I’ve just uploaded a set of pictures from last night, when we held the annual Youth Group Vigil.
After our record breaking numbers last year, broke the record again with thirty-one people signed up on the list coming along, including quite a few friends of Youth Group members who came along having heard what a great time people had in previous years.
We again had the video projector, and I ripped out the surround sound system from home and set it all up in the young peoples room, projecting in 16:9 onto the wall above the fireplace. With all the couches around the room, the sound system and the almost two metre diagonal picture is like having a private cinema! As last year we also had another DVD player and TV in the other room, and X-Box games in the foyer.
From the vast selection we had, drawn from our collection, plus quite a few that the young people brought in to see on the big screen, choices shown this year are below:
The games during the night that Beth hinted at in her post yesterday seemed to go down pretty well. First up was “Duct Tape Creations”. Each team was given a paper plate, a paper napkin, and a roll of duct tape and told to make something. After the initial ‘you must be mad’ look, and a few minutes of searching for inspiration we actually got a pretty good selection of creations.
Game two produced the ‘now we definitely think you’re mad’ looks as Beth gave out a list of ten things she wanted measured, and then handed out the tools to do the measuring – one banana per team! The trick (as you will see in the pictures) is not actually to use the banana. You find something else that is better for the job, and work out how many bananas that represents. In most cases people found someone on their team whose feet are the same length as the banana!
Of course, in amongst all the games, movies, pizza in the early hours is the serious business of keeping the vigil. The vigil itself is divided into nine readings, and then a gospel reading for the dawn service. Each of the young people takes a turn to go over to the church, read the reading and psalm for their watch, and then they have to keep an eye on the candles that are in front of the altar.
The event actually grew out of our previous priest-in-charge wanting to restore the tradition of the early church of keeping a watch, plus ensuring that there was at least a small congregation for the dawn service, in an attempt to lift numbers. (Incidentally, this year we had a congregation of 65 at dawn, many of whom come specifically for the service, and not because they have anything to do with the youth group!) Everybody who comes along to the vigil and takes part in the games has to do a turn on watch, the initial idea being that we were almost bribing the youth group to keep the watch with the night of games, movies and so on – it being a lot easier to sell a night of games with a bit of sitting in a cold church, rather than the idea of just sitting in the cold church. Anyway, with some of the young people having done the vigil for many years, it was great to hear some feedback from another member of the congregation that one of the young people had told them how spiritually moving they found the 30-45 minutes they actually keep the watch. Hopefully that will counter some of the annual grumbles we get from parts of the congregation about all the older members of the junior choir not being able to sing at the later services on Easter morning because they’re too tired!
The set of pictures are on our pictures site, and also include some pictures of the newly restored bells which went back into the tower last week, pictures of the service, and some shots taken at breakfast.
Oh, and this is what a youth leader looks like after spending the night with over 30 young people in the Parish Centre….