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- Vibrant weekly worship centered in the Eucharist
- Engaging faith formation and education for children, youth, and adults
- Mission and outreach to those in need in our community…and beyond
- A welcoming and hospitable community of faith and friendship in Jesus Christ
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Pastoral Ponderings . . .
On Saturday July 8, 59 youth and adult Workcampers departed for Rushville, Indiana on the St. Joseph Parish 16th annual workcamp mission trip. We packed one trailer filled with tools and a bus full of sleeping bags, air mattresses, coolers and clothes and got on THE ROAD. For the first time in 16 years we returned to a location we have visited before, Rushville, Indiana. We joined 380 other campers for a week of service to the community.
This year’s theme “The Road” was taken from Luke 24:13-15. We were invited to stop talking and quietly listen – His love will guide the way. We asked the workcampers to bring their whole heart to the road we were on and open it up to the possibilities!
All week we reflected on the ways in which Jesus walks with us while on life’s journey: disappointment and doubt, doubt to hope, hope to hunger, hunger to joy and bringing that joy home. Throughout the week we kept seeing Jesus walking side by side with us, being asked to feel that love in our hearts.
The community of Rushville showed tremendous welcome and hospitality as we drove up to the school we stayed at: music, games, walking tacos, ice cream and a community gift bag. Not to mention the daily snacks, high fives, cheering and huge smiles! On our Wednesday afternoon off we were treated to a free Christian concert and an authentic hog roast feast for dinner. A true outpouring of support and love for the hands, hearts and feet doing good deeds for the community of Rushville.
Working in crews, the many projects consisted of interior and exterior painting, construction of wheel chair ramps and decks, roofing and other assorted projects for the residents. Our youth were joined by the residents in daily reflections, many who provided hospitality, a location for rest and the joy of sharing their story. Stories that touched the hearts of our workcampers. Our work journey was interrupted with a full day of storms on Tuesday: flooding, downed trees and debris. Our prayers were answered, the weather improved and course reset took place. All projects were completed by the end of the week.
The week ended with an evening of celebration with the residents. All shared in song and smiles for a final time. Residents came to the floor and shared their heartfelt gratitude in front of the entire assembly. Our hearts could feel the impact, love and sincere gratitude the residents felt for the work completed and connections made with the youth and adults. Many expressed how they would miss workcampers as they felt they were family.
We hope this offered you a glimpse into the spirit of Workcamp which you have supported all year round! We thank you for taking the time to celebrate our good works this weekend. Please take a look at the pictures and listen to our stories. In this sharing we open our hearts to you!
In closing, I offer my personal and heartfelt thank you to Sheri Hanson and the youth and adults on this trip whose faith filled presence and support made this trip the most memorable workcamp I have experienced. I also extend my gratitude to Brenda Cline, the workcamp prep team, youth leaders and you the parish for your prayers and generosity. God is good…All the time!
Read more about what is happening in our parish in this week’s Bulletin.