Day 5: Sunday, August 2, 2009 by Helen M.
We woke again to sunshine. Today we will share worship with a local church just a walk away and start our work. Rob said it will mirror the life of a trappist monk where they worship, pray, and serve/work.
We all shared continental breakfast and began our walk to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, a two minute walk. An amazing experience; my first evangelical service. They welcomed us very warmly even including us in the worship service. Rob read scripture and Rob and two of our deacons, Janina and Ivy, participated with the church’s Elders in a laying on of hands experience for Harry Cloud, a man having surgery tomorrow at 5:45 a.m. on August 3rd. We will pray for him. The music, oh my! Every song was a gift we unwrapped from God with a beautiful long ribbon and flowing paper that fell to the floor that made you jump up and dance and sing from the deepest depth of your soul. We shared communion. All came forth. Pastor Terry placed a wafer in our mouth, we drank wine from a cup, real wine, a first for me at communion. What a blessing for us all to share in this service. After we were asked if we wanted to share anything. I said I would drive 3 days just to experience the service we just experienced at Bethel Prince of Peace Lutheran Church today.
I enjoyed getting to cook lunch in a tractor-trailer donated for a Disaster Relief, turned into a mobile kitchen unit. The junior leaders (Jordan B., Janice B., Courtney C., Jon T.) made spaghetti and salad with a couple of adult helpers. I go to be one. It was a cool experience. Well, it was hot but the experience was cool. The youth were so good. They helped the lone kitchen lady prep for dinner as well.
After lunch we worked and worked and worked. We helped around Camp Restore, our Retreat Center. The work on site in New Orleans will begin tomorrow but we all wanted to begin today and that was the plan. We were anxious to work so the staff here were asked by Rob to have work lists for us. Some did heavy lifting, some general housekeeping, some big clean up/organizing. My group began with windows. We were blessed to be visited by 20 to 25 Monk Parakeets, large green parrot like birds that I later found reside here. Then we went on to some general housecleaning and ultimately found ourselves in the worksite storage area for a couple of hours inventorying, restocking, and cleaning. It felt good to have all of Camp Restore sparked clean and it was a gift to the staff and felt good to give back to them.
Dinner & Worship
Not much time until dinner, a quick call to check in back home. Our numbers tonight at Camp Restore jumped from just we 37 from UBC to 100+ as more volunteers showed up from all over the country. A special ecumenical orientation/service after dinner brought us all together. How wonderful to be in a room of so many faiths and such diversity. It was beautiful!
Now our personal worship service and reflection as UBC. We invited the group from NJ along. It felt good to include them. We are getting to know each other so well and sharing so much with each other.
What a full and blessed Day. A Gift from God