Wednesday evening at Mega Camp all of the age groups gather together for Mega Eucharist up on High-Y. Graduated High School Seniors, Christian Parker and Riley Demo, both of St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Overland Park, KS gave their sermons on the day’s theme: Agape. Enjoy reading their messages below.
Christian: Hey I’m Christian. I’ve met a lot of awesome people throughout my years of youth events and camp. I’ve created really strong connections with younger and older campers. Everyone that comes really wants the same goal. They all want to have a good time with all of these great people, while also growing as a person. I have never gone a day at a youth event without seeing a moment that resembles Agape. If it’s just bros being bros or sisters chilling together, there always is just so much content.
I really want everyone to take a moment to take it all in. Growing up at Camp Wood is amazing and I don’t think we realize how absolutely lucky we are to be here.
I’ve made a lifetime of memories. All of this love and support from the diocese is so fulfilling and I can’t imagine my life without it. I’ve gained worlds of experiences all while growing in Christ’s love. This is a magical week. Let yourself be in the moment.
Riley: So if you don’t know me my name is Riley Demo. My brother is Asher Demo and my mom is Kelly Demo. And I’ve been coming to camp for God knows how many years (10ish??). My parents have always been a huge part of the Episcopal community so, in turn, I have been involved in the church for years.
My experience with camp has been none less than amazing. As Christian said, it’s been an amazing week. Christian was one of my first friends I ever made in the diocese. We went our first year together to camp. We both had a pretty rough week, not gonna lie. I got super homesick cause I missed my mom and Christian couldn’t pass the swim test for his life. But the thing was we were able to find each other and become friends really easily because we had that awkward connection. Wednesday we started kind of hanging out and suddenly started having a blast just because we were able to be in each other’s company.
I just want to portray how much that means to me. The friendships made here at Camp Wood are special and unique. How many of you have made a friend here? (if you’re not raising your hand please see me after the service so we can change that) And you love them right?
Now, this week we touched on Agape. That is just one form of love. Little did all of you know, there are 7 forms of love (according to the Greek’s) AND you can find every single kind right here at camp (wow-za).
Aros: lovey-dovey (the gross kind)
Agape: Godly, selfless kind of love. When you love something but you’re not quite sure why,
Ludus: childlike playful love. (loving pizza.)
Philia: Friendship kind of love
And so on
Now, you may be wondering, why is she telling us these weird Greek words?
I’m not gonna lie I’ve struggled with my faith. I struggled to belong here for a week without my parents and although I’m not that old, I’ve been through many parts of a faith journey that is ever winding. But what I’ve figured out and what I’m trying to stress is that this week, here at Camp Wood, that doesn’t matter. These people here love me. I could shave my head or do something awful or anything and the thing is these people around me will still love me.
That is what I want you to take away from this. I want you to know that EVERYONE here loves you and supports you and will care for you in whatever way they can. That is why camp is special. But camp shouldn’t be the only place that is special. I want you to take that love and support mentality into the world. Whether it is work or school or the grocery store or anywhere I want you to take it.
How do you do that? Smile laugh (because it’s contagious like actually… look up the TEDtalk about it). But finally, tell them. Tell people you love them. That will definitely get the point across, I promise.
Thanks for listening to me. Love you.