Sunday, March 16, 2008

Workfest 2008: Day Five

Amazing Grace
We all had a great breakfast and then a very special devotion. We heard prayers in the language of the students. That meant prayers from Nigeria, Kenya, and a clicking language prayer from South Africa. We heard a quote from Rabbi Hillel, “We are not expected to complete the work but we are not allowed to abstain from it”. It was a moving way to begin the day.

At our site we got as much done as possible. We laid carpet, put in linoleum, worked on the deck and we wrote a jingle. Wrote a jingle? Yep, the evening was Family Night. All the teams have a meal with the families they work with and then we have a jingle contest. Blue Team One was ready!

I spent time with our host, she showed me picture. Water colors by Tom J. Whitaker. He was a school mate of hers and is now regarded as the greatest Appalachian artist around.

When we all left the site we were tired, quiet and proud. The job was not done (remember Rabbi Hillel?) but we did great work, fell in love with our host and learned so much. This was our last time at this site.

Supper was a Thanksgiving meal, turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, sweat potatoes, vegetables and pies. We all had a lot to be thankful for. It was great to be sitting with our families.

The evening started with Praise Music. I love the song Amazing Grace in all of its many forms. Tonight, as we all sang and I looked out the window to the tree tops on the top of our hill I was moved. When the guitar stopped and it was just our voices that filled the hall as the trees moved in the slight window and a bird sang in our lodge I could not continue to sing but I sure could listen and it was sweet. Devotions followed.

This was followed by the jingle contest. It was hilarious. All nine teams sang and danced and bribed the kitchen workers (our judges). Blue One came in second, not too shabby. We were beat by the less talented and less deserving Blue Two and we were gracious losers dirty rotten cheaters. It was great to watch Abbey sing, dace and especially to see her laughing. This was followed by the hard hat decorating contest. Again, Emma was close to winning. Emma, you got talent!

The evening ended up with a time of sharing. USF brought a Tau Cross, the cross of Saint Francis with us. It was from Assisi, blocks from where the saint lived, was baptized, had the renunciation and from where his body lies. It is a simple cross of the pilgrim. Father Beiting refers to CAP as a pilgrimage. We decided that since we worked so hard to be part of CAP (thank you Jan Patterson, our awesome Director of Campus Ministry) we were going to start our own tradition. We were going to give a blessed Tau Cross from Assisi to a member of the CAP leaders. This year our school was unanimous, the cross went to our director, Harold Underwood. It was a good choice, He wouldn’t take it off! It was given from Franciscan Pilgrims to our brother and sister pilgrims in CAP. After that people began sharing how the week had touched them. It was a wonderful way to end a great week.

Then USF had our time for reflection. Pam and I were so aware of how fortunate we were to be with these students. They were a blessing. Finally, our last night at Camp Caleb, the mountains and the stars.

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