Our final retreat to Celebrate North West in Macclesfield where the theme was ‘See first His Kingdom’ (Matt 6:33)
The arrival of Fr Andrew gave us the perfect excuse to review and develop the youth groups that run at St Clare’s. With lots of positives to build on we wanted to look again at how to make the groups most accessible and fruitful so there have been a few changes which you may have already noticed.
The biggest change is that GFF (God’s Friends Forever) has finished. Over the four and a half years that GFF ran over 70 young people were involved, most of whom had been regular attendees over weeks, months and years. We had so much fun as well as growing in faith together and know that God has blessed all who have been involved in many ways and has been faithful to His promises for us. A few months ago one young person wrote the following about her experience of GFF:
GFF has had a big impact on my life, it has changed my view of God completely. In the last year we have learnt many things but one event I will always remember is the trip to Celebrate North West in Macclesfield where we learnt the true importance of the Year of Mercy. I came to the GFF group because I wanted my faith and love to grow closer towards God. GFF really helped me for this and I truly feel like it has strengthened my faith and changed my life. They helped me understand that God is always there for us and he will always protect us and watch over us, because he loves us with everlasting love. Acknowledging the true meaning of Christianity is a big thing, knowing that God will always lead you on the right path and guide you. GFF is just like a family to me, they always support me and help me. Becoming a member of this family was a dramatic change and helped me develop skills like confidence, team work, resilience and much more. If I had one line to describe GFF I would say,” GFF is a life changing experience, THANKYOU!!!”
The group came to a close on 4th April 2017 and we ended our time together with a celebration and a Retreat and look forward to continuing our relationships in the new groups that are now starting (See ‘Anointed’). Thanks to all the young people and volunteers who have given so much time and energy to GFF.
Here are a few highlights from over the years…
Dressing up always helped us understand the Bible stories
We enjoyed the odd trip out too
We made our own Banners to decorate our prayer room
And we prayed in lots of different ways
We played lots of games
And spent time sharing in small groups
We enjoyed several residential retreats too