Or, Just how many guitars do you need for Shrine Mont Worship?
Answer: as many as you have! On the evening of Sunday, July 7 we had around twenty!
All-camp worship is a joyous and energetic event. It’s also amazing how it comes together. The worship was camper led, and with counselor support, campers from each camp on the mountain took part by reading scripture, teaching and leading songs, and leading the prayers. There was also an inter-camp guitar band with more guitars than I’ve ever seen in one place.
With the flexibility that comes from the adventure of Shrine Mont camps, all-camp worship changed venue due to heavy rain. Instead of meeting together in the Shrine, camps came together in the ballroom of the Virginia House. Here in this space, all of the Shrine Mont Camps on the mountain – St. George’s, Music and Drama, St. Sebastian’s, and Family Camp – came together to celebrate the good news.
The regularly scheduled evening worship that campers are familiar with provides an opportunity for campers to learn firsthand how to put together a worship service. Some campers mentioned that worship with just their own camp can be more personal, but what they like most about all-camp worship is that "all the voices are coming together. You hear God in all the voices."
The camps also intermingle their skills and their customs to teach each other what they love best. Music and Drama campers taught the songs and the Family Camp band provided music during Communion.
Collin Phillips, from MAD Camp, read scripture for us Sunday evening. He said he read scripture one night earlier in the session. “People tell me I’m a good public speaker and I really like it. It was really fun.”
The spirituality of all-camp worship was very evident. Having a full Eucharist service is different than the more casual evening worship in camp, but the added interaction with all the current campers greatly adds to the joy. "I love it more than regular church. There’s so much interaction and everyone participates." After the dismissal, camps went forth into the world, continuing to rejoice and praise.
By Stephanie Gurnsey Higgins
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.