with a little help
from a few friends
At right, keynote speaker Doug Brummel morphs into one of several characters he uses to tell stories using inspiration and humor.
It was one of those magic moments.
“The Arco Iris youth group from Garden City came in Saturday night and did 30 minutes of praise and worship music,” said Steven Polley, regarding the Nov. 20-21 youth rally, of which more than 150 youth and adult chaperones attended. “Then we were to have 30 minutes of adoration.”
Polley, Director of Youth Ministry, had to briefly leave the rally, held at Dodge City Community College, to retrieve the Lura for adoration. When he returned, he encountered something he didn’t expect.
“When I came back to the college, the entire Arco Iris group had them all on their feet. They had the entire audience going.”
After a day of presentations, breakout sessions, song and praise, the small band of youth from Garden City had still managed to raise the energy level through the roof.
“Then they were able to bring themselves back into a serious mode of prayer for adoration,” Polley said in admiration of the group. That’s not always an easy task where young people and their energy levels are concerned. “Then we went to the dance and the energy level went right back up.”
This was the 17th youth rally presented by Polley and the Diocesan Youth Council, and one of the first times that they made a concerted effort to draw Hispanic youth into the gathering.
As a special treat to the youth was the appearance of keynote speaker, Doug Brummel, who actually counts as several people if you include his multiple personalities.
Brummel, a nationally-known comedian/storyteller/evangelist, has traveled the country entertaining and evangelizing people of all ages.
On his website, dougbrummel.com, he writes that as a child, his family would take Sunday drives to the homes of relatives where he would hear laughter, and would “witness the powerful medium of storytelling.”
“I would hear such wisdom come from people of other generations older than myself. I have always valued those experiences so much.”
Combined with his love of comedians such as Carol Burnett, Tim Conway, Lucy and Desi, Red Skelton, and Gilda Radner, he began to explore characters he could use to share God’s message – to tell stories.
“I was always taught God has a plan for each of us. God gives each of us special gifts and talents,” Brummel said. “It is our job to use these gifts for the greater glory of God.”
While Polley acknowledged that youth have more distractions today than when he held his first rally in 1995, he said that he learned early on that “when you work with young persons, you accept them where they are. If they’re distracted with the text messaging etc..., you accept them, but encourage them to go further. You challenge them to move away from the distractions, to a time of listening and a time of prayer.”
Polley said that he was “extremely proud of the youth council,” a group of several young people who help organize the rally and other youth events throughout the year.
“From our leadership weekend in August to the rally weekend, they put their heart and soul into preparing for this rally. They took responsibility for preparing the breakout sessions, to brochures, posters, and they traveled to other parishes to talk about the rally. They really worked hard to try to make it a quality event.”
Polley offered his appreciation for several anonymous donations sent to the youth office. The names of parishes were placed in a bucket, and two were drawn. St. John Parish, St. John was the winner of a $100 scholarship and Mary, Queen of Peace, Ulysses was the winner of the $150 scholarship. The funds will go toward parish youth activities.