Happening 32: We’re on our way

St. John’s, Ross, and their wonderful volunteers hosted the thirty-second Happening retreat in the Diocese of California. This storied weekend is led by a staff of high school students from all over the diocese (and beyond), mentored by dedicated adults. It’s a weekend of music, games, small group conversations, deep reflection, tears, laughter, gifts, prayer, and memories — and continues to inspire people in faithful ministry into their adult years. The theme of Happening 32, I’m On My Way, was chosen by this year’s high school rector, Meghan Sweeney of All Souls, Berkeley; and youth staff included members from Christ Church, Alameda; Resurrection, Pleasant Hill; Holy Child-St Martin’s, Daly City; St. John’s, Oakland; St. Bart’s, Livermore; and from the Diocese of El Camino Real, St. Jude’s, Cupertino; St. Timothy’s, Mountain View; and St. Philip’s, Scotts Valley. 

Happeners included youth from St. John’s, Ross; Christ Church, Alameda; Epiphany, San Carlos; St. Bart’s, Livermore; St. Mark’s, Berkeley; Holy Trinity-La Santissima Trinidad, Richmond; St. John’s, Oakland; Trinity, Menlo Park; Holy Innocents, Corte Madera; All Souls, Berkeley; St. Paul’s, Burlingame; Resurrection, Pleasant Hill; St. Matthew’s, San Mateo; St. Mark’s, Palo Alto; and St. Francis, San Jose. Happening 32 also welcomed a Happener and adult leader from the Diocese of Utah, who are hoping to develop their own Happening tradition there.

High school participants in Happening arrive not knowing what to expect, and end the weekend celebrating this opportunity to develop new friends and talk about faith with people of their own age. High school and adult staff are inspired by their own experience to dedicate time and energy to planning meetings spread over the fall in preparation for this spring event. Happening, much like Cursillo, touches lives as a tradition because of hard work by many people, youth and adults. Next year’s Happening is in the planning now, and the call will soon be going out for youth staff, adult support, and a church location. There are many opportunities to keep this ministry going into the future for more high school students and their growing faith, and the participants in Happening 32 and all the Happenings before it are invited to prayerfully consider how they can be involved next year.

Adult staff included Guardian Angels Jennifer Snow and Samantha Haycock of Christ Church Alameda, host church coordinator Caren Miles of St. John’s, Ross, head elf Logan Rimel of DioCal, spiritual directors the Rev. Molly Haws of Redeemer, San Rafael and the Rev. Martha Korienek of St. Paul’s, Burlingame, music mentor Duane Pinkerton of St. Paul’s, Walnut Creek, and Happening family Jim Providenza of Redeemer, San Rafael; the Rev. Phyllis Manoogian of St. Mark’s, Berkeley; Carolyn Richardson of All Souls, Berkeley, and Aaron McCray-Goldsmith.