St Andrew Blog

Doing What You Love

 

Doing What You Love

There are lots of things in life that each of us HAS to do—whether we like it or not.  It’s true at home and in our families . . .  where dishes have to be washed, yards have to be mowed, errands have to be run, diapers have to be changed, parents have to be brought to medical appointments.  But there are also things each of us has to do in our WORK life.  Maybe it’s the year-end report, or the sales call to that really difficult client; or perhaps it’s the annual review that you dread or the piling on of yet another project on your already full plate. 

Well, it’s no different for pastors.  There are aspects of our work that we would do whether we were paid or not!  That’s the stuff we LOVE to do!  That’s the work God created us to do.  It’s the work  which most closely matches our best gifts and abilities.  It corresponds to the things about your work that really float your boat; that confirm you made the right career or volunteering choice and that you’re on the right track.

Well, after feeling kind of fatigued this spring and early summer, I feel like summer camps really brought me back to life and got me back on track.  Whatever else God wants me to be doing, I feel confident that summer camps are part of the mix. 

It’s not planning crafts [Kerry does that], or coordinating afternoon visitors [Erin makes that happen].  It’s not even about creating the theme and daily learning times—though that’s not unimportant.  For me, the heart of my calling is to affirm and draw out the gifts and leadership potential of others—and that means campers AND volunteers. 

It takes a village to make our summer camps happen, and the key is welcoming people to do the piece God created them for; the piece that fits with the purpose they see unfolding for their life.  Because we all have different gifts, we’re not all doing the same things.  Some of us excel at hospitality and can purchase, prepare and serve snacks with a smile.  Some of us like to come in and do one BIG special project like making cement garden stones for 60 day campers.  Some are willing to clean bathrooms on really hot sticky summer afternoons, to give others time to prepare for the next day.  Some of our youth are willing to spend a week [or even two] taking charge of a group of kids—teaching, supervising, playing, hanging out.  Then there are adults that are willing to take a full week away and sleep in a gymnasium with 100 youth while painting or building a wheelchair ramp in a small town in Virginia! 

When we all do our part, and use our gifts for the good of others we grow in leadership and community.  We grow faith in ourselves--and others.  We make a difference.

It warms my heart when I hear from kids or parents that their week of Kinder Camp or Day Camp, Beach Camp, Mountain Camp or Mission Camp was the best week of their summer!  It means that we have created opportunities for kids and youth to experience God, to learn about themselves and to serve others using the gifts God gave them. 

For me, this adds up to doing what I love.

 

Making a Difference in Virginia

St. Andrew's high school youth made a difference in the lives of yet another community. For many years, St. Andrew has been traveling around the country to participate in Group mission trips where youth repair homes for people in need. This year, youth traveled to Pocahontas, Virginia--a coal mining town that recently experienced flooding. 
 
Youth built decks, handicap ramps, and put a new roof on houses. They painted, repaired and put in new flooring, and cleaned up yards. They worked really hard, didn't get a lot of sleep, and yet continued to have a generous heart to share with everyone they met. They made new friends from seven different states and were shaped by the generosity and hospitality of the people they met from the Pocahontas community.  
 
Mission campers saw God at work. They were God's hands and feet. And we give thanks for the faithful example they are for each of us

Beach Camp 2015

It's been a fun and sunny week of beach camp with 30 campers! We've had a blast riding huge waves (Pastor Joanna was pretty nervous though!) and creating sand creations on the beach. We cared for God's creation and found lots of critters: like hermit crabs, blue crabs, fish, and even picking litter from the ocean when we found it. Each camper created their own water eco-system, which even included a snail to take home! We kayaked, jumped off of Bill Maine's paddle board A LOT, and had relay races in our kayaks. We learned about the connection of eco-systems and how each of our gifts and passions are necessary to create the body of Christ! We learned that God created diversity and loves our differences. It's been a great week of learning how all God's critters have a place in the choir!

Mountain Camp 2015

Middle School youth traveled to Camp Calumet in New Hampshire for four days of fun along Lake Ossipee! Judy, from Camp Calumet, taught us to memorize Deuteronomy 6:5—“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength.” We talked about our images for God while sitting on Jackman’s Ridge. We played lots of games of Apples to Apples and swam for hours at the beach! We canoed, did group building activities at Rob World, and even had a scavenger hunt all around camp to find Jesus’ miracles. And some of the campers’ highs of the whole trip was the food at camp and snack bar each night! It was a fun week of making new friends, learning about God, and being in the midst of God’s creation!

 Next time you see a mountain camper, ask them about camp! I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell you all about it.