Each morning and each afternoon we gather in a circle. Day Camp 2019. Counselors, Youth Guides, Crew leaders, and Caring Adults join hands and we pray. Thumbs to the left; you are holding up the hand of the person to your left and the person on the right is holding up your hand. We. We get to support, encourage, teach, play games with, sing, and pray with preschool through elementary age children for a full four and a half days.
So, we pray. We share a devotion in the morning before the campers arrive and debrief after they leave. Gathering in a circle we pray. Then we get to work and it takes all of us. Forgotten water bottles, lost sweatshirts, tears from splinters and bumps we are in this together. God knows we need one another.
Jesus promises his followers he will not abandon them or leave them alone. The gift of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate is given to them and to us. And wow, have we seen the Spirit alive and at work this week at Day Camp. Our prayers are followed by six hours of loving kids right where they are and modeling for them Jesus' love. We are sent from prayer into action.
We practice "three's" at camp. We ask campers to not go alone to find the lost water bottle and volunteers not to take campers by themselves to use the restroom- instead we ask them to be in "3's". This is part of our Safe Haven policy so that we are backing each other up and no one is alone. Circles. Circles of safety.
We. We get to encourage our campers to support one another and allow for themselves to be supported, comforted, guided and accompanied. There is strength in numbers- Jesus knew this. I hope you do as well. So I am wondering what are the circles you are part of? Who will you circle up with --to pray, to be guided and lead into action. Who is on your left that allows you to support them and who is on your right supporting you? We get to travel in many circles and I hope you will consider how the Spirit is guiding and directing you in every circle of which you are a part.
This coming weekend I journey to be part of one of the precious circles in my life including childhood friends. We will circle up to pray for my goddaughter as she graduates from college. We will circle up to share meals and share stories and love each other right where are in these stages of life.
Another circle will gather this weekend. In my absence I am grateful for the circle who will lead our faith community in worship. In 3's they are supporting and being supported, loving and receiving love. They are praying as they prepare to lead worship this weekend. I am praying for them also. As they are praying for the guidance of the Advocate, the Friend, the Holy Spirit who Jesus has promised --they get to practice faith. There is strength and power in numbers. I invite your prayers for them and for me, for us.
So let's circle up God's beloved. Let's ask for the Spirit to guide us in all the circles of our lives. The video above, well known and well loved, speaks also of the circle of life that is God's amazing creation. Join with all of creation in circling up to give God praise.