A Spiritual Retreat Program was organized for 40 members of the Church' Teenagers' Group (Tale' Al-Nour) on the 28th and 29th of March 2016, in Jericho.
The retreat included various prayer, hymns rehearsals, workshops, groups' discussions, and presentations. the first days started in the morning with arrival to the St. Gerassimos Monastery (Der Hijleh) in Jericho, then the program regulations, with penalties, were set by the teenagers participants in groups' discussions. Following was an interactive presentation with discussion on the importance of being part of a Church' teenagers or youth group, an how it would benefit the individual and make impact on him/her. The participants were then guided in a tour inside the monastery to witness, visit and get information about its churches' sites and facilities.
After lunch, the participants were divided into 5 groups of work, to produce some arts, materials or designs of shapes that expresses various spiritual meanings, which they presented and talked about afterwards to the whole group. Later in the afternoon, indoor and outdoor activities and games were organized to develop the participants group and team work and skills. In the evening, after some hymns rehearsal, the participants attended and participated actively and the sunset prayer at the Church. The participants were then divided into two groups and had a competitions of religious questions and answered. Before they sleep, icons were distributed to the participants in groups (3-4 icons for each group), related to the Easter period, to discuss and present about on the following day.
On the following day, after the morning prayer and breakfast, the participants explained about the icons they had, with some feedback and additions from other participants. This was followed by an interactive presentation with discussion on the meaning and importance of Easter. After lunch, the participants were also divided into two groups for another religious questions and answers competition, followed by a visit to the marbles factory at the monastery, with explanation on how the work is done and kinds of marbles being used for the drawing of some floors and wall at the monastery and other monasteries and Churches.
Having left the monastery, a visit was organized to the Sycamore tree inside the St. Alisha monastery in Jericho town. At the monastery yard, another activity was organized as the participants to fill a form and answer questions related ot their involvement in the church and teenagers group, and what challenges they face and want to see changing. After a free time in downtown Jericho, the participants head back to Beit Sahour.