Christ the Redeemer held its second to last Youth Ministry event of the Religious Education Year on Sunday, April 17th after the 5:30 PM evening mass. This Game Night had originally been scheduled for January 24th, but had been postponed due to the harsh winter weather at that time. There were around 60 youth who participated in this event with a few were first-time visitors. There were also a few younger children who peeked into Atonement Hall with their parents who were curious about the evening activities.
The low-key event was meant to offer opportunities for youth in Grades 7-12 to interact with each other in a structured, but relaxed atmosphere. Different games were chosen that were simple and fun to play and required at least 2 players. At timed intervals game play would stop. One or more of the members playing a game would then be asked to shift to a different game and new players would take their place. Those who remained at the game would then be responsible for explaining the rules of the game and game play would continue to the next round.
There was a break for food and drink. Each table had one plain and one pepperoni pizza. Each table had different but only one kind of drink. Youth were invited to choose tables, but if they wanted a different drink or ran out of pizza, they would need to move to a different table to do so. In this manner, people who wouldn’t normally sit down with each other would get a chance to do so.
Typical of many of these gatherings, there are some unavoidable social groupings: age/grade of students, gender, or similar hobbies and interests. But it is also true that during meal-time, the adult chaperones also clumped together. But if you traveled from table to table, the talking topics were quite interesting. There was mild political conversation, especially for a few older youth who would be old enough to vote in November. There was humorous talk about how dressed up to dress for the Prom: It depends on whether it was the Junior or Senior Prom, it was your prom, or if you were the one who asked or was asked. Also interesting was how “worn out” the myth of “order some pizza” for the youth has become. Teenagers like pizza, but realize there are many other “fast” alternatives available. Hispanic food is popular and also healthier food.
The evening began and ended with prayer. For the most part, it was self-run by the adult youth coordinators and catechists who helped plan and set up the event. The event ended with an opportunity to take home some games and other “thrift goods” stuff that had been donated to the event by one of the volunteers.
The final event for this Religious Education Year is Sunday, May 1, the last day of Sunday Religious Education and Youth Ministry. For the upcoming year, which begins in September, the plan is to continue to offer similar Youth Ministry Events throughout the year. Typically, after every third or fourth Sunday Religious Education Class, a Youth Ministry Event is scheduled to enable youth to meet each other outside of class and to invite other area youth who are not enrolled in Religious Education to participate. Past events have included class trips to Emmitsburg, MD, Washington DC, presentations from guest speakers, student video projects, movies, and games.
As always, adults interested in seeing more youth events happen at Christ the Redeemer are encouraged to contact the church to lend your time and support. The Church Office can be reached at 703-430-0811.