ever seen - hilariously funny! I will put a link up to the videos once they get put online! The video below is just some footage of the Crystal Maze activities that was quickly put together! So that's it over for another year as they say! I just hope that this time next year i can testify to another weekend of God's rich blessing!
Click here to link to all the videos of the weekend!