Author Archives: edokyouth

Meet the Bishop Candidates

Youth and college-age folks are invited to have supper with the bishop candidates during the walk-abouts. Members of the diocese will have the chance to meet the candidates in walkabouts scheduled in the diocese for Oct. 2-5; the schedule of events is available here. You can read more about the candidates here:

Dates, times, and locations for the youth and college-age dinners are:

  • Tuesday, October 2, 5-6 pm @ St. Michael’s in Mission
  • Thursday, October 4, 5-6 pm @ St. James in Wichita
  • Friday, October 5, 6-7 pm @ Grace Cathedral in Topeka

You may attend multiple dinners if you wish, there is no cost to attend. While it is okay for youth ministers/volunteers to attend with their youth, we do ask that parents allow the youth and college-age students to participate in these dinners on their own and that adults allow the young people to guide the conversation with the candidates. Please RSVP by Monday, September 17:

If you have any questions or need to change your RSVP, please contact Karen Schlabach, Youth Missioner and Interim Campus Missioner, or 913-708-5927.


Mega Eucharist Youth Sermon

Hey, Mega Camp! How are you? Awesome, awesome. So, the Gospel earlier reminded us that God is always there and that he’ll make sure that we’re always provided for. The people in the story were worried and scared that there wasn’t going to be enough food for everyone to eat. When Jesus told them to go eat the food, they looked at him with doubt and told him that there was no way everyone would have food. Jesus replied something along the lines of “Nah fam, I will always have your back,” and made it rain fish, which gave them enough to eat for a long long time. It was when they didn’t have enough that Jesus provided them with an abundance. Jesus showed them that he would always be there to provide.

In a lot of ways, we are a lot like the people. It is often that we believe that we don’t have enough until Jesus reminds us that we have more than enough. So, I’m going to tell you a little story about myself in relation to the Gospel. If I cry, I apologize. The Diocese of Kansas has always been something very special and dear to me. My very first youth event was New Beginnings in 2012, so 6th grade. I was very apprehensive about going because I had never been before and I didn’t really go to church because my mom didn’t. As soon as I arrived I felt accepted and like I belonged with everyone there. As the event went on, I felt myself getting closer and closer to the people around me, to myself, and to God. This was really big for me because for my whole life I had struggled with the thought of belonging and being alone. I only had my mom at home, my dad lives in Florida and my closest sibling was 4 hours away or more. There were times when I felt like I didn’t have enough love, care, friends, happiness, etc. I felt alone and I found myself always wishing for more. But let me tell you something… These youth events, camp included, have been my saving grace. It is here that I found the most happiness. I have found the best friends and the best mentors. I have formed the most amazing memories and had the best experiences in my life. For example, my very first Happening, I had an amazing experience. I got to know myself better and grow my relationship with God. During one of the surprise activities, I got some notes from people who were close to me and those who were not as close. It was eye-opening to know how many people are in my corner.

That was just one of many instances where people in the diocese made me feel loved. It was at these youth events that I realized that what I believed was not enough, had actually become an abundance. I am swimming in an ocean of love, support, friendship, and community. God has shown me that everything really does happen for a reason. I have been so blessed in my life. It is with my abundance that I go out into the world and community and give all that I can to make sure others feel like they have enough too, just like youth events and the people at them made me feel. A specific example of when I shared some of my abundance was last summer at Mission Wichita. At Mission Wichita we go into the community every day and volunteer. For one of those days, we went to ESS, Episcopal Social Services, and we got to help serve some of the homeless that had come there to eat lunch for free. While serving them, I could tell how grateful they were for the food they were receiving. I was extremely happy that I got to be a part of it. Another time I tried to share my abundance was at home in Lawrence. I was on Mass Street, and I had seen a homeless woman, many times before, but this time I decided to go buy her a cupcake. When I offered her the cupcake, she politely declined but explained to me how thankful she was that I thought of her.

When I give to others what has been given to me, it makes me feel as though I’m changing the world. Did you know that that’s how we’re going to do it? Change the world with love and acceptance? If you didn’t, now you do. Everyone deserves to feel loved and accepted and like they’re swimming in an abundance of it. So here I am, standing here as an 18-year-old, in my last year of camp, as a camper that is, about to go to college and I’m asking you to challenge yourself. I ask that you go out into the world, youth events, and everyday life and share all the love and acceptance you have been given with those around you. Soon enough, the world will be changed and your “enough” will be an abundance.

Eliana Seidner, Trinity Lawrence
Eliana graduated from Free State High School in May 2018 and will be attending the University of Nebraska-Omaha next year. She has served on the Diocesan Youth Commission, Bishop’s Search Committee, is a Youth Servant Leader, has been a Youth Delegate to Diocesan Convention, and is part of the Mustard Seeds youth band. She was co-rector of New Beginnings in Spring 2017 and Happening #92 in December 2017.

Friday @ Camp

Friday, Day 6: What If We Change the World?

Theological Summary: Jesus encourages us to embrace the ways that God wants to use us to make the world a better place.

Today, campers will…

  • learn that responding to God’s call can make a difference
  • imagine the world as God intends
  • learn that God’s Spirit is alive in us
  • find their community’s support in changing the world

Scripture Matthew 5:13-16, Focus: Matthew 5:16
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

ALL campers and staff got an award on Friday to celebrate their unique gifts to the week of camp.

Elementary: We explored our call to be “salt and light” through sharing their ideas of the changes they’d like to make in the world today, what it will take to make those changes, and what the challenges will be in making those changes. Campers enjoyed singing their favorite camp songs, wrote letters of encouragement to themselves and made “Let Your Light Shine (glow-in-the-dark) Slime.” Is been an awesome week together exploring all the ways God is even bigger and more wonderful than we’ve ever imagined!

The evening activity was the talent show!

9:45 am Horses, Canoeing, Archery, Arts& Crafts, Fishing, Gaga
11:00 am Waterfront
3:45 pm Swing, Skateboarding, Biking, Horses, Shelter Building, Rec Games

Junior High: Campers spent Friday talking about how they can change the world. We watched a video about identity and discussed what it means to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Campers then broke off into family groups to share the encouragement from Thursday that spoke to them most. We ended with a large group game of charades where family groups acted out the way their group planned to change the world. Some were putting an end to bullying, others donating to charity, and others making an effort to spread joy and affirmation. Eucharist was later celebrated by Fr. Andrew O’Connor, who gave an amazing reflection on our ability to make a difference in the world. The evening activity was the dance!

11:00 am Tower, Canoeing, Outdoor Cooking, Basketball, Fishing
2:15 pm Arts & Crafts, Biking, Archery, Shelter Building, Waterfront, Star Wars Role Playing Part 2
5:00 pm Swing, Horses, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Gaga, Low Ropes, Star Wars Role Playing Part 2

Senior High: We  wrapped up our week of programming with the question: What If We Change the World? As family groups, we imagined what the future could look like in regards to themes of injustice, inequality, and suffering in the world. We then thought about how we can be a light to change the world in our circles of influence. We had a time of personal reflection where each student was given a small candle. On the candle they wrote how they are going to change their world when they get home. We ended program singing Live Your Mission.

In worship, we had our Senior High Eucharist at High-Y. Students were active leaders in the service, leading music, being chalice bearers, reading, leading the prayers of the people, and more. Mother Kelly gave a powerful sermon reminding each of us of our worth and value and emphasizing that each of us has Kingdom work that God has given for us to do. At the conclusion of the service, graduating seniors stayed up at High-Y to reflect on their extensive camp experience.

We also had the “Senior Game Show” where we asked graduating seniors about their favorite camp memories and to give advice to younger campers. At dinner, all the senior high tables were moved out onto the Ritchie patio overlooking the lake for the “Senior Banquet.” The evening activity was the dance!

9:30 am Swing, Arts & Crafts, Biking, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Preston Hike
2:15 pm Horses, Tower, Canoeing, Adventure Hike, Gaga, Ultimate frisbee
3:30 pm Quad Time, Gaga, Dodgeball, setting up for the Senior Banquet, getting ready for the senior banquet/dance

Breakfast: Eggs and Toast
Lunch: Sloppy Joes, Bean Salad
Snack: Ice Pops
Supper: Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Mixed Vegetables, Rolls, and Cake


Thursday @ Camp

Thursday, Day 5: What If We Speak Up?

Theological Summary: If even Jesus can have his mind opened by fearlessness in the face of injustice, just imagine how big God’s grace must be!

Today, campers will…

  • discern God’s way for the world
  • find the courage to use their gifts as God’s voice in the world
  • reflect on where the world needs them most
  • claim personal passion as it connects with God’s vision for the world

Scripture Mark 7:24-30; Focus: Mark 7:25–26
But a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

Elementary: On Thursday, our Elementary campers focused on God’s call to Samuel during program time enjoying a somewhat silly Lego Video interpretation of Samuel’s confusion when God called to him in the night.  To further connect with the idea that a call to speak up can come up unexpectedly, and we might not always know what it means or what we are to do, the campers played a game called “Back to the Drawing Board.”  Similar to “Telephone,” the campers sat in rows facing the back of the person in front of them and were asked to “pass down” an image or word by drawing it on the back of the person sitting in front of them in hopes that the person in the front of the row could accurately draw the image on a dry-erase board.  Finally, following a reading of the second half of our passage in 1 Samuel by Jocelyn E., our campers engaged in discussion regarding how speaking up for what is right requires a great deal of courage with their family groups.  In worship, campers focused on the Gospel lesson from Mark and considered in cabin groups the challenges of entering into a new land or place and not understanding the culture, and the challenge of speaking up in that new culture. The evening activity was the Beach Party!

9:45 am Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Soccer, Arts & Crafts
11:00 am Waterfront
3:45 pm Swing, Gaga, Biking, Horses, Stream Exploration, Basketball, Recycled T-Shirt Tote Bags

Junior High: Our scripture reading for the day told the story of Jesus healing a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter. After a short game and MadLib, campers discussed that while Jesus did what they expected (healing the girl) in the end, He was rather harsh in his language towards the Gentile woman. We then broke off into family groups and discussed the obstacles that keep us from speaking out and doing the right thing. For Jesus, it was the cultural barrier between Jews and Gentiles, for our campers, obstacles included bullying, peer pressure, and shyness. Family groups created prayer stations, and students had the opportunity to travel between groups, pray for each other, and write out ideas for overcoming the obstacles written at each station. For worship, we held our healing service. Staff members were available for individual prayer and comfort. The evening activity was the talent show!

11:00 am Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Soccer
2:15 pm Adventure Hike, Fishing, Biking, Archery, Waterfront, Star Wars Role Playing
5:00 pm Swing, Horses, Basketball, Arts & Crafts, Preston Hike, Slackline, Talent Show Rehearsal

Senior High: Yesterday, Senior High started program with a game that illustrated injustice. Students reflected on how the injustice made them feel and how they responded to it. They then listened to the story of when Jesus heals the Syrophoenicians woman’s daughter. Next, we talked about speaking up using the example of prophets. Each family group made their own definition of prophet and gave examples of past and present prophets. All the family groups shared their thoughts with the large group. We ended our time with upbeat music that spoke about being that prophetic light in the world.

We held Youth Commission and Youth Delegate elections. New Youth Commissioners are Edith Stanford, Scott Adams, Gillian Typer, and Mercedes Juache. Our Youth Delegates this year are Josh Avery, Creed Ekerberg, Paul Carter, and John Butler with Edith Stanford as an alternate.

The evening activity was the Talent Show followed by the Healing Service for our daily worship. Our theme was hope even in the midst of hardship. Students were invited to participate in various prayer stations. One was a contemplative space praying with icons. Another was writing prayers as conversations with God. One was a finger prayer labyrinth counting our blessings. And then there were stations were students could pray with Servant Leaders (trained students) or with Episcopal staff. This service ended with singing “Indescribable” as a group, as a reminder of the God who is bigger than any of the challenges we may face.

9:30 am Archery, Arts & Crafts, Biking, Fishing, Gaga
2:15 pm Horses, Tower, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Waterfront, Survival Bracelets
3:30 pm Quad Time, Gaga, Speedball, Talent Show Rehearsal

Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls and Oatmeal
Lunch: Chicken Fajitas
Snack: Cheez-Its
Supper: Hamburgers & Hotdogs, macaroni salad, chips, watermelon

Wednesday @ Camp

Theological Summary: When we wonder, “Will there be enough?” Jesus shows us that we already have more than enough. 

Today, campers will…

  • see that God provides us tools to be who we need to be
  • experience that the more we trust God’s presence in our lives, the more we find ourselves guided toward abundance and peace
  • find that combining our gifts and passions with God and others is all that is needed to accomplish our hopes
  • learn that even if we aren’t satisfied with our own talents personally, God will find a place where we can contribute

Scripture John 6:1-14; Focus: John 6:10–11
Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

Elementary: We explored the concept of finding that you have more than enough even when you fear you have little. We did “team huddle prayers” for times in our life when we hope we have enough of something we need. Four campers acted out the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. Then we did a relay race to get our afternoon snack. We discussed how God can make even the impossible possible through our daily prophet Ezekiel and the dry bones and how God breathes new life into things that seem lifeless. We used a macaroni noodle as a metaphor for that – it needs water to make it edible.

9:45 am           Soccer, Canoeing, Archery, Arts & Crafts, Fishing, Gaga
11:00 am         Waterfront
3:45 pm           Swing, Gaga, Biking, Horses, Shelter Building, Rec Games, Music practice

They also had some free-play time in the afternoon with ladder golf, frisbee golf, badminton, and gaga.

Junior High: Junior High spent program time discussing the times they felt like they didn’t have enough, and learned that Jesus provides abundance when there appears to be scarcity. We started off with a dramatic reading of the “Valley of Dry Bones” vision in Ezekiel and learned about the Babylonian Exile. Family groups were then instructed to make WWJD bracelets together: but there was a catch. None of the family groups had enough materials to complete the bracelets on their own. Campers figured out that they had to share resources amongst each other so that there would be more than enough for everyone.

We also held Youth Commission elections and selected four people to serve on the Diocesan Youth Commission. Then we shared about all the other diocesan events throughout the year and encouraged them to join us!

11:00 am Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Basketball
2:15 pm Adventure Hike, Biking, Archery, Shelter building, Waterfront, Star Wars role play game
5:00 pm Swing, Horses, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Gaga, Low-Ropes, Bubbles & Bump-on-a-log

Senior High: Yesterday, during program, Senior High gathered to ask the question: What if There is More than Enough? We looked at the idea of miracles: from the Gospel of Mark and from one of our staff’s own experience. We then explored the idea of being the “miracle” that people need by sharing our abundance. We watched a video about how there is actually enough food in the world to feed everyone and how we can be part of the miracle that is ending food insecurity and hunger. Finally, students paired up in their family groups and were challenged to share an abundance of love with each other through compliments, hanging out, gifts, or side hugs over the next 24 hours.

9:30 am           Swing, Arts & Crafts, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Preston Hike
2:15 pm           Horses, Tower, Canoeing, Arts & Crafts, Gaga, Waterfront, Crafts with Kitty
3:30 pm           Gaga, Cricket, Quad Time, Cardboard Boats

Wednesday night is also the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta Race. Four teams of campers built boats out of cardboard, plastic sheeting, and duct tape. They are blessed by our chaplain, then they race in the swimming area at the lake! There were two heats and a final championship race for the Camp Wood Cup.

Worship: Wednesday night at camp we always have Mega Eucharist. All three camps join together on the “High-Y” amphitheater for Eucharist. Campers from all age-groups helped by doing the readings, leading prayers of the people, serving the chalice, leading music, and one of our graduating seniors gave the sermon.

Breakfast: egg, sausage, cheese breakfast burritos
Lunch: BBQ Beef Sandwich and coleslaw
Snack: Fruit snacks (and s’mores later)
Supper: Chicken, cheese & broccoli and baked potato

Tuesday @ Camp

Day 3: What If Hope Is Real?

Theological Summary: Jesus affirms that trusting in and acting on behalf of hopeful instincts is a powerful way to embody faith.

Today, campers will…

  • learn that hope is a necessary force in our faith lives
  • learn that hope can always be found and is a sign of God’s presence
  • learn hope pushes us to innovate and create new solutions to the world’s problems
  • learn where our hopes align with God’s hope and seek to align them further

Scripture Mark 2: 1-5; Focus: Mark 2:5
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 

Elementary: We started with Lego activities doing Lego prayers in our family groups. Each camper selected a Lego out of a bag and offered a prayer for themselves. Then for each stud on top of the Lego they offered a petition for someone else they know. Then they traded Legos with a neighbor and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for their neighbor. Each person added their Lego to the center to build a structure as they offered a prayer. Then we looked at each family group’s structure and talked about how everyone’s prayers are unique. They viewed a Lego animated version of Jesus Healing the Paralytic without narration. Then each family group wrote their own narration for the video. Then we focused on the four friends in the story who helped the man and talked about faithful friends.

For worship they continued talking about Jesus saving the paralytic and talked about strength in numbers. Chaplain Foster gave them a task to think in small groups of objects in everyday life that are stronger when you have multiple together. They’ve also been practicing the songs we will sing during Mega Worship Wednesday night.

Y-Time activities:
9:45 am: Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Soccer, Arts & Crafts
11:00 am: Waterfront
3:45 pm: Swing, Gaga, Biking, Horses, Creeking, Basketball

The evening activity was Movie Night with popcorn and lemonade. They watched Coco.

Junior High: We opened program with singing! Campers then talked about hope and learned what the word synoptic means. The staff performed their own version of “Jesus healing the paralytic at Camp Wood” and then each of the family groups created their own skits of hope using the same gospel story but with different settings (Hogwarts, Circus, Outer Space).

For worship, we did evening prayer with singing. Counselor Daniel Falk shared a personal reflection about how he found the church and found hope, even though his family didn’t attend church when he was in middle school, he started to go and kept it up!

Y-Time Activities
11:00 am: Tower, Canoeing, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Soccer
2:15 pm: Adventure Hike, Biking, Archery, Fishing, Waterfront, Star Wars Role Play
5:00 pm: Swing, Horses, Basketball, Arts & Crafts, Preston Hike, Slackline, Balloon Art

The evening activity was Gold Rush!

Senior High: We talked about how being in community can help extend hope to others. They created skits in their family groups acting out the Gospel reading from Mark. They performed their skits for each other and gave each other awards. Based on four different scenarios, the students wrote prayers and discussed how it can be difficult to find hope in hard situations. We ended by reflecting on a song with the main line, “All is not lost.”

For worship, we split into family groups and led evening prayer. They practiced finding things in the Book of Common Prayer and finding readings in the Bible.

Y-Time Activities:
9:30 am: Archery, Biking, Fishing, Gaga, Arts & Crafts
2:15 pm: River Canoe, Horses, Tower, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Waterfront, Yoga
3:30 pm: Quad Time, Gaga, Soccer, Cardboard Boat Building

The evening activity was Movie Night with popcorn and lemonade. They watched Wonder Woman.

Tuesday’s Meals:
Breakfast: Biscuits & Gravy
Lunch: Taco Salad
The afternoon snack was granola bars.
Dinner: Forkless Spaghetti

Monday @ Camp

Day 2: What if God is bigger?

Theological Summary: God chooses each of us to make God’s love bigger, and today is a day to invite campers to celebrate the ways God’s love can be made bigger by each of them.

Today, campers will…

  • learn that God is bigger than what has been and what we imagine will be
  • explore the vastness of God’s creation
  • discover amazing visions of God’s people that have already come to pass
  • wonder about what else they may still discover about God
  • claim discovery about God as a journey with no end

Scripture Luke 1:35-55; Focus: Luke 1:46–47
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”

Elementary: The focus today was on Mary’s song of praise and we learned the word Magnificat. We talked about what happens when God’s call to us is not always easy. We had four campers present the first part of the nativity narrative in costume! We watched a fun video of little children telling the nativity story and talked about their understanding of the challenges and joys that Mary faced.

For worship Chaplain Foster shared a personal story about not realizing he wanted to become a priest and how God’s call isn’t always what we expect, but usually turns out really great. Campers were given cards with objects written on them and had to put themselves in order from smallest to largest without sharing what they had. Then we had singing time!

The evening activity was Gold Rush, a crazy camp game with sheriffs, bandits, bankers, and competition between cabins.

Elementary Y-Times (Campers picked one each hour)
9:45 am           Horses, Canoeing, Archery, Arts & Crafts, Fishing, Gaga
11:00 am         Waterfront, water slide, mud slide
3:45 pm           Swing, Horses, Biking, Skateboarding, Shelter Building, Rec Games

Junior High: We started off watching a video showing the size of the universe and how God was bigger than that, but also within all of that, and created us to be a part of that. Our main activity today was building rockets! Each team had 5 kids with a different assigned “disability” (i.e. blind, mute, no right-arm, no hands). They had to build a rocket ship 1 foot tall, that looked like a rocket ship, was transportable, and could carry an egg (“Neil Eggstrong”) through an obstacle course. The focus was that Mary was called to something really big, but she couldn’t have done it without help. So realizing that part of what we’re called to do as Christians is encourage one another, follow God’s plan, and be a part of the world he created.

For worship we did evening prayer. Abby Zimmerman shared a reflection about a time when she hid from God and how she got out of that and grew an even stronger faith.

The evening activity was movie night with popcorn! We watched The Greatest Showman.

Junior High Y-Times (Campers picked one each hour)
11:00 am         Tower, Canoeing, Outdoor Cooking, Basketball, Fishing
2:15 pm           Arts & Crafts, Biking, Archery, Shelter Building, Waterfront
5:00 pm           Swing, Horses, Soccer, Arts & Crafts, Low Ropes, Gaga

Senior High: We started program with a responsive gathering, a Call to Worship. We read the story of Mary and Elizabeth. We talked about how remembering our blessings and being a blessing to others can expand our vision of our circumstance and our vision of God. Everyone took a few minutes to write down blessings in their lives, and some people shared. In family groups, we had the opportunity to write words of blessing to the Junior High campers. We finished program with singing!

For worship we had Eucharist with songs throughout and a guided discussion during the sermon about our fears and how to break out of those fears.

The evening activity was game night and we had the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Everyone was sorted into the 4 houses of Hogwarts, and then they competed in Quidditch, catch the dragon egg, whomping willow, Bertie Botts every flavor beans relay, and Tri-Wizard cup search. Slytherin won the tournament.

Senior High Y-Times (Campers picked one each hour)
9:30 am           Arts & Crafts, Swing, Biking, Skateboarding, Outdoor Cooking, Preston Hike
2:15 pm           Tower, Canoeing, Adventure Hike, Waterfront, Gaga
3:30 pm           Gaga, Basketball, Quad Time, Giant Jenga, Music Practice

Monday Meals:
Breakfast – pancakes and sausage (there’s also always fruit, cereal and yogurt available)
Lunch – Meatball subs and pasta salad (there’s also always salad)
Afternoon snack – Rice Crispy Treats
Supper – Enchilada casserole, rice, re-fried beans (there’s also always salad)