In life, we are called to be producers, this was the case on Friday 22nd September at Christ The King Parish, North Rocks where I had the pleasure of being part of a social night where the young people get an opportunity to become seekers and to enjoy being in each other’s presence.
CTK Light Youth Group are blessed with one of the strongest, all rounded, highly experienced core leadership team’s that many youth groups would wish for. The team is led by enthusiastic CTK youth minister Brad Vergano (CSYMA, NET Ministries alumni) who is studying to become a secondary school teacher to teach religion and visual arts. Brad uses his creative genius to design new resources and ideas to keep the youth session’s fresh.
The other youth leaders involved in CTK Light Youth Group is Victoria Standish (NET Ministries alumni) who hails from Calgary-Alberta, Canada, Victoria serves as the pastoral leader of the group and is always checking up on everybody to make sure that they are ok. The Hoban siblings, Lisa and Julia are the sisterly duo who are blessed with musical talents and Gerard and Geri Sadaya (YMGC leaders) round out the group with years of priceless youth ministry experience.
When I open the door of the library, the team have costumes on as the theme of the night is to pay homage to famous movie character’s. Everyone’s eyes are focused on the whiteboard as Brad explains the guidelines on how to play Stardust Bazookas which is a strategic game that focuses on teamwork where the team who collects the most stardust (glow sticks) into their respective team bucket wins.
Before the young people arrive to the youth night, Brad is driving off to collect dinner while Victoria, Julia, Geri and Lisa are making stardust bracelets and Gerard is entertaining the early birds who are getting dropped off by their parents.
Being an outsider, it is usually difficult to fit in when attending a youth night, However, the young people from CTK light youth group are very open and accommodating. I recall them coming over and introducing themselves followed on by a handshake. I was taken aback by their inclusiveness and hospitality, a complimentary testament to the leadership team who have put an effort into welcoming their youth into their group.
The night starts off with the blessing of the pizza, followed on by returning to the library to explain the guidelines of Stardust Bazookas which leaves some leaders and young people with confusion and doubt. However, when the guidelines are explained and the teams go outside to play Stardust Bazookas, the game goes off well and there is action all over the place, young people chanting their team name and scooping up stardusts off the ground.
The last game of the night is called “Seekers” which is a variation of the very popular childhood game “Hide and Seek”. Brad (the Seeker) closes his eyes and counts to 30 while everybody else must high five him and run off to find a place to hide. Once Brad opens his eyes if he spots somebody, he will call out the person’s name and if he is correct, the person who is caught sits out on the side while Brad closes his eyes again and the young people need to high five him before the count of 29. The count decreases each time a person is caught. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hide away in time so I decided to hide behind Brad which resulted in me getting caught with a tap on the shoulder.
At the end of the night after the final prayer. The leaders stay behind to debrief the night to discuss the parts of the night that went well and the parts of the night that they needed to improve on. The leadership group have also thought about the future as a few of the senior high school students joined them on the debrief.
I am so grateful for spending time with the leadership team at CTK Light Youth Group. The most valuable lessons that I got is that sometimes in youth ministry we can become stale with the resources that we have that we can get into “autopilot” mode. I learned that we need to take risks by being more creative. I also learned the importance of debriefing which assists us with taking our ministry to the next level as well the importance of recruiting future leaders to ensure that youth ministry will continue to survive for the next generation.
Youth name: CTK light Group
Address: 10 Statham Avenue, North Rocks, NSW, 2151
Friday nights (during school terms)
If you have any questions please email email@example.com
Written by Richie Leilua
Richie Leilua is the Youth Ministry Co Coordinator for the Youth Ministry Game Changers Program, He is a Lasallian Youth Minister at Oakhill College in Castle Hill and assists with the youth group in Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Fairfield, NSW.