The GC43 Pilgrims enjoyed a break from meetings for fun and an opportunity to learn about El Salvador.

A group of GC43 youth pilgrims explore the edge of Lake Ontario in Port Perry, during their visit to Bay of Quinte Conference.
Credit: Courtesy of the GC43 Pilgrims

The GC43 youth pilgrims made their way across Canada this summer, with the goal of visiting every United Church conference, including a stop at the 43rd General Council meeting in Oshawa, ON. Read all the blog posts from their journey and see more pictures on their Facebook page and Instagram feed.

Hello friends! The Bay of Quinte Conference was the fourth United Church Conference that we, the GC43 Pilgrims, had the amazing opportunity to see. Most of our time in the Bay of Quinte Conference was spent at the 43rd General Council (GC43), which was held on Oshawa, ON. So, unfortunately, we did not get much time to spend in other parts of the Conference. However, our Bay of Quinte hosts planned an awesome afternoon for us. We got to learn more about El Salvador, Port Perry, and the Bay of Quinte Conference as a whole. Even though we didn’t get much time there, the experience was amazing!

During GC43, all commissioners got the afternoon off on Wednesday, July 25. Instead of attending one of the other events, the pilgrims, plus a few others, went to the United Church in Port Perry. There, we had the incredible opportunity to meet their youth, a couple volunteers, their minister, and Wanda Stride, who happened to be one of the Moderator nominees. Our hosts in the Bay of Quinte Conference set up a version of the “Amazing Race” for us to play. We were separated into groups and essentially had to run up and down Queen St. in order to solve the clues, puzzles, and activities that they gave us. It was an amazing way to encourage us to explore Port Perry and get us to take in the sights. We had to run around in the hot sun for the whole afternoon but at least we got to enter some buildings every once in awhile which gave us a break. Unlike us, our hosts had to stand outside the whole time, waiting for us to return to them with our answers. I could hardly stand running around in the sun, I can’t imagine standing in the hot sun for at least an hour. If I had to describe Bay of Quinte in one word, it'd be dedicated.

After we concluded our Amazing Race, we ate some traditional El Salvadorian food. One of our tasks during the Amazing Race was to buy refried beans in order to make our meal. Unfortunately, the majority of the groups, including mine, grabbed the wrong beans. However, it was a clever way to get us to work for our food! A couple United Church members from Bay of Quinte had travelled to a community in El Salvador, which is the reason why most of the puzzles had something to do with that country. The Bay of Quinte Conference wanted us to see the importance of going to communities like those in El Salvador. We also got to attend a little service hosted by the Bay of Quinte Conference where they shared their experiences and showed us a few pictures of El Salvador. It was very informative and fascinating.

Overall, Port Perry was a fun, stress-free experience that gave us a break from GC43 meetings. Bay of Quinte really went above and beyond when it came to educating us on El Salvador while making our visit entertaining. It would have been nice to have gotten more time to spend in the conference but what we got was still amazing. I’m curious as to what other fun activities they would have planned for us! 

— by Julie Frostad, GC43 Pilgrim from Saskatchewan Conference

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