National Youth Sunday
Blogged by James Preece on 2nd December 2008
The write up for the Diocesan National Youth Sunday is now up on the Diocesan website.
For the first time in a number of years, the Diocesan National Youth Sunday celebrations took place at a central point and brought young people from all over the Diocese together.
That's one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that the one in Hull was cancelled and a few of us are very unhappy about it.
The theme of this year’s National Youth Sunday was Reclaim The Future. It was a day about relationships; relationships with God, with the earth and with one another. We were invited, by the resources that the Bishops of England and Wales had provided to reflect on the fact that “I am because we are”.
"I am because we are"... Sounds nice doesn't it. It's an English translation of Ubuntu which apart from being an operating system is also described Wikipedia describes as being a 'a humanist philosophy'.
So, to translate. They were invited by the Bishops of England and Wales to reflect on a humanist philosophy.
What they should have reflected on is "I am because He is" - but that might have been a bit religious.
Young people joined Planet Pulse a live game show with CAFOD finding out how green their lifestyles were and the impact they have on the planet. As the game show cards shot up in response to statements about lifestyle and action, the bigger picture of the small steps of many, was visibly striking.
You mean this Planet Pulse game? The one that says "OUR emissions are causing the changes and they're happening QUICKER!" (even though the scientific consensus says no such thing) and that "we need to keep the temperature rises below 2 degrees C max" (which is a figure somebody pulled out of their bottom.)
In CAFOD’s live Sustainably Studios young people saw an advert created by a young Costa Rican campaigner and listened to a message from Elisa Manuel de Magaia in Mozambique explaining how climate change is affecting her community and why she believes passionately that we all need to focus on the environment and take this message out.
Climate change again... cuz, that's gonna matter when we're all dead.
The young people shared bidding prayers that they had written with help from Jane Cook. Then an extraordinary thing happened. Fr Simon prepared the group for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by explaining what was going to happen and then he left the room to return with Our Lord. The silence that filled the room was inspiring. We sat in silence and darkness, the room was lit only by candles offering our prayer intentions, for ten minutes. This was a new experience for some of the young people who told me afterwards that it was “so cool” and yet something totally different to anything they had experienced before.
Wow! That was extraordinary. Adoration happened - I can scarcely believe it. Well, sincerely, that's really good. Well done whoever made that happen. I hope it will become a more regular feature of youth events.
At the end, Fiona mentions that people had suggested that events like NYS are good for the Diocese and should happen more often. She writes...
That is my intent. I am working currently with different groups of people to make different things happen around the Diocese to ensure that all young people who want to can come and experience God in a way that may be different from the usual ways they do this.
"Different groups of people"... I wonder if any of them don't work in Schools.