-4.1 C
Niagara Falls
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Teens find Safe Haven at first St. Davids youth gathering
Four teens gather to play video games during the first meeting of the Safe Haven Youth Group. Rev. YongSeok Baek
Youth gather near the kitchen to pick up their pieces of pizza. Rev. YongSeok Baek
Air hockey, ping-pong and foosball tables are ready to be used. Rev. YongSeok Baek
Musical instruments are available for Safe Haven members to try out. Rev. YongSeok Baek


On the coldest night of the winter so far, St. Davids-Queenston United Church hosted the first meeting of its new youth group known as Safe Haven last Friday evening.

A handful of teenagers braved the bone-chilling temperatures to gather for three hours in the warmth of the church for fun, games, snacks and good conversation.

During Sunday’s church service, Rev. YongSeok Baek described the atmosphere at the youth group, saying, “I was happy to see their energy. I loved to hear their giggling and chuckling.”

“And when they were lounging on the couch singing along loudly for the last 20 minutes, I think that was the happiest moment. I really loved that moment.”

“I felt they were staying comfortably there. I am really happy with that,” he concluded.

Baek went on to thank the United Church Foundation for supporting the grant that helped buy equipment to establish the group.

He also thanked the many church members who donated snacks, supplies and money. He extended thanks to Nancy Lang who help to organize the youth group and offered a special thankyou to Maya Gazzard.

Maya, the congregation’s 16-year-old Sunday school teacher, was invited to share her reflection with the first meeting of Safe Haven.

“Wow! What a tremendous success!” she enthused.

All those who turned out “enjoyed it so much! They are talking with their friends. They are sharing it on social media.”

“Thank you so much for everyone who helped out, donated what they, could including the board games and pizza,” she concluded.

The Safe Haven youth group welcomes teens aged 13 to 17 into a safe, warm and welcoming space at the church at 1453 York Rd. in St. Davids.

There group has musical instruments, tablet computers, board and video games, boxing equipment, a ping-pong table, an air hockey game, foosball table and various pieces of  furniture for lounging around. 

The group is meant to be a space where teens can gather to do what teens do best, play and hang out with friends.  

The next meeting of Safe Haven will be Feb. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. and then on the first and third Friday of each month thereafter.  All teens are welcome.

Steve Hardaker has lived in Glendale for 12 years and is active in several community organizations.

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