Since the inception of our Diocese we have been running
a successful “Happening!” ministry,
which has grown from strength to strength. The
ministry involves the running of a residential
weekend for the Happeners, in most cases youth
from the age of 16 yrs upwards, but also including
at times an adult team. The weekend is run by
a team of young adults, all of whom must have
attended a Happening weekend themselves. This
team is led by a ‘rector' who is a young
adult having had both training and the experience
of a number of Happening weekends. Our “Happening!”
ministry is overseen by the Diocesan Happening
Standing Committee , which includes the Youth
Chaplain, Mother Ann McGuinness.
Our last “Happening!” weekend,
which was run during August 2005, was very exciting
and successful and involved the largest number
of Happeners yet! In June this year a contingent
from the Highveld Diocese was invited to travel
to the Diocese of Bunbury, in Western Australia
, to help the clergy and people there launch
their own Happening ministry. This was an exciting
and much enjoyed trip, which has served to further
strengthen the link between our Diocese and
that of Bunbury.
Due to the link that the diocese has with the
diocese of Monmouth we were blessed to have
a couple from that diocese in the parishes of
the Igwa archdeaconries training junior worship
leaders. The focus was not so much on the material
that was presented but on getting the junior
members to be committed to coming to junior
worship so that their families would also be
regular in church.
This is the next stage when we are educating
young people in the church in order that they
may reach a stage where hey are prepared to
make a commitment to our lord Jesus Christ and
to fulfil their role as mature members of the
church. There is no set structure to the curriculum
in our diocese but at present the theological
education board is developing a standard guidelines
document to ensure that the youth of our diocese
are all receiving the same basic Christian education
This is a tool that can be used very effectively
to challenge young people about their commitment
to go God and His church. The process takes
place over a weekend and allows the young people
to be as quiet as they choose and through a
series of presentations over the weekend challenges
the life style and Christian commitment of the
young people on the weekend. The age of the
people who normally go on happening are between16
and 22 but their have been adult teams as well.
Most of what happens on the weekend is not
widely publicised as it would spoil the experience
for those who intend to come on the weekend.
The process is structured in such a way that
the staff compliment ensures one staff member
for every two “happeners”.
- A rector
- A parent group
- A gopher group
- A music group
- A prayer group
- A small group leaders team
- A spiritual director
- A support group
All the staffs have already experienced the
weekend and try to make the weekend as pleasant
for the new “happeners” as possible.
The weekend is based on fun food and sleep.
The main focus is Jesus Christ our Saviour.
People in the know:
Happening is an international organisation
with its head quarters in the United States
of America and affiliated churches or dioceses
around the world.