I had the privilege of being with an incredible group of youth and young
adults at St. Crispin’s for New Beginnings (NB) #44!
The team arrived on Friday night and you could begin to feel
the excitement in the room build as the team laughed, sang, and prepared for
the weekend. Staff worked to divide the participants into small discussion
groups, open the dozen or so plastic crates with New Beginnings materials,
and begin making various gifts for the participants. The Chaplain for the
event, Mother Elizabeth Davis, offered a Commissioning Eucharist and anointed
the hands of those who were serving as Prayer, Share, and Care Staff (PSC) and
the Music Team, and anointed the foreheads of those who served as Dean, Rector, Small Group Leaders, and “Moms” and “Dads”.
The Dean and Rector for New Beginnings are traditionally seniors in high school
who have demonstrated outstanding leadership. For NB #44, Carly Herndon served
as Dean and Maddi Addis as Rector. These two young women were responsible for
keeping the weekend running smoothly and on schedule. Additionally, when there
was a break in the schedule, they led games, songs and other activities.
Saturday morning, right after breakfast, the staff got ready to welcome the
New Beginnings is, at it’s core, a retreat weekend structured around a series
of eight talks. The talks are aimed at getting young people to think about
their relationships with God, self, family, and one another. They are:
1. God don’t make no junk (love ourselves) 2. Friends and peer pressure (love our neighbors) 3. Siblings 4. Mom and Dad 5. The Church and me 6. Can I believe in God? (Prayer) 7. God is Love (Forgiveness) 8. Pass it on
Two youth are assigned to each talk so different perspectives are given. After
the talks, the group breaks into their small groups for an activity and
discussion, allowing them time to reflect and share their thoughts. Some
activities were shared just in small groups, some with the larger group, and
some activities were intended to engage the participants in personal
Chaplain Mother Elizabeth presented a talk on God is Love/Forgiveness and the
talks were ended with a Eucharist. But the day didn’t end there. The evening
included a number of activities for participants to share and build fellowship
with one another.
Sunday morning, the talks continued and participants finished out the weekend
with pictures, signing the New Beginnings book which has all participants since
NB #1, and received their heart necklaces.
As an adult, I was exhausted when the event was over, but was so amazed at the
leadership shown, the way everyone was included, the amount of personal
sharing, and the depth of the spiritual understanding offered.
Parents, if your youth attended NB this year and they haven’t shared with you
yet, please do not worry. The talks are designed for them to begin thinking
about some of the big things they either have already encountered or may soon
encounter. They are working out who they are, how they fit into things, and
what they believe. They have heard about peer pressure and family. But most
importantly, they have heard their peers talk about these things.
A special thanks to the adult staff - Holly Barry, Coy Brooks, Zeke Brown, Emma
Brown, Abby Colijn, Hannah Goralewicz, and Andrew Herndon. They are and
continue to be excellent models of leadership for our youth!
924 N. Robinson I Oklahoma City, OK 73102