Welcome to the February edition of “Wednesday Words”. This month we are happy to have a Post written by the Rev. Linda Faith Chalk, President of Crosstalk Ministries.We hope you enjoy…
     The
President’s Perspective on Day Camps

      I
love Day Camps and I love being on the Day Camp Committee. I am not necessarily
the most productive member of the Committee but it is one of the highlights of
my ministry with Crosstalk. I was first introduced to Day Camps when I was a
student in theology at McGill and, in looking for a way to help, was giving
advice about inoculations for potential team members going overseas. My next
experience was as a theological student working in the Gaspe where my responsibility
was to be with the Team in their two weeks ministering in the area. In a sense
the experience was a blur in a very intense time with coming to and from,
picking up additional food for a hungry Travelling Team and planning special
times of worship… such as a Eucharist on the beach. Just prior to this I did
the parish team training on the importance of prayer. When I was the Curate at
St. Barnabas in St. Lambert, we were one of the Training Parishes and it was my
privilege and responsibility to work with the team and parish helpers and the
children. I can remember one Sunday service which was the closing service for
the Day Camp where we did an enacted gospel of Jesus calming the wind and the
waves, with both Travelling Team members and parish team members across the
front of the church as we brought that particular gospel story to light in a
unique way. Spending time with the team members and the various parish and
community children who came to Day Camp, the importance of the one on one, that
chance for that one in the moment to share something special about their day at
the Day Camp or the first time that they asked Jesus to come into their heart
to be their Lord and Saviour, as they tell their story of that encounter with
our living Lord Jesus, the Christ.

One
of the privileges that I had was to be part of the first team which ministered
in Northern Saskatchewan on the James Smith Reserve. The then Deacon and his
wife were our hosts and they were phenomenal and welcoming and we were a
handpicked team going to minister on a reserve which had some grave concerns
for their children and youth. Having arrived at my billet at 4:00 a.m. I was up
again at 8:00 a.m. to drive an hour to pick up the other team members and bring
them for the service. At 11:00 a.m. as we were walking into the church the
priest greeted me with the words: of course, you will bring the sermon this
morning. I smiled and said: “of, course!” while my more urgent prayer was: “O
God, help!” which was changed to: “O God help, please!” This was a traditional
prayer book congregation which did not use the Revised Common Lectionary and
when I asked what the gospel was, I was told the page number in the Book of
Common Prayer. We had a time which was enriching, engaging, enthusiastic and
frustrating. Enriching because the children were eager as were their
grandmothers and families, engaging because they wanted to spend time with us
and sing the songs, do the actions, watch the play;  enthusiastic – particularly the younger
children because they wanted to know and do everything that was happening. The
frustrating part came because of timing… not everyone was there when we needed
them to be, the other part of the frustration was that the parish helpers role
became that of monitors, making sure the children remained in the areas where
we were having our devotions. Because we were working with such large numbers
of children and such a small team improvisation became standard working
practise. At the end of our time there to have the people from the parish come
and thank us for coming to be part of them and the ministry, that we were part
of in their community, it was both a privilege and a blessing. I came from a
tradition of Vacation Bible School and working with youth and children for an
intense week… Day Camps is more rounded in the sense of being focused and all
encompassing, well rounded and challenging… it is not about giving Bible
knowledge but it is about making that knowledge real, vital, creative, fun and
life transforming!

In
Christ,

Linda
Faith