Couples for Christ India (CFCI) held a one day program called the ‘Game Plan‘ on 17 May, 2015, in Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, Bangalore, for the youth of the parish and surrounding parishes. This program introduced the youth to encounter God in a brand new way, a game plan comprising of various workshops and activities. This in turn was connected to the theme of strategy and team spirit for our game plan on this earth to reach our ultimate goal – eternal life with God in heaven.
The programme opened with praise and worship led by the band, followed by an ice-breaker, to help the youth get to know one another better. A brief introduction on the theme of the day was presented. It explained that, in order to reach our goal in heaven, we need to strategise and work as a team, just like in any game.
The first workshop was on the theme – imitating Christ. The participants were given a questionnaire with different life scenarios and were asked to write down their immediate reaction to each of these. This was later explained in terms of our immediate reactions to God and His amazing love, and how we are all called to imitate and respond to Him.
The youth were then organised into teams for the next activity. All the members of each team had their legs tied together and had to race to the end of the hall against the opposing team. This very effectively led to the realization that we have our friends and family tied to us in our journey to eternal life, a goal we cannot reach by ourselves – we are meant to influence souls and work hand in hand.
The third workshop was sacrifice and service. The teams were each given a list of varied tasks for the members – from reciting Bible verses to devouring an orange slice with the peel! The bottom line of this workshop was to state that our journey towards God isn’t always a bed of roses; we have to sacrifice for and be of service to our fellow teammates. The message was brought out meaningfully as each member had sacrificed for the rest of the team with their tasks.
During the next workshop, the participants were shown a video clip on the importance of the Sacrament of Confession. This video explained how we need to prepare for this sacrament and how when we partake in it, it cleanses our soul. This was followed by the next workshop on the Word of God.
In the next workshop the youth were asked to create an origami model without instructions followed by one where they were provided with an instruction sheet. This demonstrated how the Bible is the instruction manual for our lives and that we can’t live our lives fruitfully without it.
After a sumptuous lunch, everyone gathered in the hall for the next session on obstacles and temptation which began with another wacky game. One member from each team was blindfolded and made to walk a path of hopscotch squares which had a couple of obstacles in it. Their own teammates would assist and direct them while everyone else would create a ruckus to distract them. In the end, the journey of our lives was described as that having numerous obstacles and temptations of the Evil One that will try to deter us on our journey, but listening to the voice of God will help us on our way.
To illustrate the topic of treasures in heaven, the participants were led into a grand treasure hunt all over the church premises, accomplishing tasks and collecting points. What many a player didn’t realize, however, were the hidden treasures – that certain volunteers posing as people in need were actually part of the game, and those who did stop to help were acknowledged as the real winners, those who stored up treasures in heaven.
The final session was on our individual identity as children of God, to show that the image and likeness of God is the best identity we could possibly ask for.
This was followed by Sunday Mass, celebrated by Fr. Joseph Royan, a Redemptorist priest. During the homily, he explained in detail about the importance of the holy Eucharist and what happens at mass, a lot of which was an eye opener to many.
The programme came to a close with a praise fest led by the lively band. The youth dispersed with the love of God in their hearts upon the start of a whole new walk with their Creator.
Report by: Rachel Mary Joyce, CFCI Youth, Bangalore