When you put a hundred or so teenagers together for a week, anything can happen. When you put them together 24 hours a day, in study sessions, discussion groups, singing, doing sensitivity exercises, attending meetings, and sleeping on the floor of a (separate) gyms, emotions can get overloaded.
So it was, back in 1982, at what was called a Youth Forum in Montreal.
Because it was a church-run event, we had worship services. Not everyone attended.
Towards the end, we put on a replica of John Wesley’s Re-covenanting Service. In the style of Wesley’s time, it provided an opportunity for personal confession of our sins and shortcomings, followed by the laying on of hands for healing and absolution.
I thought it would simply expose the young people to the customs of an earlier tradition.
I was wrong. As the 30 or so young people attending came forward, knelt, and confessed, tears flowed abundantly.