10 ‘young’ people
5 service sites
1 Salesian community
Journeying from a Mass of Commitment, to the Great Commissioning.
Committed to make a difference. Committed to serve one another and the community.
And so it began: The first SOS2.
It was a rollercoaster of emotions from the outset. I travelled to London from Sheffield feeling a little apprehensive. Who would be there? What would we be doing? Would I enjoy it? I arrived and in true Salesian style felt very welcomed by the hugs, smiling faces and cups of tea.
SOS2 started with lots of very enjoyable and imaginative team building games from Fr Bob. This helped us all relax and feel silly together. Through these games I felt we started to build a community and understand our shared purpose. This was furthered by sharing meals, cooking and living together. Additionally in the Mass of Commitment where we all put our handprints on a banner saying ‘I give my hands to do your work.’ The strength of this community was something very important and significant to our work at the various service sites. The service sites varied greatly with social, environmental and physical elements. One of my favourite days was getting grubby in the Thames, digging up never-ending amounts of plastic, cloth and bottles. I will never look at a plastic bag in the same way again. We also organised children’s activity days, served food to the homeless, and painted, sometimes ourselves more than the walls! The SOS2 community and having the opportunity to serve others were all part of the experience. However, equally important for me was the time for prayer, for reflection, for quiet time with God. We shared Morning Prayer together, committing the day to the Lord. In the evenings we had various prayers and worship, allowing us to reflect on the day and how it relates to the wider world and everyday life.
I joined SOS2 after volunteering overseas with Bosco Volunteer Action (BOVA) in Bolivia and the Philippines. My experience abroad inspired me to continue my involvement with the Salesians and serving others in the UK. SOS2 gave me an insight into volunteering opportunities and helped me consider where we can see God in the ordinary. SOS2 concluded with the Great Commissioning, where we committed to continue serving and being with God in our everyday lives.