Day 316 | Friday, 29 January 2021
From the Church Mouse
Normally I don’t get into the Rev.’s area of expertise, but in this case I couldn’t resist. One of the most difficult things to explain to our parishioners over the years has always been the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…three in one. The best answer was presented to us years ago when we were running our summer camp for teens. We called it “Just Camp”. At the time there was “Horse Camp’ and Swim Camp and several others.
We knew that teens hated to get up for breakfast at 8:00 AM, so we decided to create “Just Camp”. We added a set of younger counselors so that we could adjust our schedule to suit teens in the summer. Doug and I went to bed after our last session at night and got up early for breakfast with the teens that signed up for our “morning session”. After breakfast, we offered several really wonderful craft sessions. The teens made things that they could keep: bracelets, copper art, and paintings.
The younger counselors were the “night shift”. They reported for duty at 1:00 AM after our worship service at midnight, The teens could sign up for an “all-nighter” with these counselors. The teens wanting to take part in the morning activities would go to bed after worship. Those that signed up for an all-nighter would take their mattresses (such as they were) to the activity center where they could play games, chat, and watch movies. This way they were in sight of the counselors at all times. This adjustment in schedules kept campers off the roof, ambushing other campers with buckets of water. The first meal of the day for the night shift was lunch at noon where both shifts came together.
Afternoons were for swimming and waterskiing, capture the flag and a great favorite, the “Build a Better Bod” contest. Each camper brought two cans of menthol- free shaving cream to us as they arrived at camp, We put their names on the cans and kept them for the day we held the contest. We divided the teams up into four girls and four boys. Since our camp was very popular, we had quite a few teams. The regular camp counselors served as judges. Each team chose one person to create a better bod for them over their bathing suits using their cans of shaving cream. By our second year, the creativity was amazing. The campers brought all sorts of accessories to use on their newly created bods. We had Elvis with a guitar and blazing with gems on his shaving cream. We had a volcano with a camper inside which would spew red colored water out of a squeeze bottle when the judge arrived. We had a Little Mermaid with a tail and gems in her hair and her music playing from a boom box brought to camp for the contest. We had the Creature from the Black Lagoon. One of my favorites was Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live… complete with big muscles and appropriately accented dialog. What fun we had!
This is where the Trinity comes into play. In the evening, both groups met in the activity center for Bible study and worship service at midnight. Both sets of counselors took equal teams of girls and boys and were given a study topic to present to the entire group later. The Rev. assigned each team its topic. My assigned topic was the Trinity. (I’m sure ,to this day, that he did it on purpose.) My team began to brainstorm how to describe the Trinity to the group. I began to think that all was lost until Dave began to speak. Preacher Dave, as we came to call him, was a boy from Clarence, NY. He described the Trinity this way: The Trinity is like a piece of cherry pie: The crust is God, wrapping around everything. The cherries, the point of cherry pie, is Jesus. And then there is the gooey stuff, the Holy Spirit, that keeps the filling together. Although each thing is separate, you need all three to have cherry pie. I remember looking at him, my mouth hanging open, finally saying “We’ll go with you, Preacher Dave.” And so we did, and the Rev. has used Preacher Dave and his cherry pie in every church he has served.
The campers did ask me at that session, “How do you know if you are acting with the Holy Spirit”? I told them “pour a glass of milk: that’s you. Pour some Hershey’s syrup into the glass. That’s the Holy Spirit. See how it falls to the bottom and just lays there. That shows that you always have the Holy Spirit within you. But in order to work with the Holy Spirit, you have to do something: you have to stir it up. It’s up to you.” I also told them that working with the Holy Spirit is like punching a hole in the darkness, and each hole counts so very much.