From Friday, February 10th to Sunday, February 12th the Ottawa RP Church hosted the annual Winterlude Youth Retreat. 46 youth from 9 different congregations gathered together for the weekend to celebrate Winterlude 2023. This event saw youth coming from the local Ottawa, Russell, and Almonte congregations. Others, farther afield, came from Kitchener, New York State, and some even flew in
from Vancouver. With so many youths coming from all over we were able to meet and become friends with many new people. It was an incredible time for learning, fun, and coming together in fellowship.
People from the Ottawa congregation generously opened their homes to provide lodging for us to stay in. Some of us also stayed at the church building.
From the Almonte congregation, the speaker, Pastor Matt Dyck delivered three excellent talks on the “Jesus as Your Awe”, “Jesus as Your Treasure”, and “Jesus as Your Identity”. The talks were very thought-provoking and relatable for everyone. Because of the unseasonably mild weather this winter, we were unable to go skating at the Rideau Canal, as is the
tradition. However, the leaders of the event made alternate plans. Instead, we went to Rideau Hall, the
Governor General’s property, where there was a large skating rink and plenty of Winterlude activities. The leaders put together a giant scavenger hunt in which you had to take photos of various events happening around the property. You could gather points by taking photos of the things they had listed from engraved monuments and statues, to hot chocolate and cookies, to the various scattered embassy tents. You got extra points if you participated in an activity at the embassy tents or got creative with your photos. The embassy tents all had fun cultural activities to try out, such as giant multi-person skis and kick sledding, etc. It was all great fun.
Later that day, when we returned to the church some of the activities included a fantastic Psalm sing (with a group of excellent singers) and an entertaining round of Kahoot, which was made even more amusing due to the fact that a few of the answers were incorrect. The weekend ended with morning worship on
Sunday which was followed by a fellowship lunch with the congregation.
Thank you so much to all the amazing volunteers for this weekend, from cooking and organizing to helping with games, you really made such a fantastic, enjoyable weekend for all of us! Hope to see
everyone there next year.
Our thanks to Anna Chan, from Almonte – Hillside RPC for the article.