Thursday, 11 August 2011

Remembering the Old and Celebrating the New...

New Members that is! This past week we had a lovely bunch of eager adults in their first or second year of the New Members Programme for joining the Iona Community come down the track for a week of joining together to share in food, fellowship, reflection, and the common task!

As George MacLeod used to say, “A demanding common task builds community,” and let me tell you we had some demanding tasks for the new members to tackle as they spent their mornings working alongside the Camas staff to give the centre some MUCH needed TLC. No task was too great for this lot... no stove back plate stuck on too tight (given the right tools and blowtorch), no track planks too rotted (thanks to the amazing wood scavenging skills of a select few), no wetsuit too torn, and no garden bed too wild. Paintbrushes and weeds were flying until Thursday afternoon when we were still pulling folk away from their tasks to get packed up and ready for Camas Challenge.

We were able to pull a few folks away from their “demanding common tasks” in the afternoons throughout the week for all the usual Camas activities of kayaking, abseiling (in the rain no less), and raft building (best not ask the boys how that went). A surprising number of the New Members were early risers, so many spent their free time in the mornings before breakfast going for walks to the Trig Point, Market Bay, and various other hilltops as well. A few brave souls even went for a swim or two!

Evening sessions with Peter MacDonald were reported to have been deep and meaningful, and the staff enjoyed having a bit of a light evening work schedule for a change. Hot Chocolate, live music, and chatting filled the common room in the evenings, and the company was as warm and inviting as the candlelight!

The week finished in style with a Camas Challenge that resembled a Christmas feast! Banquet style tables and a four course “A La Carte” menu left everyone overstuffed and only fit for remaining seated to enjoy the entertainment which flowed in around the meal and evening reflection. It was fitting to end the week with such a celebration... for the community that we formed over the week, the community that brought us all together (either as members or staff), and for the second year New Members who would be going across the water the next day to be welcomed as full members of the Iona Community. We as staff wish them all the best during the “Deathly Hallowing” service, and look forward, as ever, for next year when we will again join together for a week with the 2012 New Members.