Sunday evening, 7 of St. Nicholas’ finest players took on the rest of the youth groups of the Diocese of Atlanta in the First Annual Diocese of Atlanta Youth FourSquare Tournament, hosted by St. Paul’s in Newnan. Sam Dixon, Justin and Austin Hubbard, and Ivy and Madison Martin, along with Marci Horne & myself, trekked up to Newnan for the big event.We were all pleasantly surprised to see 17 different youth groups represented from all around the diocese, which was over 200 youth and youth leaders. After our team registered, the tournament began with Fr. Matthew Greathouse from St. Paul’s, leading a “Blessing of the FourSquare Courts” which included wonderful prayers for the occasion, like this one:
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Maker of all the universe: You have made the sun and moon and stars, the earth and all who live in it. You created the sphere and the square, and we praise you for your goodness to humankind in the gift of foursquare. Bless these courts and make them the site of our best efforts. May our struggle anoint them with holy perspiration, and may these courts never know the blood of broken human flesh. Bless all those who compete here, granting that our extreme devotion and commitment to foursquare may reflect a deeper love of you. May the victorious and the defeated, alike, demonstrate holy generosity and grace. And may all our effort on this day be to your honor and glory. All this we ask in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, the first and final champion of the square. Amen.
Youth groups were divided among 15 courts and were encouraged to meet new people as they played. Our group played masterfully, landing in the “king” position many times. In fact, Madison told me that she lost count of the number of times she was “king.” The groups played for over an hour, while secret judges hovered around and graded the competitors. It was awesome to see our kids have such a great time.
After all the playing, we were treated by a great meal of hamburgers and hotdogs and other tasty goodies, followed by a service of Compline in the beautiful nave of St. Paul’s. Many awards were given, including Best Team Spirit, Best Team T-Shirt, and Most In Attendance. Church of the Ascension in Cartersville walked away the overall champions, winning the coveted “golden foursquare ball” trophy. However, St. Nicholas walked away winners as well. We won the award for Best Attitude!
On the way home, we were entertained fully by Ivy Martin, whose comedy routine is tough to beat. We all got to know each other a little better and had a fantastic time.
Our next youth event will be a Family Flag Football game on October 11 at 5:00pm. Everyone is invited to play or sit on the sidelines to cheer! Bring a chair and a picnic dinner for your family! We will probably play at the High School practice fields, so look in the Sunday bulletin & the website for more information!