Making a spiritual connection, acknowledging the diffculties of the past few years, sustaining ministry and raising the profile of youth ministry were all on the agenda for the first ever retreat day for those involved in youth, sports or children and families work in the Diocese of Ely.
Organised and run by the Diocese of Ely, in partnership with Ridley Hall, a team of 20 staff and volunteers and 60 attendees came together for a day of ecumenical worship and learning last week. The day included a keynote speech from Matt Summerfield, drawing from his three decades of experience cheering on young people as a volunteer youth worker, to talk about sustaining ministry. The cohort of attendees included youth workers, volunteers, alumni and current students at Ridley Hall - anyone with an interest in seeing our churches grow younger. After the challenges of the past few years not allowing numerous in-person events, many attendees jumped at the opportunity to reconnect with others involved in ministry with young people.
If you're beginning to explore what youth ministry might look like in your church, please get in touch with Mike Kelly, Diocesan development officer for Youth, for advice and support.
Becca Dean, Tutor in Youth Ministry at Ridley Hall, addresses participants at the recent retreat day.
'And Breathe' was a time to gather together, pray, worship and remember before God. To recognise that there are 'people like me', a peer support network of people who are working towards similar goals, across a range of backgrounds and situations. Following a street food style lunch buffet, attendees enjoyed an afternoon of contemplative prayer, one-to-one coaching, reflections on building hope in your minstry, reading, godly play taster session or finding time to be with God. A relaxed lunch time gave people the chance to bask in the sunshine, chat and find out more about other people's journeys and for some, enjoy a game of table tennis!
Sports and Youth ministers play table tennis at Ridley Hall during the recent retreat day.