The most awaited and exciting event of Couples for Christ India (CFCI) – Bangalore – “KIDS VILLAGE,” for the year 2015 was held on February 22, 2015 at ‘Our Lady of Sacred Heart’s Church’ parish hall, Belandur. The event was organized primarily for the kids of the parish and the CFCI community. About 270 children came to witness Christ under the theme “I’M A COOL CATHOLIC” Being a cool catholic, defines our identity with God, to be more like Him and indefinitely to be Jesus to others.
The kids were excited and overwhelmed to start off with wonderful music. The electrifying music band led the children into action songs and worship. Cedric Sudhanshu and Bridget Franklin, CFCI Singles welcomed the kids and introduced the theme and led them into activity.
The activity was an experiment. The parable of the seeds, the experiment was conducted with milk powder, oil, baking soda, water and vinegar. The vinegar represented the teachings of Jesus. In some instances, when the vinegar was mixed with milk powder and it started to curdle. This represented instances where when Jesus’ teachings were received by some people who were like milk powder, they found it hard to follow His teachings. In certain instances people were like oil, which separated from vinegar when mixed. These people distanced themselves from Jesus’ teachings. Others were like baking soda. These people were filled with fire for the Lord, but soon allow themselves to wither, just like the fizzle from that rises when vinegar is mixed with baking soda. The last set of people are like water, which mixes easily and freely with vinegar, allowing no distinction or separation and becomes one with vinegar when mixed. These people take God seriously and work towards becoming like Him. Christ is calling us to a life like that, to obey His word and be like Him to others.
Following the experiment, the kids were divided into different tribes and each tribe was led by a tribe leader, who were from the CFCI Singles assisted by CFCI Youth. For the first time, the youth had an exposure of serving in the community.
In the morning session the CFCI singles took over and initiated workshops, activities, choreography and skits. The concept of being Jesus and seeing Jesus in everyone around us was crafted beautifully in the minds of the tiny ones. The theme for the day was segregated into four workshops and they were- being a cool catholic at home, being a cool catholic at church, being a cool catholic at school and being a cool catholic at the playground.
The first Workshop was, ‘being a cool catholic at home’ by Maria Laveena and Priyanka.A. They had a set up of an open house and a skit to show the things that happen in a Christian house. They further divided the workshop to explain to the kids about the essential criteria’s to be a good catholic at home through love, obedience, by serving, through sacrifice and the fear of the Lord. There was also an object lesson where the kids learnt, how we react to every situation in our lives. That makes us who we really are, that at all times we have to imitate Christ. The workshop ended with a forgiveness prayer for the Children.
It was followed by the second workshop on, ‘being a cool catholic at church’ by Zara Mascharenhas and Samantha. They had a beautiful power point presentation on the Eucharist and engaged the kids in a lot of questions about mass. They further explained the various important happenings at mass, to listen and understand the greatest sacrifice of Jesus and the existent essence especially about the transubstantiation (changing of mere bread and wine into the real presence of Jesus Himself as the body and blood). Later they finished the workshop on the note that we are the princes and princess of heaven and gave away paper crowns to every child who participated and asked them to wear those crowns at the mass that afternoon, symbolizing that they were heirs of God’s kingdom.
After the two workshops the marvelous band came in to energize the children with their action songs the children enjoyed thoroughly. They had a quick snack break in where the tribe leaders interacted and learnt about the tribe members.
The third workshop continued on ‘being a cool catholic at school’ by Petula Dias and Poonam Rashmi Tete, where the team presented the workshop in the form of a play. The story about Bill, his day at school and how Jesus meets him in his dream and convicts him of wrongdoings at school and his friends and how he is a changed person after is awake from his slumber. The skit members did a fabulous job in engaging the kids and conveying the significance to be a cool catholic at school.
After the above workshops the children celebrated the Eucharist with Rev. Fr. Richard, who in his sermon invited the children for a true calling in being a cool Catholic after which they organized themselves for lunch with their tribes and returned for the workshops at the hall. The band again did the magic of bringing the children to shout and dance for Jesus. With their favorite numbers like ‘chada, play the song on the radio, hop on the bus’ and many more.
The last workshop was, ‘being a cool catholic at the playground‘, by Cedric Sudhanshu and Avinash Christy. They had a cool approach to the worship, which they did it with choreography, where the band played and sang the song; ‘Let your Light shine!’ and the singles did skit choreography about how one can be a very cool catholic on the playground and screened a short scene from the movie, Theo, about the Good Samaritan.
Following the last workshop the last activity for the day was the ‘circle of blessing’. For this activity, the kids were divided into two groups from 3-9 year olds and 10-13 year olds. Bridget Franklin led the younger children, while Petula Dias took the older children off to the field for this activity. The activity was to show the kids how to remain in the circle of blessing by doing good things and deeds. The activity showed them how they remain in the circle of blessing by being a cool Catholic and how one tends to move away from the circle of blessing when not following Christ. This was a great experience to show the children that in everything one does, we must imitate Christ. The younger children got some time off to play games and were entertained by the CFCI singles.
The day couldn’t end without the most enriching band, playing all the awesome numbers for the children. The Praise fest couldn’t get better of the entire community praising God for what he has done. The parents got a gist of what their kids learnt during the day by the little ones echoes and shouts’’ I am a cool catholic” who also sang and danced tirelessly.
The couples of the community helped us tirelessly. Gratitude is only we have for all the love, guidance, help, intersession and most importantly, prayers. One couldn’t ask for more. What a beautiful event to start the year with and definitely, yep, I am a cool catholic!!!
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Report by: Priyanka