Last week I had the opportunity to go back to my home region, Alabama Northwest Florida. I also got the opportunity to serve as the Peace Intern to my mom who was the director of our CYF camp this year. It was strange being back at camp after three summers away, and even stranger to see the little kids I had babysat at some point in my life all grown up as CYF campers.
This week was my smallest camp so far. We had 30 campers, which meant that we only had three small groups. The tradition in ALNWFL is to have the small groups rotate and lead a part of worship each night – this year vespers was divided into music, message and meal. However with only three small groups and four nights of worship we needed to do something different for Thursday night worship. My mom decided that the counselors would come up with the ideas for our last worship and I asked if we could do prayer stations. Side note: it is also tradition in ALNWFL to take a vow of silence on Thursday night after worship but I thought it would be great to do all the prayer stations in silence too (and because I know you are wondering, YES, the campers take it very seriously!).
Prayer station 1 was something I like to call prayer bubbles, which Will O’Brian,a fellow peace intern, introduced to us at training. During this prayer you start with a something or someone who you would like to pray for and then from there you just make more bubbles. I think of it like a prayer that shows the flow of your thoughts.
I led prayer station 2. When campers came close to the lake, I read Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” and I asked the campers to reflect on something that was holding them back from living out this verse outside of camp. Each camper was given a rock and invited to write that thing on it. From there they went down to the dock to say a prayer and throw the rock into the lake representing God’s desire to take away whatever it was holding them back.
At prayer station 3 the campers helped make a banner for a special Disciples church in our region. At Grateful Life Community Church in Huntsville, AL most of the members are homeless and each week Grateful Life provides a hot meal before worship and a sack lunch afterward. Since our CYF theme this week was Building Faith Around Tables we decided to make them a banner that will be placed on their serving table during both meals and worship. At the prayer station campers traced and cut out handprints to be placed on the banner and also wrote prayer notes to the Grateful Life members.
Our communion for the service was led by a group of campers who, with the help of one counselor, choreographed a liturgical movement to Table of Love by Andra Moran. After the table was set our counselors led us with a silent invitation for communion. It was a moving worship service and I hope that our campers got as much out of it as I did.
I had a wonderful, great, fantastic and fun-filled week being back in my home region and it was nice to see all my old counselors and camp friends. Now I am off to Dunkirk, New York!
Till next time y’all!