How do you create a community of trust and understanding with over a hundred youth? Like this.
It's a fast-paced world for youth today. And while we get our fix from music torrents and viral videos as much as any other teenagers out there, we also know that there is more to the world than can be encapsulated in a hashtag. There's more to friendship than a Facebook request. There's more to self-identification than 140 characters.
Ontario Youth Parliament offers that.
OYP is more than wearing formal clothes and making some memories with cool people. The spirituality aspect of OYP is a crucial part of the weekend—and for many youth, a deeply influential experience.
We're not going to try to convert you. Your relationship with yourself, with your peers and with any form of god you believe—or don't believe—in is yours alone. OYP is a non-denominational Christian organization that welcomes any and all perspectives. Our roots within the United Church of Canada are as an organization that gives youth an opportunity to reflect, share and grow. As leaders. As friends. And as simple kids just trying to figure out their place in the world.
Vespers is a time to unwind, reflect and explore the theme of the weekend through song, discussion, prayer and quiet contemplation; it's an open and accepting environment where you can just be yourself. By expressing their opinions and listening to their peers, delegates give each other a unique space to reflect upon their lives spiritually.
No pressure. If you haven't worked what you think of yourself or God or where you might be going, you'll fit right in. Picture some candles, an acoustic guitar and a group of teenagers talking about real stuff. At the end of the day, we want to give you a moment to step away from the expectations of loud parties and late-night assignments, the insignificance of top-chart styles and bullet-clad pop culture. A moment to sit in silence, to interact with real people—to test the limits of your spirituality and beliefs.