Holy Saturday

         For everyone who lives by the Christian liturgical calendar this has been the strangest of Holy Weeks. It has also been extremely challenging for our Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters as all of us try to navigate a world in which we are unable to gather for our Holy Days.
          In the smaller the world of Day Camps the events of the past few days have been  hard to process since the CTM Board passed a motion last Monday evening calling for the cancellation of our 2020 Program.
         Much of the balance of the week was spent composing and then sending numerous messages to the many many people in our constituency. I spent a lot of time crafting emails to the Clergy and Coordinators in the host communities who had already applied for a Day Camp week this summer, to the Team Applicants from whom we had already received forms and to all of the volunteers who had agreed to assist in different ways during our most important Team Training Retreat.
        Personally, I can most liken my current state of mind to that in which I have previously found myself following the death of a loved one. To look forward to the coming summer stripped of the usual flurry of activity, laughter, tears and general chaos is a sobering prospect, but despite the real feelings of grief, in my heart I do believe that this was a responsible decision in light of the current pandemic. No one knows if and when we will return to “normal” and without the ability to gather both now and for the foreseeable future there are so many aspects of the program that cannot be readied even if we were able to hold Day Camps. Team recruiting has ground to a standstill and host communities will need many months to regroup even when things have settled down.
        Several people have asked if I will be continuing these weekly blog posts and the answer is “yes!” On average of between 125 and 150 people read each post and in the weeks and months to come I hope to find creative ways in which to continue to tell the story of Day Camps from my perspective even without the regular summer input from our Traveling Teams.
          I have often tried to explain to others that the work of Day Camps happens 52 weeks of the year, not just during the 6 weeks in which the Teams are out on the road and, despite this summer’s empty schedule there will still be much work to do in both nurturing and encouraging our community of Team Members and also in fine tuning the 2020 Program, repurposing it for summer 2021!
         We have offered free resource materials from previous years to host locations that still feel they might be able to organise at least some part of a Day Camp at the local level. It would be impossible to roll out the 2020 materials without several of the key components, which we will be unable to complete until lockdowns are lifted.
          Our planning committee is now considering what special projects we could tackle over the coming year without the usual deadlines normally faced in preparing the Program Manual. We have plans in place to move this Blog to a new platform and to work on some redesign, so stay tuned for that project 😊 We will also be able to redouble our usual efforts in the areas of both Team recruiting and in making sure we have a full 2021 itinerary booked for our Teams.
        I hope and pray that there will be plenty of interesting content to fill this space and that readership may even grow😊
But for today, it is Holy Saturday, Easter Even and I must finishing icing Hot Cross Buns and assembling a few small Easter Baskets ready to deliver locally. 
I’m also preparing a special celebration for our tiny House Church as 2 or 3 of us plan to gather tomorrow morning, encouraged by Jesus’ promise that He will be with us 😊
I’ll close off now with a recipe from my Holy Week dinners, wishing all of you Easter Blessings.
Warm Barley Salad with Roasted Feta and Tomatoes 

  • 1 cup hulled barley
  • 8 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 8oz. feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. each dried rosemary, thyme & oregano
  • 1 15oz. can artichoke hearts
  • ½ English cucumber, diced
  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed
  • 2 Tbsps. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
In a medium saucepan combine the barley with 3 cups water, bring to the boil and simmer covered for approximately 35 minutes or until just tender. Drain off any excess water and place in a large salad bowl. Meanwhile halve the tomatoes and cube the feta. Place in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with herbs. Broil for approximately 20 minutes or until well browned. In a separate bowl combine the drained artichoke hearts, cucumber, avocado and lemon juice, toss gently then fold into the cooked barley. Top with the feta and tomatoes and serve immediately. Serves 3-4
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