Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tired but Happy

I had this whole post planned, but I'm really tired. Instead of a reflection on how gifted my friends are, I'm going to write a list of things that happened so far this weekend.

Erica and I helped Loretta prep her living room for painting, while we watched/listened to Harry Potter 1 and 2.

We stayed up until 3 am.

Went to a Camp Pecometh Staff Alumni Association meeting.

Then went to Maryland Football game. Tailgated with Rich, Jen, Ashlee, and Matt, and Jen's friend Alison. The Game sucked, but the band was awesome (they did the Thriller Dance, which was awesome). Looked for Sarah Reynolds but didn't see her. Had fun talking to Jen. Went to Chipotle for dinner.

ACTUALLY felt nostalgic for college and College Park. Forgot how freakin' big the campus is, and took us the wrong way to Chipotle.

While at the game Sarah Robinson called. She is planning the games for our Middle School Halloween Party. Its going to be awesome.

Drove home, stopping at Loretta's to grab my cell phone charger and leave her a note.

I'm tired but I love my friends.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rock the Boat

This weekend was Rock the Boat, our fall leadership retreat for youth group. It went amazingly well! Last year's retreat went pretty well, and we had a good group, but its mostly just me and Pat leading, so I was really busy and rather stressed. This year I had Erica, and Sarah and Julia Robinson help, and then Mr. Gimmy came down on Saturday. Bob chaperoned Friday night and Pat chaperoned Saturday night. The girls all led Bible studies and the kids behaved really well.

It was so nice to be able to go set up one thing while someone was setting up other things. And to be able to lie down for five minutes after challenge course. Of course, it was kind of hard for me to let go of control of the lessons, but it is a great reminder that God is working even when I'm not in control.

The high point for me was Saturday night. We had each person decorate a votive, and then while Sarah led a study on Silence, Erica and I walked out to the "Old Outdoor Chapel" and lit candles, and set up the votives on a tray. Then we waited for the rest of the group (they were going to come for a time of silent prayer and candle-lighting).

While we were waiting, we sat in the chapel. It was a perfect night. The stars were out, the wind had died down and it wasn't that cold. We ended up having this amazing prayer time. First we prayed silently, and then we prayed out loud. We prayed for each kid by name, and I was just filled with gratitude for God and for my co-leaders, for the kids, and for being able to sit in such a beautiful place.

This was one of those weekends where I felt so blessed to have the job I have. I have a great youth group. And the group of kids we had on the retreat was great. They are just so unique and it is amazing to see how God is working in their lives. Its amazing to see how God uses my humble attempts at ministry.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

A "Normal" Week

This past week was Reading Week, and so I got to stay home! The interesting thing is that when I'm at school half of the week, time goes so quickly. Each week feels like two little weeks in which there isn't nearly enough time. This past week seemed to stretch on and on... in a good way. Monday and Tuesday I studied and went to a soccer game. I basically read and copied notes during what would have been class time. The highlight was reading for New Testament on my beach, while tanning.

Wednesday I had a really whole day off, and went down to Camp to walk the trails. This was partly just because they are accessible and familiar and partly because I wanted to see how walkable they will be for my youth retreat this weekend. There are places where you can't even tell there was a trail there! Richelle made me wear a long-sleeved shirt because of the poison ivy, but there was nothing I could do about the fact that I was wearing shorts.

The rest of my week was filled with lots of church stuff: Staff meeting and lunch (we are an all-female staff!), meetings, Roast Beef Supper, and lots of church and youth group. I also went to the JV and Varsity football games and a Field Hockey game.

Today (my day off) was fantastic. I got to DC around 3, and then walked down to DuPont Circle.

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The walk is about 4 miles and takes me down Embassy Row, which is really interesting. Then I browsed around DuPont a bit, and rode the metro back to Tenleytown, went to Whole Foods for study supplies and dinner, stopped at Starbucks, and walked back to Campus. Now I am studying. For my Church History Exam. Which is tomorrow. Actually, I'm writing a blog, but after four hours straight I need a break.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bread and Juice and Camp People

Today was World Communion Sunday, a day when Christians all over the world celebrate communion together. This happens every year in October, right when I'm getting over my Camp Withdrawal, but when its been a month or two since I've seen most of my Camp friends.

It always reminds me of one Galilean Service back in 2005; Galilean is a service where we focus on how God is speaking to us and respond by lighting candles and floating them on the water. When I went down to put my candle on the water, I noticed that all of the candles were bunched together. By the time I left, however, they had spread out over the glassy river, spread out farther than I had ever seen. They looked like a mirror image of the stars.

I had a sudden pang of sadness, along with gratitude, because it reminded me of our summer staff. We come together for ministry for a summer and form amazing bonds... but then we are sent out. It sucks when we are sent out. But then, when I think about how many awesome people I know, who are scattered across the country and world doing good work, it makes me so grateful.

Communion is about remembering. Re-membering. Literally, it means "putting back together." We re-member Jesus, and we re-member our community. When we celebrate World Communion Sunday, we re-member the church all over the world that is praying for each other and together we are working toward a better world. And that has makes all the difference for me when I am frustrated and wanting to change the world.