For our last team day, we went on our Oasis Retreat. All of the teams go on a retreat in the spring, but because of scheduling conflicts ours didn’t happen until the end of the year. The timing couldn’t have been better though. We went back to Fr. Kelly’s family farm for our retreat (where you may remember, we had a team day early on in the year) and the day consisted mainly of prayer. Fr. Kelly led the retreat and talked to us about “Christian Friendship”. After the talk, the women went to the chapel for Exposition and, led by Fr. Kelly, we prayed over each sister. The brothers then prayed over each other in the chapel with Fr. Kelly. Next, the sisterhood had a private holy hour in the chapel and the brothers had quiet time for prayer and relaxation. Then, the hoods switched and the brothers had a holy hour while the sisters prayed/relaxed. The whole afternoon was spent in silence and with Jesus and it was really peaceful. We rounded out the day with praise and worship together in the chapel. Then, we discussed the graces that we received from the day and things that we are thankful for. The cherry on top of this beautiful day was that Fr. Kelly joined us for ice cream at Dairy Queen on our way back to Lakeville!
Melissa and Kate had the opportunity to go to the Casting Crowns/Matthew West concert at the Target Center with four high school girls. It was a really memorable concert because it was more like a retreat!
As far as ministry goes, we’re still doing new things up until the very end. The senior high youth ministry had a Mall of America Scavenger Hunt/ Movie Night event last weekend that we all attended and we had a lot of fun with the youth. We went off with groups searching for various images and doing random tasks around the mall. After the scavenger hunt, we had the option of seeing one of two movies: The Lucky One or Lockout with the youth. It was a great evening of fun and fellowship! Also, we recently hosted another “Praise and Worship Night” and we are confident that these nights of worship paired with DOXA in some way will be really transformative for the youth at this parish in years to come.
We as an entire team led MOVE (the weekly high school youth group event at the parish) on Wednesday night. The topic was Theology of the Body paired with dating and seeking purity and topics of that nature. Needless to say, it wouldn’t have been the topic of choice for us to talk about, but it was great for us to be able to be role models to the youth and the information that we were presenting was well received. Also, prior to MOVE, we played ultimate frisbee with youth outside and had a beautiful day and a great turnout to play.
We did a “NET power hour” with the fifth grade classes at All Saints in an effort to prepare them for the NET team that will be here next year. Since we work primarily with middle and high school aged youth, we wanted to give the fifth graders a little bit of a heads up to be ready for the team next year. We had a lot of fun doing skits, playing games with them and sharing the Gospel. It was really refreshing to see their faith and their knowledge of Jesus.
We hosted a much anticipated pizza party to kick off “NET Week” at the parish. The party was a celebration of surpassing our goal of consuming 1,000 slices of pizza (by the way, we’re at 1,227 slices). We were blown away by the number of people that came to our party. From kindergarteners to grandparents, there were about 100 people present. We were scrambling to make more pizza and set up more tables, praise God! It was a great event, the beginning of the end if you will, and an opportunity to see a lot of people before we left.
There are a lot of goodbyes for a parish team. With goodbye there are a lot of lasts. Last school lunch, last open youth room, last open team prayer, and this is the last blog that you will read from Team 10. The end of our NET experience this year is very bittersweet. We are preparing to leave Lakeville, the community that we’ve come to know and love. We trust that the Lord has planted seeds in the youth and their families during our time here, but it is still going to be very difficult to leave all of the people that we’ve formed relationships with over the past year. At this time of year, we are recognizing an extra challenge to being on a parish team and that is that we have an entire community to say goodbye to in addition to our team. We’ve formally said goodbye to our host families, the staff at All Saints, the middle schoolers at All Saints, and our small groups and DT groups. We have 33 families that have loved us and provided a home away from home for us, an entire parish staff that has taken us under their wing, and hundreds of youth that we have met, built relationships with, and journey with toward the cross side by side. We have been extremely blessed in the way that we were welcomed and accepted in this community, and it is certainly bitter sweet to be leaving.
We ask that you pray for the Lakeville Parish Team that will be here at All Saints next year. We don’t know who they are, but we know that they will be beautiful witnesses to God’s love. Please also pray for us, as we transition first from Lakeville to the NET Center, then from the NET Center back to our homes. Please pray for the continued conversion of our hearts as we make a dramatic shift in lifestyle and community. Each of us will be challenged in different ways, but nonetheless the change will be a challenge for all of us. Thank you for being such a support to our ministry and our team. We are all so thankful for this experience; it has truly changed our lives.