In a world some would describe as being filled with divisiveness, local churches and organizations are doing their part to bring young people together.

Earlier this month, five youth groups converged at Lions Park for a massive round of capture-the-flag. Participating teens came from Cornerstone Community Church in Loon Lake, Compass Immanuel Church in Rapid View, the Evangelical Free Church in Meadow Lake, the Alliance Church in Meadow Lake, and the Turning Point Youth Centre, also located in Meadow Lake.

“There were more than 75 people involved in this event and it was very special to use the park as a place to run, laugh and connect,” explained James Witherow, lead pastor at the Alliance Church.

While, on the surface, the outing was simply a fun-filled day at the park, Witherow went on to say the event served an even greater purpose.

“What we have noticed over the last while – especially because of the pandemic – is people have been feeling really disconnected,” he said. “We, however, are looking for ways to bring people together and, after talking with the folks at the Turning Point Youth Centre, we came up with the idea of bringing the various youth groups together for an exciting day at the park. People are so caught up in all sorts of different facets of life right now where division has just run rampant among a lot of people. You try to talk about politics, or even your favourite sports team for that matter and, all of a sudden, people are like ‘forget it, I’m not talking to you anymore.’ So, when we have opportunities to bring people together and to show we are unified as a people, and we are going to care for each other regardless of our belief system or backgrounds, our appearance or whatever, I think that speaks volumes.”

Meanwhile, the success of the recent capture-the-flag outing has resulted in all parties looking forward to the next chance they have to come together for a collaborative event.

“We were expecting may 30-40 kids to come out that day,” Witherow noted.” The fact we had 75 kids plus leaders was awesome. If there are young people interested in connecting with other teens, they should drop in to one of these places. We’re hoping we can have some other special events in the future. It’s not only good for the churches and ministries in the area, but for the community too. It’s a reminder we’re on the same page here and we want to show the kind of love God has given us by showing that love toward others.”

Witherow went on to say, any interested young people who don’t know someone already involved in a local youth group can always contact one of the aforementioned churches or the local youth centre for more information.

“We definitely plan to do something like this again in the future,” he added. “Again, it’s good for the kids, good for the families, and good for the community. The most important thing for us is not just supplying a place for kids to hang out and have fun. I believe everyone is searching for answers when it comes to the purpose of life and if we have value. We find that through Christ, and we want other young people to discover that, and to share in that love.”

by Phil Ambroziak