Youth learn to write their own obituaries

Zombie-themed weekend provides opportunity to explore life and death issues

February 12, 2014 | God at work in the Church | Number 4
Story and Photo by Donna Schulz | Saskatchewan Correspondent
A reflection on the meaning of life, death and life after death by a Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization member attending this year’s ‘Zombie apocalypse’ winter retreat at the Shekinah Retreat Centre.

A roomful of zombies set the frightful scene for this year’s senior-high retreat organized by the Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization (SMYO). While they weren’t real zombies, they were dealing with real life and death issues.

Garth and Claire Ewert Fisher helped nearly 50 youth and their sponsors explore the weekend’s chosen theme, “Zombie apocalypse: Questions about life, death and life after death.”

Using the zombie theme was a way to explore a serious and relevant topic “without it being quite so scary,” said Kirsten Hamm, Mennonite Church Saskatchewan’s youth minister. Youth were invited to dig into the theme by writing their own obituaries. Sharing what they wrote was optional.

The event, held from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at Shekinah Retreat Centre, was timed to follow exam week, and provided needed down time for the young participants to rest, relax and enjoy each other’s company.

For many, the retreat afforded a chance to see friends they only see during summer camp and at SMYO events.

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And, as Hamm pointed out, because Shekinah has no cell phone service, the retreat was also a break from technology.

Between sessions, participants enjoyed games and indoor and outdoor recreational activities.

Mackenzie Nicolle described the singing and worship times as “a good vibe” because everyone participated fully.

McKenzie Funk anticipated Saturday evening’s coffee house would be the high point of the retreat for him.

--Posted Feb. 12, 2014

A reflection on the meaning of life, death and life after death by a Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization member attending this year’s ‘Zombie apocalypse’ winter retreat at the Shekinah Retreat Centre.

Youth at the Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization’s senior-high retreat keep the ball moving with a revolving ping pong game at their annual retreat.

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