The Christophany Dreamboard – The Voices of our Youth

Christophany is a fun, faith-filled weekend away for youth in grades 6-8 sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Newark1. Older teens lead them in songs, games and conversations about how faith fits into their everyday lives. At the Christophany held in October 2016, leaders provided a Dreamboard for the youth to share their dreams. In a November meeting at Episcopal House, Kaileen Alston, then Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries for the Diocese of Newark, shared the results of that Dreamboard with Going Local Teams that attended.

I found the entries on the Dreamboard both inspiring and moving and asked Kai if I could publish the entries on our website. She gave me permission to post them removing any identifying information.

The frankness and honesty of the dreams posted reflect, to me, an environment the retreat provided that made the young people feel safe.

Respectfully posted,
Barbara Djimopoulos

Herewith, The Voices of our Youth:


List of Dreams Posted by Youth on the Dream Board at Christophany on October 15, 2016

On Saturday, October 15th, middle school and high school participants in Christophany created a dream board. Kai prefaced the activity by saying that God sometimes speaks to us in dreams. Sometimes we’re asleep. Sometimes we’re daydreaming. Sometimes we just have a fleeting thought (a vision). There are many stories in the Bible, as well, of God speaking to people through dreams and visions. Kai told them that in this exercise they were to open themselves up to how God might inspire them to dream about what goes on in their communities. Kai told them they could define their communities as where they live, where they go to school, their church, their teams, their Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop – however they wanted.

We dwelt in Luke 10:1-12 (using The Messenger translation of the bible). [We actually read it 3 times in both groups: once by a male child; once by a female child; and once by leader.]

They were asked the standard questions at the end of the reading:

What caught your imagination?
How might the Spirit be speaking to us in our role as leaders in the Diocese?

How might the Spirit of God be nudging you?

Kai then asked them, “Based on what you’ve read and your responses to the questions, what dreams do you have for youth in our communities?” Following are their responses [Kai told them they could be anonymous or put their names on them — whichever they prefer. 

Note:  All identifying information has been removed as requested, and any misspellings have not been corrected, but marked by [sic].


  • Be grateful for what you have.

  • Don’t judge people on the outside, look on the inside!

  • Safety

  • For others to understand that other people our [sic] different.

  • To live in  god’s [sic] name and to be grateful to the Lord.

  • To give god [sic] good things and share the good news of Christ.

  • Finding yourself and makeing [sic] God live life as his disciple.

  • Clowns.

  • For kids not to get bullyed [sic] and go home every day and crying [sic] about it.

  • For youth to understand that suicide is not the answer

  • Do what you want to do.  Follow your dreams!

  • For people to understand that other people have problems, too.

  • To share the love of Christ or [sic] Lord.

  • You are special

  • To share the storys [sic] of god [sic] which means to show the good news of christ [sic].

  • Be greatful [sic] for what you haveTo be satisfied/greatful [sic] for what you have

  • For everyone to know that there is someone in the worl [word missing] loves and cares about them.

  • Just because people id not find a way to be nice or solve stuff with violence there is not a way

  • Be grateful for what you have

  • You are important

  • Believe in God in our lives, our heart, minds and souls threw [sic] the Lord

  • I hope children know it’s OK to be different

  • Safety

  • Receive sanctifying grace every Sunday

  • To show sanctifying grace in the Lord

  • Greatful [sic]

  • Be respectful

  • And people in my town stop the disrespectful [sic]

  • Do what is asked of you

  • Respect and listen to anyone

  • I dream that children will understand that even though bullies make fun of you and torment you, that one day it should get better, and that judgment day will come and God will not reject you.

  • When you enter a home greet the family

  • Be graceful

  • Always be kind

  • Follow your heart and belive [sic] in God

  • Stay lit/cool

  • Explode in God’s life and reserection [sic] in Jesus’s name.

  • GOD IS REAL

  • I hope God helps kids to be less picky cause when something bad happens you can’t be picky and they might be harmed or get in trouble.

  • I dream that everyone will not be bullied.

  • I dream to one day not be left out cause their [sic] different

  • To never have to suffer.

  • To get enough necessities to live.

  • I hope God can teach all the youth to be grateful.

  • God can teach the youth to just listen to what the police tells [sic] you. So there can be no other problems.

  • To show god [sic] goodness and love in are [sic] hearts and in our souls.

  • If your greeting is received, then it‘s a good place to stay. –

  • Many people in my town wish to go to college.

  • help those in needs [sic]

  • Go to school or get a good job

  • Don’t talk about [?] to adults or [any] body else

  • I dream that one day everyone will fit in with each other and not have to worry about having friends and not attempt suicide knowing it’s not the answer.

  • God cares for you so you should care as well to [sic] in God’s name in the Lord.

  • Do all your work or homework

     


1The area served by the Episcopal Diocese of Newark is Northern New Jersey from the northern border to the southernmost location, Phillipsburg, NJ. The children who attend Christophany come from throughout the area.