MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.

MKCampout2016E

And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee
Fowler


MainKids Camp Out 2016

June 23, 2016

MKCampout2016DBy Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Our fourth and fifth graders are at a point in their lives when they are ready to exercise their gifts of leadership and to dig deeper into the practices of corporate and personal worship. Camp Out at Artesian Lakes is the perfect place to safely and boldly lean into these two ideas. Below is a sentence or two from each of the 9 4th and 5th grade girls on what their favorite aspect of Camp Out is, but before you read on to their favorites, let me briefly share some of my favorites.

I love that we bring high school youth to serve as the perfect role models to the children in how we lead with a servant’s heart. They work REALLY hard and at the same time swim and play games establishing relationships to ease the transition to the Youth Group, sing songs around a campfire introducing them to Youth music and traditions, and sit side by side in worship praising and praying together.

One of my other favorite elements of Camp Out is our tradition of “Circle Time”. Every child, youth and adult gets the opportunity to sit in the middle of a big circle surrounded by all the rest of us, where we each, one by one, sisters and brothers, boys and girls, best friends and new friends, offer a sincere blessing which begins “What I like about you is…”. It is a beautiful gift of affirmation to receive and a empowering gift to give. This tradition is life giving and life transforming.

I could on and on about all of my other aspects of Camp Out, but for now hear straight from the kids and counselors themselves…

 

My fav part of camp is riding the horses. It’s fun. #horses

Gillian Tinsley

I love to ride things mainly horses, and Lily G. Hot coco in my mouth is the best! J Playing games in circle time is great!

Isabella Campos

MKCampout2016A

During camp, everyone has a secret helper. Their secret helper is extra nice to them and pushes them in the right direction.

Elaina Mays

The absolute best thing about camp out is the opportunity to watch each and every child be authentically and completely themselves! We have the BEST kids!!

Amanda Villasenor

I love the outside space at Artesian Lakes. Our house is huge, and I love how big our living room is. #lake

Lily Gribble

MKCampout2016B

I loved the pool another favorite is the slide and finally the store the best of all the three!

Kiran Harper

One thing that I love about Camp Out is swimming. I also love the Gratitude Cafe. I also love circle time.

Lily Durden

The absolute best part of camp is quiet time when all my friends come in my room and we have a snack party and talk. It is nice being new to the church and getting to know everybody. I love circle time a lot. I also enjoy swimming.

Jessie Horton

One thing I like so far in camp is hanging with my friends. Another thing I like about camp so far is Gratitude Café. The last thing I like so far in camp is the swimming and the alligators.

Kayden Nickel

 

One of the many things I love about Main Kids Camp Out is Gratitude Café. First thing in the morning, everybody in the house gathers to make crazy drinks – topped with sprinkles and whipped cream, and talk about the many blessings for which we are grateful. Gratitude Café allows us to really reflect on the joys in our life, from tangible objects to our friendships and opportunities. This daily morning ritual fills our hearts with thanksgiving and prepares us for the day.

Anna Rader

MKCampout2016C

My favorite things about Camp Out are:

-Swimming in the lake

-Circle time outside

-Free time

Rachel Kee

My favorite thing about Camp Out every summer is watching the development of every child’s leadership skills! I have especially loved so far this week seeing both the fourth and fifth graders be and grow into incredibly mature and thoughtful members of our church family, and I am so excited for the future of the youth group and the church in the hands of such open-minded and knowledgeable Christians. The respect and care for which each and every child treats their peers and counselors and their unrelenting curiosity and joy has made Camp Out this summer an unparalleled experience!

Elysa Tulek


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 5

June 16, 2016

By Brian Chambers

On our first mission trip to Peru our group was able to visit La Plaza de Armas, the beautiful area within Lima containing the Presidential Palace, Congress, and the Cathedral of Lima. Though we could walk around the cathedral’s impressive exterior, we were previously unable to enter.

PeruDay5.JPGHowever, this time around our small group was fortunate enough to be allowed to enter into this awe-inspiring building. Enormous sculptures of meticulously crafted wood and stone adorned several inlets within the main chamber of the cathedral, great care taken to perfect even the smallest aspects of the artwork. Our tour guide, Marta, took us into the crypt below the altar. Once in the crypt our music minister, Carey Cannon, lined up the youth choir and we proceeded to sing “Esto Les Digo”. The sound of the music echoed through the catacombs, enhancing our voices. Other visitors to the cathedral came down the narrow stairs leading to the crypt, some with cameras in hand, to listen. The entire experience was extremely moving and unforgettable!

Brian Chambers is beginning his Freshman Year at Texas A&M this Fall. He was active in band, but this week is helping in the Discovery (science, art, gardening) and Recreation Classes at OSA. He is the son of Mark and Jeannie, and the brother of Suzanne.


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 3

June 14, 2016

By Isabella Baar-Hill

As a member of the music and dance team on the mission trip to Peru, I teach the kids songs and dances to perform for their parents and friends at the end of the week. Breaking through the language barrier, we learned specific Spanish words that are often used in teaching music and dance. During our second full day in Peru at OSA, we presented the children with the theme of Cultural Exchange; we worked from American & Texan perspectives so the kids got a taste of our culture. During dance, we played many rounds of musical chairs (a game I’ve quickly learned they LOVE). We only played English music because that’s what we know and brought with us. While others led the game, I played and stopped the music, watching the kids from the side lines. I began to notice that the kids were quietly singing and humming along to our English songs, words they couldn’t have known. I realized these kids were subconsciously, and joyfully learning our culture in ways we had not planned.PeruSummerBlogDay3During the music classes, Carey took time to teach and translate words we could use in common enabling us to bond with them in a unique way. I was reminded of how excited the kids were two years ago when I came when they would ask how to say things in English and I’d attempt to teach them. This was a new and eye opening experience because I was accustomed to being their student, struggling to learn Spanish. Their willingness to overcome our foreign language and pronunciations with attitudes of joy is a gift I will carry home with me. Their openness to a new culture despite the struggle is inspiring. Every moment I spend with these kids who show such eagerness to learn despite failure, makes me strive more and more to be like them.

Isabella Baar-Hill completed her Junior Year at Houston Christian High School. She is the daughter of J Hill and Hillevi Baar.


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 2

June 14, 2016

By Drew Barkley

Day one of VBS. We’ve spent weeks preparing songs, dances, crafts, games, stories, etc. all for today. For my team, recreation, we had thought about the games we wanted to play with the kids and how the games could relate to the daily scripture and theme. We even prepared back up games in case we had to call an audible, or had extra time at the end.

This is not my first Peru trip, and certainly not my first time leading a group of kids, even in a foreign language. Each time I’m working with kids whether it’s at VBS, here in Collique, or working at a camp, I always try to have everything prepared and ready to go for day one. However, I seem to forget that no matter how much I prepare ahead of time, I will NEVER know what to expect each day.

PeruSummerBlogDay2As the OSA kids came in for the morning session, I found myself thinking, “Am I REALLY ready for this?” For me, I’ve had enough experience to know that the answer is “no”. Yet knowing that I’m not really ready doesn’t stress me out or worry me. I’ve learned that as long as I keep a positive attitude and a willing spirit, I can help and serve wherever and however I’m needed. So today I feel like I did just about everything: told bible stories, led games, ate deformed PB&Js, and learned how to assemble a wooden penguin (which was a lot harder than we expected). To some, my day of running around being a leader, an interpreter, and a teacher sounds chaotic and exhausting. Truthfully, days like today are why I come on trips like these. I get to have an abundance of such diverse experiences all in one day. It’s my hope that our youth continue to dive into to the work we have started this week and find the same joy I do in working with the people of Collique. 

Drew Barkley is a recent graduate of Emory University, fluent in Spanish, and is leading our Bible Story and Recreation rotations with VBS at OSA. This is his third trip to OSA, and first as an adult chaperone.


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 1

June 12, 2016

By Anna Rader

Today, we got the opportunity to visit OSA’s new church, Luz de Esperanza, and meet some of their youth as well as participate in their worship service. As returning youth, we saw some familiar faces and encountered new ones as we passed through confused faces and broken translations with silly games, from finger jousting to Gigantes, Magos, y Duendes. Sharing some of our own youth group game traditions, we got to know the other youth and break the ice. After these games, we sang for them in both Hebrew and Spanish and listened to a heartwarming story told by Kevin and translated into Spanish by Dennis. As we worshipped together, we realized that while we may speak different languages, sing different songs, or pray in different ways, we all worship the same God. Our faith unites people from Houston, Rome, Collique, and many other cities around the world, which is a very comforting and humbling feeling.perusummer2016Day1.jpg

Anna Rader is a recent graduate of Manvel High School. In the Fall she will be attend William & Mary.


Change…a first visit to South Main

May 15, 2014

ImageBy South Main Member Erin DuBroc

I’ve always been a lover of change.  There were no tears from me on the last day of high school — I was already half-way to College Station in my heart and mind.  Even at the conclusion of those college days my Dad told me would encompass “the best time of [my] life”, I couldn’t wait to start graduate school and get a move on.  That isn’t to say that I don’t value loyalty or enjoy nostalgia, but rarely have I experienced fear over changing circumstances.  Although, recently I started to wonder if that was wholly good.  Darn that desire to practice more self-awareness in my thirties.  

For me, change is almost always partnered with an intoxicating novelty I tend to bask in.  Novelty, that I’ve just begun to see, can do a number on my already handicapped ability to be objective.  Not that I never suffer from cynicism, but it’s not often my vice when presented with new people, a new order or way of doing things, or even a blank slate from which to create.  I usually approach change with, I admit, a fair amount of naiveté and blissful enthusiasm.  This is slightly different from my husband, of course.  How else would iron sharpen iron, right?

For example, the first Sunday we visited a new church — that I had already researched and read up on, of course — I was quickly overwhelmed with giddiness.  Rightfully so as many of the aspects of church I had deemed non-negotiable moving forward were playing out in this beautiful harmony right in front of me and to a degree I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever find in Houston.  (See, I do suffer from some cynicism.)

Between the condensed size of the congregation, inclusion of women in every aspect of the service and church leadership, emphasis on slower, more contemplative worship, and the mention of a book by one of my favorite authors being the congregational devotional for Lent (oh, and the recognition of the liturgical calendar!),  I was beside myself.  I probably teared up with joy nine times, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you tried.  I was not hallucinating, I was affirmed in my convictions (as opposed to feeling like an outsider, troublemaker and quasi-heretic), and that was only the first ten minutes.

The inclusion of children’s church, the thoughtful recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the singing of the doxology, the heartfelt congregational responses to celebrations like baptism and infant dedications, the beyond-impressive number of unprompted welcomes we received from various members, and the fact that the pastor greeted us on our way out and said “let’s get lunch sometime”, nearly pushed me over my emotional limit.  On a scale of one to ten with my wedding day being a ten, I was probably at an 8.5.  I wish I could bottle that kind of enthusiasm and sell it.  If only, Shark Tank.

But if you were to look over to my husband during those first ten minutes, you’d see a more reserved portrait of a person vacillating between open-mindedness and nervous tics.  We were definitely on the same page regarding our desires for church, but our outward appearances and processing methods were polar opposite.  His right knee couldn’t stop bouncing, his eyes were slightly wide and his body a bit shifty sitting amidst the wooden pews, cathedral ceiling and breathtaking stained glass.  He couldn’t have been more supportive of my curiosity of this newly discovered egalitarian baptist church a mere fifteen minutes from our front door, but the man isn’t as much of a lover of change.  He analyzes first and feels later, is admittedly more pessimistic than me, and plays the role of devil’s advocate very well.  His overall attitude couldn’t be more gracious, but he’s a harder sell overall.  This used to drive me crazy and prompt a lecture about him being a stick-in-the-mud, but I’ve really learned to appreciate this aspect of his personality.

The balance his perspective brings challenges me to temper my assessment of newness with little less emotion and a bit more objectivity.  I’ve come to understand that’s not a proverbial wet blanket at all but rather a strength.   Plus, it leads to a lot less disappointment if something doesn’t end up being as perfect as those first few glances deem.  Thankfully, our marriage has been thriving despite this difference between us, and it’s been a real testament to our commitment to being true and mutually submissive partners.

If I’m perfectly honest, though, I have to make note of the fact that the type of change I love is usually the kind I can anticipate or control.  I don’t know many people who thrive on being blind-sided, so I’m sure this perfectly normal.  However, how I choose to respond to abrupt change is what I’ve also been working to improve.  Constructive coping skills don’t naturally bubble up when my expectations are challenged, and I’m tired of paying the price for poor ones.  Between the inevitable disappointments in relationships, the flat-out crazy throes of newborn-hood (which I can still remember and anticipate, even four years later), and minding the delicate balance between personal preference and compromise with my husband for the greater good of our family, it’s a worthy, if not crucial, endeavor.  Change, tumult, and sheer surprise will be recurrent companions as I journey through life, that’s for sure.



Y’All Come Hear Kate Campbell, OK?

May 9, 2011

Kate Campbell in Concert at South Main

By David and Mary Corban – David serves as the chair of deacons and Mary has prepared thousands of meals for our youth and church family. They are parents to Andrew and Ethan and members of the Graceland Sunday School Community.

You need to come hear Kate Campbell when she performs at South Main’s Youth Center on Saturday evening, May 14. Previous notices of this event have touted Kate’s gifts as a musician and songwriter, and folks in the music business obviously regard Kate as a thoughtful (sometimes even side-slapping) lyricist – else she would not have had guest artists on her most recent CD such as John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Spooner Oldham. Her music is rooted in traditional Southern hymns, the blues, soul, R&B, country, and folk music, and she tours extensively across America and overseas in support of her CDs, including an upcoming tour to Ireland.

We would add that Kate conveys a real sense of time and place in her music. If you were a child in the South during the 1960’s, her songs will speak to you. When she sings the humorous “Funeral Food” or “Jesus and Tomatoes Coming Soon,” she captures the scene so well because you’ve been there — you’ve eaten the food, shared the laughter, and stopped at the roadside produce stands with hand-lettered signs. Other songs tell stories that touch the heart in a more serious vein, like “Visions of Plenty,” which vividly portrays a family’s desire to overcome poverty in the rural South.

But more importantly, we need to point out that Kate is the grand-daughter of Kathryn Henry (Kathryn and David’s mother were life-long best friends, and yes, that’s Kathryn on the cover of Kate’s CD, Moon Pie Dreams); the daughter of a Baptist minister, Jimmy Henry, who grew up with David’s brother, Bruce; and the wife of another fine fellow, Stan Campbell, who formerly pastored the Corban family’s church in Orlinda, Tennessee. Now if you can follow all those relational connections, then you must be a Southerner, either by birth or inclination; well acquainted with fried chicken and garden-grown tomatoes; and generally gifted with a sense of humor and an appreciation of music, history, literature, and the storytelling arts.

In other words, you are a Kate Campbell fan just waiting to blossom.

So come join the Corbans and the rest of the South Main family when Kate Campbell performs in the Youth Center on Saturday, May 14 at 7 pm. Tickets are available here. (Alternatively, David says to just give him some money and he’ll see what we can do.) Oh, and bring your friends, too!

South Main Baptist Church – The Inner Loop Church


New chances. New life. New futures.

February 23, 2011

By Kevin Sinclair, Minister to Youth

I’ve seen two things recently on which–I think–God wants me to reflect. These two events represent, on one hand, the paradoxical spectrum of work that we ministers do from time to time.

First off, let me say, have you ever had one of those weeks where you had like three things you HAD to get done, and by Thursday you realize, due to other metaphorical fires that need extinguishing (Tom Ehlers, a firefighter, is one of my all-star youth leaders, so I feel as though I should specify the figurative, imaginary nature of MY fires), you have not done any of those tasks? Yep. That is what I am talking about.

Armed with a cup of coffee and the best intentions, I set out to complete my task: DiscipleNOW logistics, an exhaustive email to Host Homes and Leaders, and Curriculum, Curriculum, Curriculum! In the words of the great poet, Meatloaf…two outta three ain’t bad…right?

As the morning rolled along and I crafted my emails and work, like Michelangelo if he had an Apple Laptop and was writing emails, and I received a distressing email from my beloved former church colleague, now turned city-wide colleague, the always marvelous, Chelsea Wade, who is now doing extraordinary development work over at SEARCH Homeless Service. It was the day of their GED Graduation service, and Erin Conaway was commissioned to offer the invocation. The pianist for the service canceled at the last minute, and they needed not only a keyboardist, but a keyboard itself. Fortunately, the ever-resourceful Thomas Coker had an extra electronic keyboard in his office that he allowed me to take to Chelsea. After dropping off this relic from 1994 of an instrument (Hey, it played notes at least!), I left SEARCH. A hour later, poor, sweet Chelsea discovers that her now back-up keyboardist has canceled, and asks if I can bring my guitar and play a little. Erin and I rush to my house where my trusty guitar, affectionately named Hudson by my friend Chris August, the previous owner, and I see my new accordion. “Hmm, I wonder…” I pick up my accordion and play, without a blemish the first half of pomp and circumstance, and then fumble through a few notes. Surprising as it might seem, I am not so bold and brash to carry an instrument I can barely play (I am getting there, but not quite yet!), to a graduation service and blare out tunes on my accordion (Yet to be named, btw).

We arrive to the service, and in walk the graduates. Two young men enter from the back wearing green graduation robes and hats, followed by many others who are being promoted to the next level within the program. As the teachers and also Mike Feinberg who started KIPP and Yes Prep (If you don’t know what these are, google them) rose to spoke, a sense of affirmation and pride swelled in the room. I can’t speak for everyone else in the room, but the dining area at SEARCH, for that moment at least, became holy ground…a place of second, third, fourth, possibly even seventy times seven chances…a place of resurrection and salvation. One woman rose to tell her story, a story of abuse, addiction, failure, and ultimately victory and redemption. She ended by saying, as simply as I have ever heard, yet more profoundly than all my seminary classes combine, “When I was going through recovery, my sponsor always said, ‘I know it’s hard, but with God all things are possible.'”

New chances. New life. New futures. Who could ask for more for these young men?

So as I right this on a cold evening, I took my youth bowling at Palace Bowling Lanes. To match the standard Kid’s Night Out format, we were scheduled to be at Palace Lanes from 6:30 to 10:00 bowling. In case you have not done the math, that’s 3 1/2 hours of being in the same place with a gaggle of middle schoolers and high schoolers. Now, faithful blog reader, if I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’…our group two years ago would have after about 2 hours started fussing about how bored they were or just left…but not this group. Our youth group has gone through some major maturation and evolution in the past two and a half years I have been here. It takes time to knit community, and God is doing that with us on a day to day basis. Tonight, I was absolutely floored at the camaraderie, patience, love, enthusiasm, and joy that just permeated our five lanes. Everyone being cheered for when they knocked down even one pin, and then encouraged on every gutterball.

I told some of my leaders, “Look at this. They just love each other!” The drama, cliques, and junk all left at the door…high schoolers and middle schoolers playing together and just living life and loving every second of it. I struggle a great deal to think how I can make this group closer and better.

Am I one good curriculum or night of worship away from becoming exactly who God has created us to be? I think not. I think we are, in fact, already exactly who God created us to be, but the beauty with how God sees workmanship is that the work is never complete. We are all at once whole and perfectly formed, and broken, longing for repair.

What do these stories have to do with each other. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe everything. What seems to amaze me the most about how God does whatever it is that God does is that so often the most beautiful, holy, sacred moments in life are the ones that we don’t orchestrate…we just show up with our guitar to make some music or we buy a couple of pizzas and God takes those meager offerings and before we know it, we stand in the presence of the Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.