On September 29, 18 participants gathered in Saskatoon to kickoff the Mennonite Church Saskatchewan youth programming year. The youth got to know one another in a variety of ways as the event went on, first learning what everyone had for breakfast, then playing ‘Never Have I Ever . . .’ and using their crafting (and paper airplane-making) skills to put on paper the things that make them who they are. Following snack, youth came back into the room to find their papers had been marked, and names and words added to how they describe themselves.
This led to an acknowledgement of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and meaningful conversations about how residential schools marked and scarred people’s identities in ways they still carry today. As an example of how we can live lives of reconciliation, the group discussed the land acknowledgement quilt made by Angela Hildebrand and Metis artist Melanie Gamache of Manitoba. The youth were sent home with a photo of the banner as well, to remind them that land acknowledgement and reconciliation takes many forms, and to look for ways to include this kind of work in their daily lives.
As the evening wound down and the crafting turned to chaos, participants joined together in a dedication prayer, asking God to make the Mega Menno community a safe space where people can be their weird, wacky and wonderful selves, and experience the fullness of God’s love.
Mega Menno events are open to youth in grades 6-12. For info on upcoming events, contact Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirsten Hamm-Epp serves as MC Saskatchewan youth minister.