Vespers and God’s reflection

zoemahlerNews

If you’ve ever heard Electric Light Orchestra’s 1977 hit single Mr. Blue Sky, then you’ll know the feeling we’re all feeling as the sun shone down on us this morning after rain last night.

“Sun is shining in the sky, there ain’t a cloud in sight. It’s stopped raining; everybody’s in a play and don’t you know it’s a beautiful new day, hey hey!”

We closed out last evening with a calming and reflective Vespers where we all read from the Bible to read through the Sermon on the Mount. Each staff member and camper were given a section to read and we all stood to continuously keep the Sermon going. It was a great way to recap some of the lessons we had learned earlier that morning during our Metaphysical Activity Period (MAP) where we went over the Sixth Beatitude regarding purity.

Once we had finished the Sermon on the Mount and sung some hymns, the skits began.

If you remember, Nabo had led our first MAP of the session and tasked two groups of campers and staff to come up with skits based off the sections of the Sermon on the Mount that they had been handed.

There were two groups and the first taught the lesson of turning instead to material means to solve our issues, to the spiritual. If you knock on the door of the spiritual, then you will be granted in and gain the healing you desire, as well as a closer understanding of your relationship with God. But looking to the material, the door will remain closed and no progress will be made, only a temporary fix.

The second skit reminded all of us to take no thought for what we shall eat or drink, or even how we should clothe ourselves. We should turn to wisdom as our answer and listen to know the right answer just as the wise King Solomon did.

Both skits were thoroughly executed and even involved multiple props to continue along their storyline. Counsellor Gabe may have accidentally taken a bit of a prop piece of bread, but isn’t that the epitome of taking no thought for what ye shall eat?

Our equestrian director Laura also graced us with a beautiful solo on her violin that captivated the entire audience from beginning to end. And Boys’ Head Counsellor Sam played the piano so beautifully that we asked for an encore that kept us all captivated in awed silence.

A bit of rain swept through the night and freshen up the camp for the morning as the fog rolled across Crystal Lake while the staff walked to their 6:15am morning metaphysical. What a way to start the day – a serene setting and peaceful thought to kick off another great day.

MAP this morning was run by Eric, our practitioner for the session. His main idea revolved around Mrs. Eddy’s answer to the question: What is Man? Each camper laid down on a large piece of paper as their counsellor traced them and then began to add qualities they feel they express.

Some of the qualities were: Love, wisdom, grace, patience, intelligence, integrity, peaceful, persistence, consciousness, honesty, strength, Principle, courage, joy, meekness, kindness, stewardship, enthusiasm, purity, selflessness, understanding, inspiring and many, many more.

Once the campers had gone through the list of qualities and written them into their body outline, we took a walk out to the lake and talked about the importance of embodying being a reflection of God. Looking into Crystal Lake while it was still, calm, and peaceful, it was easy to see that not only are the generic shapes of the trees and clouds reflected in the crisp water, but if you look close enough there are even the details in perfect quality reflected as a mirror image.

Eric reminded us that it takes nothing for the lake to reflect what is around it. In fact, the lake doesn’t even think about making sure its reflection is perfect – it just is. When we are reflecting God, we are simply embodying who we truly are as God’s child.

Our Christian Science nurse Emily pointed out that when watching how Mason, Becca’s dog, interacts with the campers, never once does Mason have to think, “Am I being a dog enough? Am I being anything other than who I should be in this moment?” Mason is simply the happy-go-lucky dog that we all know him to be and expressing that through the games he plays with campers and the love he is constantly providing, no matter the situation.

Once we had learned about the technicalities of reflecting God, the campers and staff came back into Alford Hall to find that some not-so fun qualities had been added over top of their body’s image. Qualities such as homesickness, not being able to make friends, not feeling well, sadness, and not being athletic enough  to participate in camp activities.

One camper noticed these qualities and gasped, quickly letting their counsellor know, “I did not put these here and they should be put in the trash!”

If that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is.

Eric then reminded us that sometimes our true qualities can feel swamped under more prominent material views that are put on us through society’s lens. Though they seem extremely harsh and sometimes true in the moment, our true qualities – the one God has bestowed onto us – are always there at our foundation waiting to shine through and destroy the trash qualities.

In order to get rid of these material qualities, campers were asked to combat these labels with characteristics and qualities that can destroy what is trying to get in the way of us having a good time at camp. Many great examples of how to look past the material and to our true reflection were quick to come from the campers and staff as we thought about what have made some of our favorite camp moments so wonderful.

As we were finishing up MAP, campers and staff were reminded that we are constantly expressing these qualities throughout the day as we go about our activities. And what fun activities we are taking part in today that will allow those qualities to shine through!

This morning’s first period activity was another soccer lesson with Counsellor Mauro, and then the campers will go on to continue their Arts & Crafts projects with Margie. The Longhouse is starting to look colorful and lively with all the exciting projects that the campers have started!

The afternoon will provide the campers with another opportunity to work at the climbing wall – either trying to beat their last score or working to reach past where they’d climbed the day before. And then, the most exciting of them all, is fifth period where campers and staff will be prepping for overnights because …. drumroll please …. Overnights start tomorrow!

This evening, since Overnights will be gone tomorrow evening, we’ll all congregate at Alford Hall again for our Testimony Meeting. Not to spoil anything, but I’m finishing putting the readings together now and there might be a little story about Paul and his shipwrecked adventures. A story of peace and calm in the face of fear and persistence and perseverance when others are trying to knock you down.

Photos from Vespers, yesterday’s classes, and this morning’s MAP have already been posted to Smugmug! We’re looking forward to another sunny, bright and shining day without a cloud in the sky! Happy Tuesday!

 

 

– Zoë

Social Media Director/Camp Photographer

zoe@crystallakecamps.org

 

Share this Post