Friday, August 01, 2008

And snap! The job's a game.

(stolen from Sharon)

That's last week's HUGE Sr. High workcamp in Chicago. 31 youth plus 7 advisors, Sharon, Christy, and me. Workcamps are hybrid mission trip/service project weeks where youth from around the country travel to a particular site to volunteer their time working in local community service agencies. We spent the week tutoring kids at a neighborhood resource center, packing corn and cereal and beans and meat at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, trimming gardens for a few elderly church ladies, ripping out bushes at the Salvation Army, and accompanying shoppers at the Wheaton People's Resource Center.

I've often bemoaned the life I lead as a pseudo-bureaucrat, working day to day in a church office cubicle. Things like last week (and even, for a few hours, the week before at Annual Conference) are surefire morale raisers. What could be more biblical, elemental and organic than spending a week serving local communities, building relationships, eating, sleeping, singing and praying together in a very simple space in very simple ways?

And, oh, the energy! And enthusiasm! These guys got excited about even the most mundane projects - window washing and commuting have never before elicited such glee. Even now, a week later, I'm still feeding off that teenage insistence on Mary Poppins' old tagline: in every job that must be done there just has to be some element of fun.

I'm off again tomorrow for a week at the beach with my ridiculous family, and then to Colorado for a week with CoB young adults. Onward.

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