8:00 a.m. Rite I Worship 9:30 a.m. Mini Twelfth Night Performance
10:30 a.m. Fellowship (Parish Forum resumes January 19)
We have assembled our cast for Twelfth Night! Here are the upcoming dates:
January 10 at 5:30 pm.
Performance Day January 12:
9:00 am dressed and ready
9:30 a.m. Perform!
Peterkin Camp and Conference Center- SAVE YOUR DATES!
Upcoming Camps 2020 June 1-6, 2020 – Staff Training
June 8-12 – Day Camp
(entering grades K – 6)
June 14-17 – Mini Camp
(ages 3-8, with an adult)
June 17-20 – Beginners’ Camp
(entering grades 1-4)
June 21-27 – Senior Camp
(entering grades 9 – graduating seniors)
June 28- July 4 – Family Camp
July 5 – 11 – Intermediate Camp
(entering grades 5-8)
July 12-18 – MAD (Music, Arts, Drama) Camp
(entering grades 4-12)
Contact Father Adam for more information!
The Church Camp Experience By Father Adam Kradel
This past July 4 St. John’s youth and I participated in summer camp at Peterkin, the Episcopal church camp in West Virginia.
There are plenty of summer camps for kids out there: soccer, basketball, YMCA and the like, but church camp is different. Campers in church camp have fun. There are water sports, campfires with s’mores, and plenty of time with friends, but the foundation of life at Peterkin and Shrine Mont is to build your relationship to God. I know of one St. John’s family that attended the Family Camp at Shrine Mont, the church camp in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
In the past many have wondered if there were any long term effects on the faith life of church camp campers. It is possible that some would get an infusion of faith, only to have it dissipate as the immediate experience of church camp faded from memory.
In 2005 the American Camp Association began a longitudinal study of the ongoing impacts of camp, and there found significantly higher levels of faith in those who had church camp experience. Surveys of more than 1000 campers and 300 parents showed that there were lasting changes among campers in their acknowledgement of the relevance of faith to everyday life.
Those who had been to church camp were more likely to seek support from Christian friends or adults at church in times of need. Those who had participated in camp were more likely to participate in devotional practices such as worship attendance, college religious groups, and Bible studies.
Close attention to church camp life indicates why this ministry is so effective at formation. Church camp is: participatory, faith-centered, different from home, relational, and a safe space.
At times dramatic things happen at camp, one likely cause of this is that campers know that it is a safe space, so they wait until they are in a safe space to pour out their heart. I have had many experiences of church camp campers waiting until the third day of camp and then letting loose all their problems. The all-encompassing camp community makes this open environment possible.
A luminous example of the relationships developed in the faith forming environment of camp comes from a sermon illustration I preached last fall.
I am sure you remember the sermon that went,
“A little over 20 years ago I served as a church camp counselor, and because of the wonders of internet based social media, I still kept in contact with many of my old campers.
About 5 years ago a former camper of mine. She was 33 years old. She had a newborn baby, and her husband died in a bicycle accident. He was an avid bicyclist and he was hit by a car.
One day Carrie was a happy mom with a newborn and a supportive family, and the next day she was a widow. Carrie has a great family of origin, and they were a great support, but still Carrie had suffered a horrible loss and she was upset. She was justifiably upset.
Keeping up with the world through social media is a method that has many faults. But is also provides quick communication for people with far flung social networks that would not be possible otherwise. Carrie expressed her distress through social media regularly. Her main message was, “This sucks.”
She was not angry at God. She did not even seem to be upset at the driver of that car. She was simply angry at her situation.”
The demands of life usually result in people drifting from each other after a decade or two from people relate to each other face to face, but I still know what is up in Carrie’s life. She is doing better. She is, understandably, still grieving.
That Carrie and I care about the well-being of each other over a vast expanse of time is a stark example that the relationships built in the theological playground of church camp are special.
What is Fourth Night? Each Wednesday at 5:30, the Fourth Night of the week, the community of St. John's gathers for a delicious meal, fellowship, and Christian formation. Following the meal, the men and youth choir practices and adults attend a formation program. The current program is on the plight of refugees, developed by the Episcopal Migration Ministries, and is framed within the context of the gospel account of the flight into Egypt. Newcomers and current members are welcome to join Fourth Night at any time.
Coffee Hour happens Sundays after the 9:30 a.m. Eucharist and before the Parish Forum. This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with friends, newcomers, and our clergy. We need folks to sign up to host for the coming year. You provide a snack, the church provides the coffee. You can sign up in the Parish Hall or by contacting the Church Office.
Coming up at St. John's: Mini Twelfth Night- January 12
Please note: The deadline for submissions to "This Week" and the Sunday service bulletin is Tuesday at noon. Thanks! If you submit an out of church event, please verify the information before sending it to the office.