|Bishop Kieran with Young People on Damascus Camp|
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Damascus in Guildford - Date for Next Year's Diary
This happened some time ago, but thought it would be good share and people can always put the date in the diary for next year:
Aseel Gilbert, Youth Coordinator for the Guildford Cluster reports - "When I joined the DAMASCUS team for the first ever camp 8 years ago I didn't realise just how much those few days would impact on my life. I know it sounds dramatic and a bit cliché but it's true. So what is it about DAMASCUS that makes it so special for me and I know lots of other people?
First of all, Wintershall Estate, in Bramley is beautiful. The views from the campsite are stunning, particularly the sunsets. It's so peaceful and walking round the estate is a real treat. The cross on the hill, outside Holly Barn that we occupy, lights up at night and there have been some really special prayerful moments that have happened there. For me, that first summer in 2006 by that cross I felt most clearly a call from God into full-time youth ministry, which is now what I do for the Guildford Cluster.
Second, the workshops have been so inspiring. They give us an opportunity to reflect and express our faith in lots of different and creative ways. The teachings through the bible and Church teachings are those moments that lead us to worship. They open our eyes to new things and prepare our hearts to sing and praise God together in the barn and back in our parishes.
Thirdly, the music worship led by our youth band is a real highlight of DAMASCUS. Those times when we reflect on the lyrics, we sing, jump, dance and lift our hands, when we let go of the world for a moment and praise God in that barn with our brothers and sisters is something else. Brothers and sisters... Oh please! I hear you say. Yes another cliché. But there are so many young people that come to DAMASCUS on their own and from different places but by the end of the first day, you wouldn't know.
We were so blessed this year to be joined by Bishop Kieran who gave an inspirational talk on trust through art and walked with the young people around the estate. Fr Alex Hill gave us an animated talk on the cross that led to a night walk round the estate that finished with prayerful silence by the cross. Martin Brown, from CAFOD A&B, joined us on Saturday morning and presented a thought provoking talk on human dignity, CAFOD's work and world hunger. This led straight into Mass where we prayed for those areas of the world most in need. Being DAMASCUS summer camp, before every meal together we prayed especially for the young people of modern day Damascus, Syria.
DAMASCUS summer camp is rather a special place. There is something about the atmosphere, the young people and the Spirit of it that brings everyone together and by the end of the four days we don't want to go home!
DAMASCUS summer camp is for young people aged 14-18. Join us next year: Thursday 28th-Sunday 31st August 2014 see www.DamascusYouthEvent.com