Pentecost 6

Hello Blog Friends!

It has been a hot and humid week here in Québec, accompanied by the usual interruptions of short but severe thunderstorms! 

Thursday afternoon I was delighted to receive a short report from our Day Camp in Windsor Ontario. The Coordinator, Josiah, is a Team alumnus and I think he knows how much I miss hearing from my “chickens”😊.

Josiah reports:-

“Hi Valerie! 
Thank you for your prayers!! We’ve had a good week (and had a great water day today)! We have 16 consistent campers (of which only 3 are members of our congregation; most of the rest un- or only-kinda-churched), and a good team of 5 counselors including myself, plus 2 “stage hands” (who were willing to do behind-the-scenes prep but a little hesitant to work with kids more directly). We’ve been doing a half-day programme (9-12), but pretty jam-packed. We’ve had a lot of very encouraging feedback from parents, and I was very encouraged by the conversation in our expat group today. Looking forward to introducing the cross more explicitly tomorrow! And looking forward to running a camp again next summer, with slightly more “seasoned” team!”

I would love to believe that there will be a “next summer” when Josiah’s team will feel more confident in leading. 

After receiving his email, I thought back to Tuesday evening when we had a  small but DC productive committee meeting at which we wrestled with 3 main points relative to the future of Day Camps:-

  1. Is the Day Camps Program still a viable resource?
  2. If we discern that it is a viable resource how can we promote it more effectively to reach an audience who wishes to use it?
  3. We cannot move ahead with grant applications until we have answered the first 2 points, so how can we continue to operate in the immediate future with no viable source of funding?

We set aside the bulk of the meeting to discuss these points and then took time to set some calendar dates for the rest of 2022, as we are committed to still offering activities and other resources to both alumni and campers. We chose a date for an autumn Team Gathering as well as another “Cook-along” course for campers and their families, an Advent study series for Team Alumni and Carols & Cocoa to which we invite the extended CTM community.

  We will revisit the main discussion questions at our August meeting. Since that has historically been the time at which we take a first look at the Program we would be offering in the next summer we must come to some conclusions by then as there is little point in allocating to people various Manual Chapters for revision unless we are 100% sure we have a market for the Program. All of this is very hard but we are blessed to know that the ministry is still overarched by the Prayer Support Group and Mae Anne (the committee’s liaison with them) has already sent out this month’s Prayer Concerns email. 

 Wednesday Jillian came for lunch and an afternoon visit so of course we rehashed the previous evening’s meeting but I also enjoyed hearing all about her recent trip to Vancouver to see her sister Janice and about the plans for her impending trip to Italy. The latter is a family excursion with her in-laws and all her husband, Victor’s, siblings and they will be exploring the region of Italy from where his father’s family originated.  The trip was supposed to take place in the summer of 2020 but was, of course, derailed by the pandemic so it is very exciting that it can finally take place.

Yesterday I also had a short visit with Mae Anne as she dropped in for a snack on her way to work and to pick up some DVDs that belong to a friend of mine who had kindly agreed to lend them to her.

     There has been plenty of time for gardening, between the thunderstorms and now that it is getting so hot outside I try and do my garden work early in the morning following an even earlier long perambulation with Thomason 😊. Even though he has black fur he doesn’t seem to mind the heat too much but the government heat warnings always caution against being outdoors between 10am and 2pm.

As far as crafting goes, I sewed a patchwork Japanese Monk’s bag as a gift for a friend whose birthday is in August and also completed several sets of darling rompers some of which are destined for a soon to be born baby in Halifax 😊. The rather complicated pair of cabled ankle socks, which I have been knitting for several weeks is now off my needles and added to my stash of Christmas gifts so I’m taking a break from Christmas knitting to make a shawl for myself from some gorgeous hand-dyed merino wool recently gifted to me. And I have finally finished mending a quilt for a friend. This quilt is in quite a fragile state but of sentimental value, so I have done my best to refresh it a bit.

  Today, of course, is Bake & Blog with GF bread, hamburger buns, cinnamon rolls, matcha macarons and a batch of Orange Chocolate cookies on my agenda. These cookies are super yummy, do give them a try 😊.

Orange Chocolate Cookies

  • ½ cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour 
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾  tsp. sea salt 
  • 2 tsps. orange zest 
  • ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips 
  • Fleurs de sel for sprinkling

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the egg. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and combine with the butter mixture. Stir in the orange zest and chocolate chips. Form the dough into a ball and place in a covered container. Chill overnight. Next day divide the dough into 16 pieces and place on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten each cookie slightly and sprinkle with fleurs de sel. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack. Makes 16 large cookies.

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