Enniskillen Rural Deanery Youth Event
When it rains here in the west there are evenings when our rural roads can seem much more akin to rivers than a means of vehicular access. Such was the evening of the 28th November. Despite the drenching weather the blustery wind and the bite in the air Rossorry church and itís nearby halls bathed the surrounding countryside with a warm glow from foot lights up to the beautiful church and tower and streams of golden light reaching out of the halls with every turn of itís doors. Feet splashed through puddles of standing water as car after car and bus after bus gave up their precious cargos of young people and their leaders to the ďGoing Deeper Into Godís PresenceĒ event.
The Revd Rob Clements and his very able fellow rural deanery leader Alison Irvine set about getting the young people engaged in party games which soon had them jumping up and down with excitement and saw the noise level rapidly rise. Kind ladies from the parish who had gathered to support the event and help with the supper later enjoyed watching the fun and games. Having gathered many from all over the diocese and as far away as Clones and Monaghan we all emptied out into the pouring rain to cross with care to the warmth and welcome of the church and the next part of the evening.
Emma Thompson the Prayer Rooms coordinator with the 24/7 prayer organisation was to speak on the importance of prayer as a way of entering into Godís presence. But before Emma took spoke the Revd Rob led the group in some youth friendly liturgical prayer. Our young people entered into this with strength and warmth. The evening having started prayerfully Rose Saunderson from St Macartinís, Enniskillen sang two worship songs, which took the atmosphere to an even deeper sense of Godís presence.
As Emma stepped forward to speak on how and why it is important that we pray the young people were highly attentive. Emma talked of how prayer is such an opportunity and blessing. That we can speak to God freely and not only with our thoughts but also form the heart. That God hears and sees our hearts so we can trust him to know what our hearts truly desire. Emma spoke of the many schools which have devoted spaces to be set up as prayer rooms and of how many young people spend time drawing, writing, painting, sculpting and just simply sitting and resting in these spaces as they use many different ways to speak and pray to God.
And then when so much had been said Emma, who had set out the entire church as a prayer space beforehand, set our young people free move around the various spaces. Corners of the church had silver lights, chairs, pens, paper and images to inspire prayer in different ways. One intriguing space had sand in a tray so that you could press the image of your hand in it. The meditation here was to see and remember that we can make significant and lasting impressions on others and our world around us. Our prayers do have an impact!
As the chords of gentle worship music filled the church the young people continued to absorb the prayerful atmosphere until it was time to gather again and hear a group of young people from Kesh speak about the fantastic weekend they enjoyed at Anois at the end of October. Many showed an interest in being part of Anois in 2016. Something we all look forward to!
Pushing open the church doors and walking out into the still night air made us realise the change that had taken place. Calm had returned to a stormy winter evening reflecting the newfound calm we felt within having been part of this prayer journey. High spirits and laughing soon returned as the young people discovered a feast of pies and slushy ice drinks awaiting them within the hall for supper. All too soon it was yet time again to climb aboard the buses with waves of farewell to friends and as the last carloadís taillights sank into the darkness a peace fell on the halls and church. As the Revd Rob and his team gathered to reflect on the evening there was a quiet sense of joy and satisfaction that here had been a very worthwhile evening praying and entering Godís presence with our diocesan young people.
Yet another of the new season of Deeper youth events had come and gone with quality and purpose. Again, we sense Godís presence and blessing and we look forward to doing it all over again on the 30th of January 2016. Then the eventís theme will be ďDeeper Into Godís Word.Ē