Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Garage '07

Next year, two of my mates - Matt Waters and Jono Croxford - and I are running a small group. It's called The Garage, because we're taking over the garage underneath the church office. None of these silly names like 'KidZone'. It's going to be for the boys in Grade 5 to Year 8. The reason for this is, the boys a bit old for singing childish songs about Jesus and doing silly actions, but maybe not ready for the intensity of something like Vetamorphus or a VCE small group. When I was that age, I pretty much thought I was 'too cool' for church or any of that stuff, mainly because I had nothing to explore in or ask my own questions. It wasn't until this year and Vetamorphus that I've had that, and now that I do, I see how good it would be for the boys to have it too.

After a meeting today with Jono and Matt, we came up with this working vision statement of our six reasons for doing The Garage:

  • To help the boys realise their potential as young leaders in church and the wider community
  • To present other options in ways of life and support them as they grow into young men
  • To create a space to build courage and strength in their ability to help, assist, change, question, answer and be.
  • To create a comfortable environment to explore questions of faith.
  • To create an environment of trust and support between boys and leaders.
  • To be their friends.

I'm really excited about doing this, because I feel I'm finally giving like I should be, rather than just a bit. I hope it'll be good, we'll see. Starting date is Feb 4th, I'll write more about it after then.

Monday, December 25, 2006

And so this is Christmas...

It has been a while since my last post. I've been to Phillip Island for the Young Adults Retreat, I've been to Mt. Martha for my final Vetamorphus Retreat, exam results have come out, I went back to Phillip Island for a week with friends, and now it is Christmas.

The Young Adults Retreat was cool, it was only two days, but a good time anyway. Mostly relaxing, with a little bit of reflection. Kinda weird to be considered an adult now, I still feel pretty childish.

A few days later, I was off to Mt. Martha. The final Vetamorphus Retreat. As always, there were parts, and people, on the weekend that made me angry and frustrated. One particular session, on Christian relationships, as in boyfriend/girlfriend and pre-marital sex, made me especially angry, for reasons I won't put here. If you'd like to know, ask me. Anyway, the best part of the weekend was this: On the final day, in the final session, we did positive affirmations. Everyone sat around in a circle, and as we went around the circle, everyone was given the opportunity to say something affirming about the person whose turn it was. Now, when Vetamorphus started, there were some very big personalities, and, at times, I felt like hitting them over the head with a fish. I found, and still find, it so very easy to pick up all the faults in people. However, these people who I wanted to take out my frustrations on with marine animals, were the ones who found it easiest to see the best in people. They were the ones who were first to affirm others, and the ones to affirm the most. It made me realise that maybe I was the one who needed an attitude change.

Exams results went well. I got 90s, but well over what I was hoping for. So that was nice.

On Friday, I came back from a week at the Jolly Retreat in Phillip Island. There were about 15 people in the house at any given time, and it was just a great week away. As always, there was a little drama, but nothing too damaging. I even found space for quiet time and meditation on the beach. However, the highlight was definitely the Kris Kringle on the last night. It was the best one ever, simply because the presents had effort and care put into them, rather than any care about a money limit. In fact, most of the presents were costfree anyway. The fact that someone had put in a personal effort meant much more than any $10 token present.

Finally, today is Christmas. My brothers aren't home, so it's just me and mum and dad. We don't even have a Christmas tree up. But it doesn't matter, it's been a great Christmas. Reflective midnight service Christmas Eve, big Christmas service this morning, lunch with family friends, dinner with girlfriend, now watching old-school movies.

And now, as I sit here watching the Grumpy Old Men movies, I can safely say it's been a great holiday so far, and quite possibly the best year of my life. All the reasons, I'll write about later, but it's been awesome. So merry Christmas everyone, let's hope next year is even better.