Wednesday Words

 Welcome to the February edition of “Wednesday Words”. This month we are happy to have a Post written by the Rev. Linda Faith Chalk, President of Crosstalk Ministries.We hope you enjoy…
The President’s Perspective on Day Camps
      I love Day Camps and I love being on the Day Camp Committee. I am not necessarily the most productive member of the Committee but it is one of the highlights of my ministry with Crosstalk. I was first introduced to Day Camps when I was a student in theology at McGill and, in looking for a way to help, was giving advice about inoculations for potential team members going overseas. My next experience was as a theological student working in the Gaspé where my responsibility was to be with the Team in their two weeks ministering in the area. In a sense the experience was a blur in a very intense time with coming to and from, picking up additional food for a hungry Travelling Team and planning special times of worship… such as a Eucharist on the beach. Just prior to this I did the parish team training on the importance of prayer. When I was the Curate at St. Barnabas in St. Lambert, we were one of the Training Parishes and it was my privilege and responsibility to work with the team and parish helpers and the children. I can remember one Sunday service which was the closing service for the Day Camp where we did an enacted gospel of Jesus calming the wind and the waves, with both Travelling Team members and parish team members across the front of the church as we brought that particular gospel story to light in a unique way. Spending time with the team members and the various parish and community children who came to Day Camp, the importance of the one on one, that chance for that one in the moment to share something special about their day at the Day Camp or the first time that they asked Jesus to come into their heart to be their Lord and Saviour, as they tell their story of that encounter with our living Lord Jesus, the Christ.
      One of the privileges that I had was to be part of the first team which ministered
n Northern Saskatchewan on the James Smith Reserve. The then Deacon and his wife were our hosts and they were phenomenal and welcoming and we were a handpicked team going to minister on a reserve which had some grave concerns for their children and youth. Having arrived at my billet at 4:00 a.m. I was up again at 8:00 a.m. to drive an hour to pick up the other team members and bring them for the service. At 11:00 a.m. as we were walking into the church the priest greeted me with the words: of course, you will bring the sermon this morning. I smiled and said: “of, course!” while my more urgent prayer was: “O God, help!” which was changed to: “O God help, please!” This was a traditional prayer book congregation which did not use the Revised Common Lectionary and when I asked what the gospel was, I was told the page number in the Book of Common Prayer. We had a time which was enriching, engaging, enthusiastic and frustrating. Enriching because the children were eager as were their grandmothers and families, engaging because they wanted to spend time with us and sing the songs, do the actions, watch the play;  enthusiastic – particularly the younger children because they wanted to know and do everything that was happening. The frustrating part came because of timing… not everyone was there when we needed them to be, the other part of the frustration was that the parish helpers role became that of monitors, making sure the children remained in the areas where we were having our devotions. Because we were working with such large numbers of children and such a small team improvisation became standard working practise. At the end of our time there to have the people from the parish come and thank us for coming to be part of them and the ministry, that we were part of in their community, it was both a privilege and a blessing. I came from a tradition of Vacation Bible School and working with youth and children for an intense week… Day Camps is more rounded in the sense of being focused and all encompassing, well rounded and challenging… it is not about giving Bible knowledge but it is about making that knowledge real, vital, creative, fun and life transforming!
       In Christ,
            Linda. Faith
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