Diocese hosts first middle school youth rally
By Katherine Long
St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool was filled with nearly 200 young people when the first ever diocesan-wide middle school rally was held there Nov. 2.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity for the increasing amount of middle school youth groups to gather together and grow in faith,” said Bob Walters, diocesan Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
As the evening began, attendees made new friends while they bounced down the inflatable slide in the gym and captured some goofy moments with pals at the photo booth.
The young people then trooped into the church for a talk by Chris Padgett, an author, singer-songwriter and speaker. He kept the crowd laughing with silly songs and amusing anecdotes from his childhood, but also got the young people thinking about their relationships — not just with their parents, friends and significant others, but with Christ. “God is crazy about you,” he reminded them, “and He’s got more in store for you than you can imagine.”
The middle schoolers broke into small groups to discuss themes from Padgett’s talk, then prayed the Nicene Creed together. Everyone was given a copy of the prayer to take home and study — a perfect activity for the Year of Faith, Walters said.
More than one attendee declared the night “awesome” and looked forward to participating in future youth events. Walters was also pleased with the evening. “It was a huge success and we plan to offer the rally annually,” he said. “Participants asked for more, so next year we plan to extend the timeframe to a full day with national presenter Chris Stefanick as the main speaker.”
For more information about Youth and Young Adult Ministry activities in the diocese, visit www.syracuseyouth.org.