Program Progress

Now that most of the bells and whistles have been returned to my laptop I am finally able to get down to serious work on the 2017 Program. This week has seen progress on the Manual, as I’ve done some fresh writing and editing both on the Creative Connection Chapter (the only Chapter that I personally write) and on the introductory sections. I’ve also done some upgrading of the Clergy &. Coordinators Planning Guide as our committee has become more aware that fully 50% of Day Camps no longer take place in a “traditional “ church context. We feel it is important to respond to the diverse communities hosting the Program, while never forgetting our roots. It can be difficult to walk the path between so many different types of Day Camp venues, but we are looking for ways to keep the content relevant.
The 2017 Program is “On Fire!” I just love the multicultural aspect of this Program, based on the Book of Acts. There is no doubt that our Teams minister in very multicultural settings and this Program allows for lots of creativity and opportunities to explore our diversity. When not immersed in Program content there are always other Office duties to take care of so my mornings have been pretty packed!

Early in the week we had a couple of sunny days so I availed myself of the good weather and did some cleaning out of the perennial beds and the herb garden. Of course there is also the constant need for raking (always, at this season, accompanied by a hearty rendition of “For All the Saints”!

Rainy afternoons have included industrious work on Christmas Gifts, some Fall housecleaning (scrubbing pantry shelves, washing the basement floor etc.) and of course, baking!Monday evening was Matthew’s Art Lesson. For this series we are going to look at five influential genres of painting spanning the 17th to early 20th centuries starting off, this week, with the Dutch Masters. Last evening Jenna came to dinner and enjoyed an Asian–themed meal of Brussels sprouts and tofu over steamed rice, followed by warm caramelised pineapple with Greek yoghurt. We visit every couple of months and always have lots to talk about. She is director of Innovation Jeunes, a branch of Christian Direction, recently I have been able to recommend to her a couple of Day Camp Alumnae, both of whom have very much enjoyed working with that ministry. Jenna is also a member of St. Stephen’s and has been tasked with the leadership of the Futures Committee. This committee has now submitted its final report to the corporation, with a Town Hall Meeting and Special Vestry to ollow next month; more on this as it unfolds.  Next Saturday at this time we will all be working like beavers over at Isaiah 40 preparing for the Fall Coffeehouse, I do hope we have decent weather for it! Things seem to finally coming together with daily email updates giving fresh news of performers signing up and people offering to bring baking for the refreshment table. As usual, I shall be concocting some fancy hot beverages, no doubt including the ubiquitous Mulled Cider.   It has been raining steadily all of today so no garden work has got done, but besides three soggy “Will Walks” I’ve finished up a couple more Christmas gifts and will soon be turning my attention to making a pot of Amish Potato Soup, which I think will be just the thing for dinner on such a dreary cold evening.

Since we are now moving into the season of root vegetables I thought I’d share the recipe…
Amish Potato Soup

  • 2 large potatoes, well scrubbed and diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • a handful of lovage, chopped (or ¼ cup chopped celery)
  • 8 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ tsp. each nutmeg, celery seed and marjoram
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste

In a deep soup pot, sauté the bacon, onion and lovage over medium heat until the onions are golden. Add the potatoes, water and seasonings and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Mash potatoes slightly, leaving a few cubes whole. Add the milk and Worcestershire sauce and bring back to a simmer. Serve hot sprinkled with fresh parsley. Serves 4
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