Cookies and Kairos at Preston Mennonite

Cookies and Kairos at Preston Mennonite

What does Kairos mean?” asked Krista after the youth had finished their race and uncovered the secret word in the puzzle. “God smacked!” they loudly answered. Sharing laughter and high-fives, the friends ran into the kitchen to make cookies.


Preston Mennonite Church is changing things up. After many years of running a Sunday school program with the youth in the church they found that the number of participants had diminished. Many Sundays there were few or no youth. The youth liked being together but Sunday school did not offer a consistent time of togetherness to build community and support for each other.


Preston Mennonite Church has been part of ReLearning Community over the past number of years. “Church is changing,” says Krista Kinsie, one of the people who work with the youth at Preston MC. “Part of what ReLearning Community has focused on is how to evolve and change to what people need now.”


Since September, Preston MC has focused their energy into once a month youth gatherings planned around the schedules of the youth and the parents/grandparents to build maximum participation. Each month Krista checks in on the schedules to determine the best day to hold an event. Now they have greater numbers of youth at the gatherings on a more consistent basis. Each event contains activities and a lesson followed by dinner together, sometimes including the parents/grandparents.


“If we want youth to have relationship and community amongst themselves, we need to organize something where they can be together with regularity,” says Krista. “This is an opportunity to grow community and support the spiritual development of the kids. That’s it. If we have a forum where we are achieving that, then we are successful.”


Krista has used pieces of Kairos Quest material, developed by the same people who have been instrumental in MCEC’s ReLearning Community. The material introduces youth to the concepts of ReLearning Community, including ‘huddle,’ listening for God, understanding what God is saying to you and taking action.


“When life is hard this huddle process gives you a means of looking for purpose in what you are dealing with and helps you process that in a meaningful way,” says Krista. “We need to do our best to try and engage youth and give them the tools to interpret and understand their lives as they grow spiritually and bond with each other. We provide an opportunity and trust God for the rest.”