Each night begin by standing in a circle and praying. While standing, recite the Lord's Prayer, explaining that after praying the group will stay silent for a period of time in order to allow each person to reflect silently in their minds over the day's events.
After praying and standing quietly to reflect, invite the children to sit in a circle. Each devotional comes with some basic suggestions and some scriptural references to connect with the day's events. You will find some key words or stories from which to draw some points to discuss with the campers.
Encourage the children to speak from their experience; do not be afraid of silence or even tangents but do try and keep the conversation focused. The idea is to get the campers to relate to the material that they were exposed to in the day's activities, especially the material that was covered during Orthodox Life, Street Wise, Arts & Crafts, and Chapel.
Avoid speaking for prolonged periods of time and attempt to get each child to contribute. If necessary begin the conversation by connecting the day's events with your own experience and try to then stimulate conversation by asking an open-ended question (an open ended question is one that cannot be answered using a "yes" or "no" response). The suggested time frame is between 15 to 30 minutes.
Camp Emmanuel is an opportunity to grow closer to God. This means that the campers will have many opportunities to learn about God, their faith, and what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. During the week they should try as best as they can to explore their Christian faith and learn as much as they can about what it means to live a Christian life.
Camp Emmanuel is also an opportunity to grow closer to other Christians. This means that each camper should try and extend themselves, to get out of their comfort zone and meet new people. It also means that they should be aware of those around them and try and exhibit Christian love and acceptance to all.
Camp Emmanuel is an opportunity to live a Christian life. Church camp should be different than daily life. At camp we should put to practice love, compassion, and repentance. We should try and clean up the way we act, think, and speak. This means that there is NO room for foul language, gossip, acts of violence, etc.
Sunday Evening: Ice Breakers
A suggestion to learn names easily is to sit in a circle and have each camper say their name and their favorite ice cream. Then have the next camper in the circle recite the name of the person before them, their favorite ice cream and then their own. Continue doing this until you have reached the last person in the circle.
Finding the Mystery Object
Have the campers pair up with someone in their cabin. One person must choose to go first and be blinded. Their partner blinds them by covering up their eyes with their hands from behind. They then disorient their partner by turning them in a circle several times. The sighted person then leads their person to an object and lets them feel it and ask 3 questions about the object. The sighted person then leads them back to the group and spins them around once again. They then remove their hands and the person who had been blinded now attempts to find the exact object. Repeat this with the other person and even switch partners.
The campers will each do a trust fall. Counselors must spot and first demonstrate this exercise. Find an object (a camper can form a platform by offering his back while being on all fours) that a camper can fall back from. The cabin must catch the person doing the trust fall.
Please refer to Sunday night's devotional and if you did not have time to complete your discussion or the activities on the previous night please do so tonight. The Monday evening devotions are based on the day's sessions on Media.
Tuesday evening's devotions are based on the Orthodox Life and Street Wise sessions on Podcasting is Godcasting.
Wednesday evening's devotions are based the day's sessions: Too Much of a Good Thing.
Tonight, we are going to ask that you share an aspect of your faith with the campers. Take a moment to reflect upon your relationship with God, and your faith with your cabin. You may want to pick a verse from scripture or a story that highlights something about you and your relationship with God. Your reflection should be age appropriate and it should not be confessional in nature. If you have questions about what is appropriate please check with your priest. After sharing with the kids open up the discussion to allow them a moment to discuss their faith.
Friday's devotions are based on the sessions of The Senses.
Many of our campers are not familiar with the main sacrament (holy mystery) of our Church, the Eucharist. In fact, many might view the worship of our Church, the Divine Liturgy as something that is repetitive and boring. Tonight you will attempt to open a simple but frank and honest discussion about the Liturgy and the Eucharist.
Use the following scriptural references:
"Therefore they said to Him, ‘What sign will you perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, "He gave them bread from heaven to eat."' Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.' And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.' The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, ‘I am the bread which came down from heaven.' And they said, ‘Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, "I have come down from heaven"?' Jesus therefore answered and said to them, ‘Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God." Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.' The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?' Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as you fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.' These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum." John 6:30-59.
"And as they were eating, Jesus took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom.'" Matthew 26:26-29.
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.' Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.' And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives."
"Then He said to them, ‘With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.' Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.' And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.' Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'" Luke 22:15-20.
Our basic beliefs:
The Lord commanded His followers to continually receive and eat His Body and Blood in a mystical manner.
This command was given during the Last or Mystical Supper and the Church has faithfully carried out this command for over 2000 years.
Life in Christ and therefore entrance into the Kingdom is based on our faithful reception and preparation to receive the Lord's Risen Body in the Eucharist.
The bread and the wine become the actual Body & Blood of Christ during the Liturgy when the Holy Spirit descends and transforms them mystically into Christ's actual Body and Blood.
The central worship of the Church is the Divine Liturgy; following the Lord's command, this divine service is celebrated on the first day of the week, Kyriake, the Lord's day, which is Sunday.
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