THE theme of the half tern Youth Pastorate meeting was Blind Faith, with discussions based around the story of the blind man being healed (John 9: 1-12), the meaning behind the story and whether the story was a real miracle or a metaphor.
The meeting was held in Canton Uniting Church.
The first small exercise was to learn to listen with our eyes closed, which we did by creating a thunderstorm with our bodies (clapping, clicking, stomping). The young people were then divided into pairs and with one of them blindfolded and the partner leading them
around the room by the arm. Next step was to do the same exercise but without touching them, using audible cues only.
These exercises were just the warm-up to see how they would communicate when things got a bit trickier!
We split them into two groups and they each had to make an obstacle course out of any items they could find, with the idea that they would then have to steer their group through the course blindfolded.
They used chairs, tables, old shoe boxes, cushions, blankets and any items they could find to create a course. We then sneakily swapped the teams over and they had to lead each person in turn through the opposite course. There were a lot of laughs and silliness, even from
the adults, as each person took the instructions in their own way – and often got their left and right mixed up!
Once everyone was through the course and sight had been returned, we took a break for lunch and some much-deserved cake! And the young people thought the exercise was over! But during the lunch break, the leaders built a new obstacle course in secret.
This time, all the young people were blindfolded and were placed one behind each other in a chain. Nici led from the front and moved them through the course, each person following on from the one in front, and with some occasional adult help if they were going off course or in danger of injuring themselves. After the course was finished and everyone made it out the other side, we had a chat about how it felt, and if it was different all being blindfolded.
We closed the event with a circle prayer and thoughts about the Ukrainian war which started exactly one year ago to the day of the meeting. All the young people enjoyed the day, and no one ended up with any injuries, a good end to the half term! Everyone is looking forward to the next event, a sleep over on the Easter weekend, at City.