Sunday, 2 September 2012

WA Story Tour: Day Nine, part two

Then to dinner. For the meals today, we were shuffled in a line for entry into the dining room, to mix up our dining & conversation partners. At lunch, we were organised alphabetically according to first name; for dinner, according to clothing colour. For the quiz later in the evening, we were sorted into teams according to birthdate.

Before dinner, and between courses, I was arranging things with the camp team for our evening's gathered worship. This was to have a similar shape to gathered worship in Augusta last week; I planned the two spaces around the same stories, having the same basic aims in mind - to invite people into worship spaces shaped by a deep encounter with story.
In the interest of time, we cut a lot out this week. And as I write this, I realise I unintentionally cut even more than we planned, by leaving out a song. Oops. Actually don't think the space was diminished with the omission.

We began with 'litany of praise', which I wrote, then two stories of Elijah and Jesus & their miracles with food. We had heard stone soup the night before, so I simply called that story to mind as we entered these Biblical stories. I invited people to wonder, which all ages entered into - such a delight to share the story together in this way. We wondered wether Elijah knew flour would make a difference to the soup; who would be brave enough to take the first taste after he added the flour; why people didn't think to bring their own dinner when listening to Jesus; what we have that we might share with others today; how many people were fed with the loaves & fish, if the 5,000 was just the men.
The prayer stations we also adapted slightly - using water for the prayers of thanks, on a table outside, so that the water could actually really overflow from cup to bowl and over the table. Most people used clay, rather than drawing, for the prayers for others; and we threw the serviettes in to the fire after wiping plates clean in the prayers of confession & assurance.

Communion was a simple liturgy - and I'll let you read it to discover the twist for yourselves ...

we have shared meals together, as we hear in the stories that Jesus often did.
we have shared stories together, as Jesus often did. 

now we remember the story of Jesus, and the last meal he ate before he died. 

Jesus broke bread and shared wine, asking his friends to remember him, to remember that he loved us all with the great love of God. 

we remember this love, and say thank you to God. 

tonight as we remember Jesus, we will drink not wine, but hot chocolate; we will eat not bread, but marshmallows - which seems appropriate as we gather around our campfire. 

Holy Spirit, be near to us as these gifts remind us of the love of Jesus for everyone. 

these are gifts of God, for the people of God. 

our worship is ended - our worship continues
the story is ended - the story continues
our supper - now that has just begun! 

Go from this space in love, and peace, and joy, and may God go with us all, always. 

As I spoke the liturgy, cups of hot chocolate and the marshmallows were distributed, and communion flowed / became our supper as we went from worship to bed or to the quiz & games.

This worship seems to have been appreciated, and felt to me like an authentic worship atmosphere, integrated with the atmosphere of the camp overall.

The quiz and games included a portrait competition. My team decided that as I was creative, it would be my task to submit our entry. I'm not actually a visual artist, so I'm afraid we didn't even place. I painted a portrait with words, as it were ... well. See for yourselves. Mr Fred is the camp mascot for Star Street Uniting, attending NCYC & other camps with the congregation members.

Results were announced at brunch - and our team came fourth. Out of four. Enough said.

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