BIRKDALE parish’s Antioch youth group recruited 16 new faces and two new parent couples to its ‘Who’s the Star?’ weekend from July 2-4 at Star of the Sea Parish Hall, Cleveland.
They were joined by 21 Antioch members, four parent couples, two pastoral care support people and eight ‘God Squad’ members, including three who travelled from the Newcastle Antioch youth group to support the weekend.
The God Squad members are all young adult ex-members of Antioch youth groups who help out with catering and mentoring at Antioch events.
Weekend leaders Jocelyn Boyle and Nam Duong spent six months organising and preparing for the new recruits, some of whom came from as far away as the Gold Coast.
Birkdale Antioch youth group co-ordinator Michelle Palethorpe said the weekend was about evangelisation – reaching out and strengthening faith.
She said the new recruits experienced youth to youth ministry through a series of talks given by regular Antioch members, bringing an awareness, understanding and development of faith.
The weekend included small group discussions, getting to know you sessions, faith games, trust games and a Mass and Reconciliation ceremony created by youth for youth.
Michelle said the young people also listened to a serious of talks on subjects such as God’s call, Being a Christian, Christian community, Mission, Meditation on the Eucharist, and had the chance to discuss how each talk was relative to personal experiences.
‘This weekend was a great experience for the youth of the Catholic Church,’ she said.
The weekend finished with a commitment and closing ceremony on the Sunday, where the Antiochers sang, danced and gave their parents an idea of what they had experienced during the weekend.
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