Parker’s testimonial was conducted in the form of an interview with Diana Verseghy (link to related staff page), our director.
Diana: So, Parker, this is your second time at St. Mike’s. I guess that must mean that you enjoyed it last year!
Parker: Yes, I really enjoyed the experience of being here. I found that it really challenged me to grow in my faith in new ways, and helped me to become a better Christian. The courses in particular were very helpful. Last year there were two that I especially liked, one about the Narnia books, and one about what makes a saint.
Diana: You’ve mentioned that you had been attending other church camps for several years before coming to St. Mike’s, and said that they were quite different.
Parker: Yes, they were. At those camps the topics that were covered were relatively basic, whereas here they are more advanced and, I find, more appropriate for my age and level. Although the other camps are aimed at the same age range as St. Mike’s, most of the material at those camps was geared toward people who weren’t Christians before or are beginner Christians. Here I find many people who are already solid Christians and are more grounded in their faith. And the course topics tend to be more geared not to those who are seeking, but to those who are expanding.
Diana: That’s really encouraging to hear, because that is in fact what we try to do with the courses. Of course we welcome anyone who is interested, whether or not they have a firm background of Christian faith. We have had atheists and agnostics participating; one year four Muslim girls came! But we definitely try to take the courses further than just the “basic Bible” level.
You use the Book of Alternative Services in your parish, don’t you? But your youth group leader has introduced you to the Book of Common Prayer, so it wasn’t totally foreign to you when you started coming here?
Parker: Yes. For most of our Sunday services, especially the Holy Eucharist, we use the BAS, but once a month we have Morning Prayer, and that is from the BCP. In my youth group, whenever we meet, our leader always starts with a short service, usually the Evening Prayer service from the BCP. They have been teaching us about that, and about the other features of the Prayer Book.
Diana: You are very knowledgeable about your faith, compared to many of the teens that come to St. Mike’s. Is that because of your youth group, or the camps that you have attended, or your home background – where do you get all this knowledge from?
Parker: It’s a combination of all of those things. Part of it would have been going to the other camps for so many years, a big part would have been the youth group. I’m just very interested in the Christian faith, and I do love learning things, especially about religion.
Diana: And that would make you rather inspiring for campers who maybe aren’t so far along in their faith journey. So I am certainly glad that you are coming back! Are there any things that you would like to say to people who may be thinking of coming to St. Mike’s?
Parker: It’s a really good experience. You’ll have plenty of fun, meet a lot of great new friends, enjoy some interesting courses, and get to know some amazing people!