MCEC Junior Youth Virtual Retreat 2020

spider web

What’s in your web? Caring for what really matters!

In a culture that pulls you in so many different directions, how are you really caring for yourself, your close relationships, your relationship with God, and your relationship with others? Explore who you are, experience what connects you to God and others, and be ready to stretch your personal web.

Note to leaders:

Feel free to use this material for a specific block of time with your junior youth or break it up into several different times. You could connect with another junior youth group by watching the videos and then do the reflections using the breakout group feature on zoom. The exercises following the videos can be used after the discussion or before.

Introduction: What’s in Your Web? Consider the Spider
Jean Lehn Epp


In this time of isolation and physical separation,

We focus on what we are grateful for:

For family, caregivers and friends that encourage us and support us,

For access to food and shelter,

For technology that connects us to places and people around the world.

We ask God to hold close:

Those who are vulnerable,

Those who feel they don’t have anyone they can rely on.

We ask for patience and understanding:

While we spend so much time with the same people under the same roof.

We give to you, God:

Our anxiety and our doubt,

Our feelings of loss, fear and helplessness.

Move us to be hopeful:

That we can someday soon hang out with our friends

That we can someday soon worship God together, retreat together, camp together.

 God, help us to be open to your loving care for us.

 Help us to find ways to share your love with our neighbours.


Session A: Caring For Self: Why Care?
Rebecca Penner

Genesis 1:26-31

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.

31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.

Luke 5:16

16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Reflection Questions: How do you look after you? What do you find relaxing and energizing?  Do you think it is helpful to take a break from activities and technology? What happens when you do?

Exercise 1: Creating Your Web

Session B: God Cares About Us. Do We Care About God?
Emily Rempel

Scripture: Matthew 22: 34-38

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again.35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question:36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”37 Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Reflection exercise:

Try being absolutely silent for 1 minute. Set a timer or let the leader be the time keeper. Turn off all music and media. Close your eyes, settle your body into a comfortable sitting position so you don’t move around. Take some deep breaths. As thoughts come into your mind, let them go and refocus on your breathing. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Slow your breathing down even more by slowly taking in deep breaths and slowly letting them out.

Imagine a space where you feel close to God.

Pay attention to what it feels like to be close to God in this way.

 Is there anything you would like to say to God?

What do you think God wants to say to you?

Do this for the remainder of a minute.

Reflection Questions:

What does it feel like to rest in this way? How hard was it to empty your mind of extra thoughts? What did you want to say to God? What do you think God wanted to say to you? What are other ways you can spend time with God this week?

Exercise 2: Connecting Your Web

Session C: Caring for Others: Who’s in and Who’s out?
Jean Lehn Epp

Scripture: Matthew 22:39

A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Mark 2:15-17

15 Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.)16 But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?”

17 When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

Reflection Questions:

How do you decide who you show care to? What do you do to include people who are new to your school, group, team, etc.? What are some ways you show you care for family, people in your community, church community, and neighbourhood?

Exercise 3 – Making Space in Your Web

Extra Resources:

  • Spider Web String Game: rock with hope written on it in hallow of treeFind some yarn or string and cut a piece 120 cm in length. Tie a knot so the ends are together.   
  • Want to know more about how spiders make their webs?
  • Showing you care by sharing positive messages: Gather smooth round stones and use acrylic paints you might have around. Paint encouraging one or two word messages on the stones like hope, love, care, trust, peace, be kind, inspire, shine, be yourself, be brave, smile, pray, or other words you can think of. Place them near your sidewalk, front door, window, or other places people will be able to see them. Be sure you get permission if you are looking to leave them in public places or other people’s property.