Retreat supports transition to adulthood

At least 19 young people from Marion County attended a youth retreat Dec. 29 through Jan. 1 at the First United Methodist Church in Wichita.

The retreat, provided several times a year by the United Methodist Conference, is called “Chrysalis,” the formative stage of development between a caterpillar and a butterfly in nature.

Sponsors say that, just as the chrysalis provides a safe environment for the transformation of a caterpillar, so the youth retreat provides a safe environment in which youth from high school freshmen to college-age can develop discipleship and leadership in support of local churches.

Some of the youths went as “caterpillars,” first-time attendees. Returning retreaters went as “gophers” or helpers.

They slept on air mattresses in the church. The job of the gophers was to serve the caterpillars. This included preparing and serving meals, making beds, and cleaning restrooms.

Devotionals, praise singing, and recreation were part of every day. Boys and girls sometimes met separately and sometimes together to listen to talks on relevant topics.

Torey Hett of Marion and Jordan Riggs of Peabody went as “the team behind the scenes,” Hett said. They mingled with the youth, shared their own personal experiences, and answered questions. This was Hett’s fourth retreat as a leader. He said it is an opportunity for him to pursue his passion for helping young people growing up in the modern world.

“It’s a time to get away from everyday life for three days and help young people grow in their personal lives,” he said.

 

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