SEC Family Camp ‒ Bearing Good Fruit!
20th September 2018
For some of our church families, no summer is complete, without a visit to Family Camp and this year was no exception. For all the families who attend each year, it is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together and experience the joy of Christian fellowship in the beautiful setting of Chapel Porth. Pastor Lawrence, our camp leader, played host to thirteen families, including four generations of the Soaresfamily. It was indeed a blessing for the children and the adults to come together in fun and celebration, as we sought to enrich our family relationships.
The theme for camp, which was held between 12-18 August, was taken from Galatians 5:22-23, the 'fruit of the Spirit'. Each day, we experienced a lively, Spirit-filled worship, led by Manuela Mai and Adam Murphy. It was good to once again, sing together, some camp favourites, such as 'This train is bound for glory' and 'Bless the Lord, oh my soul'. In keeping with the camp theme, each family would take it in turn, to minister to each other, by presenting a different 'Christian Fruit' either in the form of a devotion, poetry, skit or song. After each presentation, the ministering family would be lifted up in prayer and a family blessing bestowed. It was truly touching and inspiring to share and learn together, how Jesus develops the 'fruit of the Spirit' in us, to reflect His character and to fulfil His purpose in our lives.
The weekly timetable of family activities which were planned with military precision by Pastor Lawrence with support from both Margaret Stewart and Sandra Soares included trips to Holywell Bay Amusement Park, Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary and visits to local beaches for some family fun. As always, the highlight of the week was the 11-mile, Camel Trail Bike Ride from Padstow to Wadebridge and back again! This was certainly an opportunity for the confident riders to take to the cycle trail with little ones, riding in tandem or being pulled along in buggies. There is always an air of excitement and anticipation as the family camp cyclists set off. The trail follows the course of the picturesque Camel Estuary and the scenery and wildlife are just breathtaking, which seems to spur everyone to complete the route in Wadebridge, where we all take a well-earned rest and enjoy a picnic together in the park, before setting off on the return journey.
An abiding memory for me will be the Camp Games Night! Both parents and children enjoyed playing team games, like 'Numbers', 'On the river, on the bank' and who could forget 'Tick, Tac, Boo' which seemed to be a firm favourite with everyone and was a source of much laughter and fierce competition. In addition, the Camp Talent Show is always a showcase of entertainment with acts featuring comedy sketches, poetry, songs, piano recitals and dance routines. It was good to see our church families using their talents to spread the gift of joy that evening.
An important aspect of family life is eating together and at camp, sharing communal meals, provides unique opportunities to share and cultivate community as a church family. Each day, 'Auntie Millie' would provide healthy, delicious meals which always had everyone eagerly waiting for the bell to ring, signalling that breakfast or dinner was ready! Special thanks to Angela Baker-Wright and Amanda Watson for supporting Millie Williams with the camp catering.
Family Camp ended on the Sabbath with everyone meeting together for the camp bonfire on the Friday evening, followed next day, by the Messy church style worship and craft activities provided by Karen Vontzalidis and Caroline Perry. We were reminded by Pastor Lawrence that it was our duty as parents to prepare our children for eternity with God and to do so, we must build Christ-centred relationships with our children by modelling the fruits of the Spirit.
On Sunday, the families departed with hugs and goodbyes and the promise of a camp reunion to be held soon. Since returning from Chapel Porth, the Family Camp WhatsApp group is still active with testimonies, words of encouragement, prayer requests and thanks for answered prayers. On hearing my 5-year-old singing 'The joy of the Lord is my strength...', I can honestly say that all those who attended Family Camp this year were truly blessed and already looking forward to next year's camp.
[Dr Caroline Perry]