from the Greencreek 4th of July celebration
An invitation to fun, sun, prayer and more fun sparked the hearts of 14 of our local high school youth to attend an overnight retreat at the Keuterville hall. The fun began at 2:00 p.m. on Friday July 6th as youth arrived and tents began to fill the churchyard. The rumor of a volleyball game challenged the group to put up the net and create a space for fun. Well, lets just say that the instructions for putting up a volleyball net might as well have been in Japanese, maybe that’s what we were reading, anyway 2 1/2 hours later we had the net set and ready for the game. We played for 20 minutes and suddenly noticed a motorcycle approaching. To the dismay of the group, the helmeted stranger was our local priest wanting to join in on the fun. Following his arrival, David Ham showed up with his guitar and enough music for 3 days worth of singing. Hence our volleyball game came to a close. The net would have to wait as we were off to another adventure.
Around 5:00 p.m. we gathered in a circle on the grass to sing praise to our wonderful God for our many blessings. It is so rewarding to see a group to young people pouring forth song on a sunny day in a church yard, a memory to behold. It is moments like these that make my job the best job in the world. After our time of prayer, we went off into our separate groups to practice for the late night talent show. Everyone was excited and wondering what the night would hold.
At about 6:00 stomachs began rumbling and the invitation for dinner was evident. Subway was our next item on the agenda so we gathered in our cars and began the next leg of our journey. Father Paul hopped on his motorcycle, helmet in hand and said, “Where are we going now?” We said, “ Subway “ and he joined the pack as we ventured to Grangeville to feed our tummies. Have you ever been around when 15 hungry youth enter a building looking for food? Well let’s just say, we made our presence known. Subway will never be the same. After dinner we bid Father Paul farewell as he drove off into the sunset. We really enjoyed his time with us and look forward to many more adventures with our new priest.
We had a little time before the drive in opened so we went to the city park to play. We climbed, teetered, swung, ran, talked, and laughed until the sun set and invited us to the next part of our journey, the movies. As we entered the drive in we picked the perfect spot for watching the movies, Madagascar 3 and The Lorax. Our set up was perfect, lawn chairs, blankets, popcorn, pop, candy, cookies and a beautiful night. We enjoyed our time together and thanked God for the blessings of the beautiful evening. The movies ended around 12:30 a.m. so we headed to Keuterville to prepare for the late night talent show.
We arrived at Keuterville around 1:00 a.m. to find that a rainstorm had entered our campsite leaving everything rather wet. So, our next job was to take all of our stuff inside, hence our plans were changed to an inside slumber party on the hall floor. I’ve learned not to cry over wet tents and that youth ministry and flexibility go hand in hand.
The late night talent show comprised of our young people sharing their beautiful singing voices. Many different songs were sung as the audience listened and applauded at the giftedness of each youth. To add a little spice to the night the last act was a surprise for the kids as Steven Kinzer and myself did a lip sync to a Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton song. Of course we had to dress the parts and well, lets say, it truly entertained the kids and brought a lot of joy as we acted out the parts of these famous singers. The night ended with awards given for best talent. Our awards went to Stellina Lauino and Beth Dinning. Congratulations girls and thank you for sharing your gifts with us. Our night was over and the invitation to sleep was welcome as the clock struck 2:30 a.m. Sleeping bags were rolled out the sound of sleep entered rather quickly.
The morning brought with it the great smells of breakfast casserole (thanks Maureen Munger) and pancakes with M& M’s. Everyone gathered for a hearty breakfast prior to clean up and tear down. It was a rather slow moving morning but together we got things in order and ended our retreat with hugs and promises of contacting each other soon.
Through living and rejoicing as a young church gathered we proclaimed the greatness of the Lord. Having “Fun in the Son” is living the call of God. Rejoice, Rejoice always, again I say rejoice!
Tri Parish Youth Coordinator
Those attending the Fun in the Son Retreat at Keuterville are shown. Front Row (L-R)Clark Bruno, Emily Mchugh, Katherine Nida, Kyle Tillinghast, Katarina Tillinghast, Patty Brugeman, David Hamm. Back Row (L-R) Steven Kinzer, Kirstin Latimer, Beth Dinning, Holli Uhlorn, Heidi Holubetz, Stellina Laurino, Fr. Paul, Kevin Tillinghast (Not Pictured: Samantha Keating and Debbie Chicane). Photo provided by Debbie Chicane.