Games are not just for children – a point illustrated amid much laughter at Connor’s 2023 Launch event on September 2! [See our Gallery below].
At this now annual event, youth and children’s ministry leaders from across the diocese came together to be encouraged and resourced for the year ahead.
The event, held at St Patrick’s, Broughshane, was organised by Diocesan Youth Officer Christina Baillie and Children’s Ministry Development Officer Victoria Jackson. Fifty-one leaders from 17 different parishes and parish groups came along be resourced – and have some fun at the same time!
After refreshments and a welcome from Christina and Victoria, Bishop George Davison shared a biblical reflection and led prayers.
Victoria introduced Beverley Ringland, Christ Church, Lisburn, who spoke about the growing success of JAM youth ministry within her parish.
Key to growth was the linking into diocesan activities, Beverley said, with young people attending the Connor Takes the Castle youth weekend – last year there were five attended from Christ Church and this year the parish will be sending 11 young people – the diocesan Christmas event last December and Summer Madness.
Beverley said that in Christ Church, Messy Church have been revived, with a leaflet sent to schools. A Messy Church date turned into a family fun night, which attracted 90 families, including many who were not members of Christ Church. A video of the event showed just how successful it had been – and how much fun everyone had had on the night!
“Everything is coming together. At Synod, Bishop George talked about growing healthy churches,” Beverley said. “That challenged me to think about how we would do it and I asked our prayer group to pray for our young people. On my own, I can do nothing, but when we are together, we can do so much.”
Following Beverly’s inspiring talk, leaders involved in youth ministry left for a workshop led by Christina, while Victoria introduced Chris and Ross from Play it By Ear Christian drama group. Chris and Ross introduced a variety of games for children – by encouraging all the leaders to try them out. A challenge accepted by all which, as our photographs show, prompted much fun and laughter!
At lunch, the two groups came back together for questions and discussions, before the event drew to a close.