Hi! My name is Melissa Green; I am from the small community of Savona near Kamloops, British Columbia. I’m in my second year of my Bachelor of Arts at Thompson Rivers University and am actively involved in the St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Savona. I organize and run both a Junior and Senior Youth Group in the parish, and also sit on a number of committees within the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior. I have recently been accepted onto the PWRDF Youth Council and the BCYAYM Council; I am excited to share in the work of both of these groups along with the other groups I share ministry in! I find working with groups in the Anglican Church exciting and full of learning and sharing.
This past summer I had the privilege of working at Sorrento Centre as one of the Children and Youth Coordinators and Summer Staff Supervisors. With a team of staff we made the Children and Youth Program for ages 0-18, trained and supervised the summer staff, and had a ton of fun. Our summer program was called, “We’re All In this Together” and looked at multiculturalism along with different aspects of Christianity.
Being at Sorrento Centre for the summer directly impacted my faith. As I worked with the staff, guests, and the children and youth I learned many new things. I learned things about myself and my walk with God and I was also challenged to take on new roles and do things I had yet to have done. At Sorrento Centre we had worship Monday – Thursday morning, Tuesday and Wednesday evening, and Friday afternoon for Closing Eucharist and Celebration. This allowed us all to worship together as a community, learn about one another, and explore faith together.
My faith was strengthened, and through various events and activities I started trusting in God more and more. I started truly believing and trusting that everything that was happening and going on was all going to work out, and that I was never alone. That God was always with me. With worship as a regular part of the life at Sorrento Center, I was given opportunities to preside, lead, and organize parts of our worship services – things I never imagined myself to be doing over the summer, and things I learned I was capable of doing, with help of course! Even though I started camp with my feet rooted to my faith, there was still room to grow, and I definitely did some growing in my faith!
I saw huge changes in our staff team over the period that they were with us. Just like myself they were invited to take on a large role in worship leadership, and were directly responsible for providing the summer program to the children and youth, including the Christian teaching. Within weeks the staff were seen be engaging on their own in conversations around spirituality and religion and taking a huge part in the regular worship services. They interacted with guests, and formed friendships (in a “mentor” position) with the children and youth. When our Anglican Programming was over and we transitioned into weeks of Swing and Bluegrass groups, the staff told me of times which they met in the nearby field to gather together in song, prayer, and discussion. This wowed me, staff varying in age from 16-25, were taking it upon themselves, when we no longer were having daily worship, to gather together and share in God’s presence.
At Sorrento Centre we all stayed at the camp for the two months of summer (well I was there for four!). Being together so much, and helping and interacting with one another allowed us to grow as a community. And within that community we were there for one another in times of joy, sadness, and celebration. We learned about each other’s faith journeys, families, friends, and life at home. We supported one another; and that support has not disappeared just because camp is over.
Spiritually happens in very powerful ways at camp, if you ever get the opportunity attend one or work at one, find out for yourself!