An Idea to Share: A silent retreat to raise funds, learn and enjoy

Donna Ellis

Every year the young people of St. John’s Ancaster go silent for 24 hours.

They do it to raise funds for the ministries of St. John’s and for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s work in community-based mental health programs for Indigenous youth.

During their 2018 retreat the young people spent time creatively reflecting on teen suicide, playing games silently, homework, walking the creation labyrinth during earth hour, participating in compline worship, watching movies and eating well.

On Sunday morning they wore black t-shirts which they had decorated with “silent for a cause,” so parishioners would remember the youth were unable to speak to them.
They took part in worship. Afterwards the church had a luncheon where everyone counted down the last 10 seconds of their silence.

Youth retreat
The young people at St. John’s Ancaster cover their mouths to remind themselves and others than they are on a 24-hour retreat for a cause. Photo: Donna Ellis

“This is a meaningful retreat every year for the youth and for the folks of the parish,” concluded Donna Ellis, “They support the youth and encourage them in their ministry. The youth enjoy the challenge, the support and the feeling that they are helping to make a difference in the lives of youth in other communities.”

Donna Ellis is Youth and Children’s Ministry leader at 
St. John’s Ancaster.

Contact her for assistance in setting up a youth retreat in your parish.