Catholic Vancouver June 23, 2019
Teen got her confidence boost at summer leadership camp
Both of Nicole McCreedy’s parents are so active in youth ministry, it’s only natural people would think they’re the reason she got involved too.
But they’d be wrong.
The Grade 11 Holy Cross Secondary student wasn’t always passionate about ministry. “A lot of people think I am forced to because my mom and dad are heavily involved in youth ministry,” said McCreedy. But ministry “is my hobby. I like doing this kind of thing.”
In fact the push that caused her to jump into service roles only came when she was halfway through high school.
Her parents, both heavily involved at Immaculate Conception Parish in Delta and in youth ministry at the Archdiocese of Vancouver, had instilled in her a sense of what good leadership was about: service and treating others with love and respect.
But Grade 10 was going to be a pivotal year – she just knew it somehow. Maybe it was because her parish was considering adding a junior youth ministry program. Maybe she was growing up.
Whatever it was, the interior feeling that big changes were coming led her to sign up for YouthLeader Catholic summer camp, along with two friends in the summer of 2017. The camp left a huge impression on her, and soon, she was signing up for various ministries at her school and her parish.
“This pretty much all started when I was in Grade 10, after I got the confidence (at camp),” she said. “It’s helped me reflect a lot on who I am.”
McCreedy now sings in her parish choir, leads junior youth ministry, helps run her school’s campus ministry, and volunteers at Searching in the Spirit summer camp for confirmation students. These efforts, and more, take up just about all her free time, and she likes it that way.
She now runs catechesis for her parish’s junior youth ministry, helps host Stations of the Cross with her school’s campus ministry, makes sandwiches to serve to the poor in the Downtown Eastside, and serves on the leadership team for Searching in the Spirit , to name a few of her responsibilities.
“I like to watch (youths) grow in their faith. It’s something that I wish I had when I was in Grade 6 and 7,” she said. “Now I get to give it to them through my talents. It’s amazing.”
Though YouthLeader was nearly two years ago for McCreedy, her momentum has not slowed. She applied to be her school’s student president of the music program this fall, her Grade 12 year.
Just as YouthLeader was a game-changer for teens like McCreedy, organizers want other teens to have the same opportunity, and happily it’s now even easier for teens to access faith-based leadership training.
Vancouver Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services has donated $7,000 to support youth ministry and to offset the registration fees of teens at YouthLeader this year. The donation takes $100 off the $450 registration fee.
“Youth ministry is very important to me because they need everything offered to them in order to evangelize,” said Lennie David of VCCRS. “Today’s youth are the future of our Church.”
YouthLeader offers communication, social, and leadership training to teens looking to strengthen their faith and serve in some type of ministry
The 2019 YouthLeader camp will be held at Summit Park in Abbotsford July 29 to August 2. More information about leadership events for Catholic teens and young adults is available at www.rcav.org/oyyam.
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