This week, we’re featuring the members of Hyperlink: Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering‘s specialist home team, as they offer their own perspectives on both the event and the ministry they are called to at the event.
Our second blog entry comes from Aidan, 18, from Edmonton, Alberta. Here at CLAY 2012, he is stage-managing the Large Group Gatherings, working with the band, the drama troupe and the technicians to ensure that things move smoothly.
Wow! What a day! It is now officially Saturday, and I have to get up in six hours, but first I’m going to recap how the Friday of the Gathering went. Things started out early for most Home Teams, especially all the ones from Newfoundland, who all woke up at 3 AM (jet lag!!), before going back to bed! For the rest of us, however, things kicked off with our second Large Group Gathering at 9 AM.
A somber mood overtook our second LGG, as the theme “Error 404″ and how our relationships can splinter took center stage. The band took it slow, and the Drama Troupe utilized black light and fluorescent string to demonstrate how connections can be broken. The Indigenous Bishop for the Anglican Church of Canada, Mark MacDonald, was our Keynote Speaker for the morning. He touched on how the Indigenous of our country react to the Gospel story, and encouraged all the participants to open both their eyes and their hearts to this wonderful country and to each other. As well, Judy Steers announced the winners of the Face Book-It event from last night. Congrats to all who won free breakfasts!
Following the LGG, focused moved onto the first set of amazing forums available to gathering participants this year. At Hyperlink, all the participants are given the opportunity to attend 4 different small group-focused forums over two days. These forums catered to many different kinds of youth, from those wanting to learn about mission trips around the world, to those learning to song write, play team building games, or just talk some Bull with Bill.
Two forum sessions, and lunch, were followed by a second Large Group Gathering, entitled “There’s an App for that.” Much more upbeat, the band and drama troupe both “played” their parts in ensuring that this would be the best LGG yet. Excitement was high, and this was complimented by our Keynote speaker, Jenny Salisbury. Pursuing a PHD in theatre this coming fall, Jenny discussed how stories are what defines us, and that “there is a direct link between that which we imagine, and that which we create.” The excitement kept building until the very last song Everlasting Love, which had the entire up and jumping singing “ooh, ooh, ooh. ooh ooh, ooh, ooh.” The combined jumping caused the floor to shake so much that people outside the theatre thought that something bad was happening.
This excitement followed people as they headed down to Kiwanis Park at the river to celebrate Riverfest, with food, sports, music, fellowship, and activities. It was both a great way to experience some “fresh air” but also to spend some time with friends old and new. Tranquility descended on the park as the sun crept down, culminating in a worship around a gazebo that was both refreshing for the mind, the body, and the soul. The volunteers made the event happen, and we are glad that they put so much time into such a special event.
Late night spots ended the nights’ activities, with Karaoke and Air Band both being highlights for participants. For once, the youth were sent to bed early so that they would wake up on Saturday feeling refreshed and ready to spend the day with the spirit. It is now nearly 2 hours after that bed time, and I am sitting here finishing this recap. I too need sleep, as we only have another great day lined up in just a few hours.