Communion to Community.

Sorry for the sudden departure and complete lack of warning. Honestly, I thought I’d be able to toss up a few posts while at Summer Camp, but it never happened. Sorry bout that. It’s just a little practice for Scotland next week, cause who even knows how much I’ll be able to blog there. I have a great plan, but we see how well THAT worked out at this camp…. so…..

And just for your personal information, I wrote blog posts in my mind multiple times. Which either means I’m dedicated or addicted. Or both. Apparently I’m not the only one- as this video with Justin, Randel, and Brad displays. Yes, we climbed the bleachers to the top and sat and blog-talked. Ain’t no shame in my game. There were a few other great bloggers at camp, but they were engaged in student ministry or something like that. You know.

What an amazing week. As you know from last year, this is one of the highlight, if not THE highlight, week of my year. With so much going on right now, it was hard to get as excited as I usually do about camp. But I loved being there.

If you want to see me totally actin a fool, GO HERE to our video website and watch “Morning Thing”videos on demand- I’m the one giving the rules and laughing too loudly at my own jokes.

Also, you can watch the Homecoming Service tonight at 6pm EST if you so desire.

I’m not going to recap everything, that’s boring to everyone except me. And honestly, if I want to recap that bad, I’ll just look in the mirror and tell myself stories. I’m not above such behavior.

For me, this year had an added bonus of “I totally adore these adults and students and I am moving away from them in 30 days”. So that was a pleasure. Because more than once, I would have a conversation with someone and as they walked away, I would have to blink back tears just at the mere idea of not seeing them regularly. It’s a true delight to live in a constant state of almost cry.

I stood in the shower yesterday evening, exhausted and brokenhearted. Running about thirty minutes late to name tag check for dinner, I couldn’t move any faster or shake the haze over my heart. Faces kept flashing through my mind and I’d stand there, as the water poured over my face and think, “Oh God. I’m leaving him too. And her. And her. And him.” The combination of complete exhaustion and deep love for these people was almost too much.

This morning, as we met together for our last service, I was one of the communion servers. I got to hold the bread and say, “This is the body of Christ. Broken for you.” I almost always tear up when I get the privilege of serving communion- there is just something about being in that moment between Jesus and one of His people that is so personal and private and beautiful. [I also tear up because I’m Annie. Sue me.]

But this time, tears dropped from my eyes as many of those same faces that were in my mind just last night were pulling bread from my hands. These students that I love. I’d look right at them, say their name, and tell them the truth- that Jesus’ body was broken for them. The sacrifice He made is never more real to me than when I repeat those words to each kid that passes. And watch their hearts respond.

Then it was the adults’ turns. I looked in each face, many of whom are the same counselors I knew when I was a student. Many of whom are my very best friends. I thought, “If ever a moment that I want to share with you to say thank you for how you have loved me, it is this.”

[Let me insert- obviously communion is totally NOT about me. Duh. And I’m not saying that. I’m just saying it was an honor to serve these that have served me in SO MANY WAYS for my entire life. Continue on….]

I could hardly get the words out. As each passed, we all knew what this moment was saying. Thank you. Goodbye. I love you. All of it over a ripped piece of tear-stained bread that represented Christ, who had brought us together in the first place. They cried as they took the bread, knowing what I know- that this really was the best way to say goodbye. To honor Jesus in the brokenness.

And therein lies my deepest sadness about the move to Nashville. The people I leave behind.

Yet therein lies the perfect chance for God to do something miraculous for me in Nashville-

Give me a community.

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