Pioneers is for 10 and upwards and meets in the Choir vestry within the church. They usually meet on the 1st and 2nd Sunday of the month. On the 1st Sunday they are encouraged to join the congregation for communion. The aim of this group is to keep the young people's interest and to help them explore their belief by bible study and discussing how it influences their lives.
The Wessex Synod Youth Exec weekend started very relaxed as we shared a meal together and lit a fire before bed on the Friday night. It was a lovely time for us to catch up with one another before having to move onto business!
On the Saturday we covered a large amount of business such as the progression of Paddington Bear, which age ranges we cover in events through the year, as well as which age ranges we don't cover.
We also had a meeting with the Children and Youth Work Committee, where we discussed our views on the earlier conclusions from our age range activity map. After all of this we had some free time - so we built a fort and watched a movie.
We had a wonderful weekend that all finished with watching one of the exec. being confirmed, can't wait to catch up again!
I visited Wessex Synod with the Youth Exec and we all discussed the acceptance of minority groups within the church. It was recognised that the URC can be very welcoming, however there are still areas where we can improve. This was illustrated using the story of Paddington Bear, the well known traveller and immigrant. When Paddington turned up to the Brown household Mr Brown didn’t accept him in the begining. After getting to know Paddington, and understanding his background, he welcomed the bear into his family for who he was – not worrying that he was different from them.
Welcoming someone is not about changing them to be like us, but accepting them for who they already are.
I just wanted to thank everyone for my cross and prayer book given to me by the Church to take to Tanzania. It was very kind and I am grateful for the thought and effort you have all put into supporting me on my journey. Both of the gifts are in my hand luggage and will keep me feeling close to home whilst I'm away. I would also like to thank Hannah and Georgina for my lovely cards. I couldn't take them with me but they are in my room pinned up on my notice board. Thank you for all the kind messages!
On 27-29 January I went to my first Synod Youth assembly meeting at Whitemore Lakes. At first I didn't know anyone other than Emily (she's part of the Synod Youth Exec) but it didn't take me long to make some friends who I really got on with.
I had a great time learning all about religious feasts and festivals, we also talked about whether Jesus was a fat man because he had meals with so many people. In the end however we all decided that he wasn't fat because of all the walking he would have done and the food he would have eaten as it wouldn't be very fattening.
Above all my favourite part was definitely taking part in the Ceilidh! I danced with the same boy the whole hour and a half because he was Scottish and sort of knew what he was doing - which was more than I did! I didn't stop dancing for the whole time but by the end I had blisters on BOTH my feet, I even won the competition of worst blisters from Ceilidh in three years!!!! By the end of it I had made lots of new friends and was very sleepy.
The other weekend I went to the Wessex Synod meeting with Mike and Janet. I went as part of the Synod Youth Exec (SYE) so we can take notes on what's changing and have our say on events as well. The meeting was very informative and it was good to hear what is going on in the rest of Wessex Synod, as well as listening to the meeting I also went to a talk. The SYE decided to split up when taking part in talks so we get a group view on as many areas as we can, I went to the eco church. It was very interesting to hear how we can make our church more eco friendly in simple ways and win awards at the same time. After all of this, you wouldn't think it would get much better, we drove back to Romsey to the Explorers skittle evening! It was great fun and everyone had a good laugh together.
Last weekend I attended a Synod Youth Exec meeting at Avon Tyrrell to discuss all the important matters from last year and for the future. We stayed in one of the lodges, this was great fun because it was very spacious so we all had our own space.
On the first day we had a very busy programme talking about last year's camp and next year's camp but first we introduced ourselves. As I was the newest member the others all knew each other, but I only knew one of them! So I was introduced to Valley, John, Alice and Bex before we got on with the work.
It was a very productive weekend and we worked late into the evenings, one night we even had a power cut! I am looking forward to the next meeting so we can plan some more and I can see the others.
At the end of July I went to the Wessex Synod 2016 camp and once again it was super fun! I shared a tent with someone I met last year and we both loved the same things - mainly Doctor Who! We learnt all about Mathew and the Ten Commandments and also about how in different Bibles the sections are worded differently. The activities I participated in were: archery, wide games (capture the flag) and rifle shooting. I had great fun and I met old friends as well as making new ones. I can’t wait for next year’s camp!
Kathleen is a Pioneer and this is her account of her latest trip to Youth Synod Day. On Saturday, 21 March 2015 I went to the Youth Synod day at the Avenue St Andrews URC. We had a fun filled day finding out how we are all individual and have hidden talents. We designed our own t-shirts showing things we like and what makes us ourselves. Self-portraits made of junk was one of the first bases. The whole idea of the day was that although we may not look the prettiest or be the most popular we are all important and even though we are different underneath that we all have unique abilities. We also made a pot with grass seeds in so that as we water them the grass grows, this shows that all of us can grow out of the darkness. My favourite activity was the one where we all had paint representing our life lines. Each person had a different coloured squeezy paint and we all went round in a circle above the canvas dribbling and squirting the paint. To start with it looked really messy and horrible, but with everyones input It looked beautiful by the end, all our colours mixing together and crossing one anothers’ paths. After it looked really cool and now it sits in my room to remind me that all our paths cross for a reason. I had a lovely day. It was great fun and I’m hoping to go to the Synod camp in July this year as I couldn’t go last year.
04/12/14 Theme: Christmas Story
Synod camp was amazing! I made new friends and met old ones, there where so many cool activities for us to do. I did rock climbing, survival hunt for food and woodland games. The theme was pirates so we all dressed up on the last night, there was an ultra violet light party and a camp fire followed by a movie. I had a great time and can't wait for next year’s camp!