St Christopher's Parish

Syndal

News and Events

menALIVE Ministry: Growing Good Men Syndal 11 – 13 August 2017


Twenty fathers and their teenage sons between ages twelve and sixteen took time off from their routine and away from the comfort of their homes, to spend time together at Gilwell Park, over that weekend.

For the fathers it meant sacrificing time in front of the television and the sons doing without their online games. Fathers who attended left with a new understanding of their sons; many moved by their sons opening up about things left unspoken in day to day life. This profound experience saw fathers and sons growing in appreciation and love for each other, leading to a stronger commitment to support each other.

Arriving on Friday evening, the participants briefly settled into their accommodation before an ice breaker activity followed by a powerful story of how a father kept his promise to his son through great faith. Saturday saw plenty of fun and laughter as the fathers and their sons participated together in various outdoor activities including the flying fox. In the afternoon everyone found the talks about masculinity, becoming a man, and sex in the context of relating to women, relevant and useful in helping a teenager and his father navigate together, these critical teenage years. The teenagers also had a chance to go for a hike to somewhere quiet and reflect on their relationships with their dads.

Around a huge camp fire after dark, in an emotional ceremony, the fathers proudly affirmed & validated theirs sons publicly. On Sunday it was an opportunity for the sons to validate their dads, followed by mass. From the moving testimonies by the dads and sons, the weekend experience has certainly provided the opportunity for the dads and theirs sons to grow deeper in their relationship with each other as well as committing themselves to spending time together more regularly.

Growing Good Men Weekend – building a greater father and son relationship!

- Frank Peh, menALIVE St Christopher’s parish