The Gift - Full of Joy (or something!)

Day Three - evening drama

                Characters:     1 - George - a boy camper
                                      2 - Chara (pronounced "care-ah") - a girl camper
                                      3 - Chris - can be either boy or girl

Junior Camp Theme/Goals for Day

Scriptures for Day

                Setting: An "all group" session is about to begin and 1, 2, & 3 are sitting next to each other. In actuality, this is also the third all-camp gathering of the "real" week of camp, of which this is the first "thing." Depending on where this gathering takes place, a gift-wrapped box is hanging from a rafter or a tree. As this dialogue will take place every evening, the gift box needs to either shift locations or there needs to be a box in every location where this might take place (pavilion, campfire, other meeting place).
                Preface with reading of 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (both to set the theme and to quiet the group)


3 - Chara, you did a great job on that Bible reading last night!

1 - It was totally rad! (or choose some other teen lingo)

2 - Well, thank you. This is strange, but Iím actually starting to understand you, George.

3 - Donít try too hard.

1 - Yeah, you could get brain freeze.

2 - I donít think I want to ask what that means.

3 - Maybe itís what happens in church halfway through the preacherís sermon.

2 - Huh?

3 - Everyoneís brain freezes up. I know mine does. Gets kinda boring.

2 - Actually, my minister is pretty interesting. She tells a lot of stories.

1 - Youíve got a woman pastor?

2 - Anything wrong with that?

1 - No, Iíve just never heard of one before.

2 - What planet have you been on?

3 - So, you actually listen to the sermon?

2 - Most of the time.

1 - In my church, the people do more than just listen. They talk back to the preacher during his sermon.

3 - What?

1 - Every sentence or two someone is saying "Amen," or "preach it, brother," or "Hallelujah," or something like that.

2 - Why?

1 - I donít really know. I think itís kind of like everyone helping to preach the sermon. It gets kind of noisy at times.

3 - That wouldnít happen in my church, for sure! People are very quiet. Only the preacher talks.

2 - Really?

3 - Yeah! Thereís a big sign going into the sanctuary which tells people to shut up.

2 - Thatís what it says?

3 - Well, no. But thatís what it means.

1 - Why?

3 - I guess to make worship feel more "holy."

1 - Thatís really different from my church. People clap and raise their hands a lot, especially when we sing.

2 - Why would they do that?

1 - I dunnoh! Guess theyíre full of joy or something.

3 - You ever do it?

1 - Not really. But it doesnít feel strange. Whatís yours like, Chara?

2 - Apparently different from both of yours. My Mom complains sometimes about how noisy it is, but nothing like your church, George.

1 - Donít people clap their hands?

3 - Are you kidding? I sneeze at the wrong time and my Mom gives me nasty look.

2 - Really?

3 - Well, maybe not that bad. Itís not always quiet. The organ can get really loud. My parents like listening to it. The woman who plays it is really good.

2 - Our church doesnít have an organ, just a piano. And we donít always sing with it. Sometimes itís just our voices. Itís kind of neat hearing how we sound without the piano, all our voices fitting together. My Dad tells me I have a gift for singing.

1- Well, you also have a gift for reading.

2 - Thank you, George.

3 - I was reader in church once.

1 - I thought you said only the preacher talks.

3 - Well, maybe itís not always like that. I guess it isnít boring all the time.

2 - We have childrenís stories and other stuff like that.

1 - And dramas.

3 - Yeah, I guess we have had a few of those.

2 - So itís not always so quiet?

3 - Guess not. Hey, I remember when they had this guy come from Africa to preach. I couldnít always understand his accent, but he was interesting, told lots of stories, and even had us walking around the sanctuary singing, "we are marching in the light of God."

1 - Thatís starting to sound like my church.

2 - Weíve had some different stuff in worship, too. Somebody went to a retreat or something where they learned about Tasmanian worship.

1 - Tasmanian worship?

3 - Does everybody spin around like the "Tasmanian Devil?"

2 - No, silly. Maybe it wasnít "Tasmanian." ... (pause, thinking) ... "Taize," that was it!

3 - Gesunheit!

1 - They donít allow sneezing in Chrisí church.

2 - No, it was a style of singing from a place in France. You repeat the same thing over and over.

1 - Thatís kind of like my church. Theyíre called "praise" choruses.

2 - This is different. Itís not in English.

1 - Yeah, that happens in my church, too.

2 - Itís in Latin, and everyone sings it. All together. At the same time.

1 - No, they donít do that at my church.

3 - Why do you do it?

2 - I donít know. It does sound kind of cool, though. I like it. Iím not thinking about the words when I sing. I feel close to God. Itís not just me singing.

1 - Thatís how it is, sometimes, at my church.

3 - Iím not a very good singer. During the hymns I sometimes just look at the windows, theyíre all colored and stuff, and I feel close to God. I canít explain it.

2 - So, your brain doesnít freeze, after all.

3 - Guess not.

1 - You know, Sunday worship is really different in each of our churches.

2 - Yeah, but weíre worshipping the same God, arenít we?

3 - I suppose so.

1 - Hey, I think theyíre about ready to start.

2 - Shhh!


                At this point the leader begins, and the line between drama and reality blurs. This becomes the actual day three evening all-camp gathering, perhaps vespers or campfire or.... The leader(s) sets the dayís theme "Godís People Worship and Witness," not so much by talking (as in previous evenings) but by worship. The drama has just introduced some of the great variety of Christian worship. The "Camp" setting is often seen as just a different variety. Children can go home experiencing a worship that is different at camp from what it is at their home church. Maybe vespers might incorporate some of "home" church worship, realizing there is a great diversity of styles, even within the same denomination. Use silence and rowdy clapping. Sing various types of songs - a more formal hymn (e.g. "For the beauty of the earth"), a more charismatic praise hymn, a Taize hymn, and/or a song from overseas (e.g. "We are marching in the light of God"). Keep it simple. Involve the children! Use some of the suggested scriptures. Add prayer(s). Worship!      (For a listing of Global hymns in the Hymnal: A Worship Book, follow this link.)

                As this introduces the theme for the coming day, perhaps the next eveningís worship can build upon it. You might ask each Koinonia, family, cabin, or small (or whatever you call them) group to bring a "dish" to the next eveningís worship "meal" (vespers or campfire or...) - some element of worship that they will lead. Have in mind goal "d" of day 3 in the curriculum: "Develop a service of worship to God that is sensitive of and adapted to the natural environment."


            ©2000, Pete Haynes for Shepherdís Spring OMC and Camp Mardela, Mid-Atlantic District Church of the Brethren (Outdoor Ministries), to be used with "Godís People - Many Gifts" rev. ed., ©1999, Geneva Press), part of the Sow Seeds ... Trust the Promise series. Permission granted to adapt and reword to fit the needs of your camp. Just list the original source.

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this page was last updated 07/17/01