A very heart-felt thank you to all the people who put in the work for the Nanga weekend.

The food was delicious, lovingly served and prepared, the singing spectacular and the exercises on the scenario carefully thought-out and thought-provoking.

A highlight for me was Sunday morning prayer with Christabel, Andrea and Paul. It was actually about 4 degrees at 6.30, but being there to worship amid the great trees bathed in mist and read those ancient words together while the tiny birds with surprisingly loud voices shouted good morning to each other, was a sacred and special privilege. The Sunday service was a powerful experience. Sitting around the camp fire with the wood smoke drifting over us under the natural vaulting of the trees, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit strongly. And the giving and receiving of bread and wine to each other in pairs was moving and intimate.

We were indeed on Holy Ground - surely the LORD was in this place!

Love and Peace and thank you to everyone. Gabby

Anna Weldon

Nanga was exceptional - 50 in all when all were there, which wasn't all the time, including about 10 kids. 

Some changes - fewer group workshops, we decided to have only 3 working sessions plus a closing circle and that was a really good move. The whole thing felt less busy. However the intensity was quadrupled as the scenario Caroline and I wrote for the group workshop over the three days, building on Peter’s former scenarios of survival, early churches and Noah,  mimic'd a disaster of New Orleans proportions but with a 95 year trajectory (poisoned ground outside a 150 mile radius) and the survivors (us who were on camp at Nanga when it happened, except we were at a hypothetical agricultural farm school) then decided to form a spiritual community and each group had to extrapolate from there, how they would live together, and incorporating new info each session (ie: in the last session news of 4 outlying communities, who would they choose to link up with if any?) 

The food was drama free and substantial but sparse too as the budget was very restricted, which brought the comment that it was highly congruent both to a church camp and the hypothetical game.

   The music was exceptionally sublime and pulled the entire gathering constantly together, we even sung grace before each meal and sung a camp song before each workshop session. 

This year the pot belly has been replaced by a deep open hearth so we set up the rugs and drapes and cushions and candles of Couch without Sorrows before it on the first night and maintained that as a cosseting space throughout the camp, and that space hosted various things, such as a sketching or writing session I ran (I read Maltese and Sanskrit verse and people wrote or sketched in response), hand massaging with my good oils and Heartsong (which even drew the adolescents!), where Fe did the anointing and CC did PHs part. 

The first night Beth and I led couch without sorrows with Celtic stories and good poetry and song. Duncan was there and Janice too so the quality was very high.  We had four drummers and three guitars!  In addition the camp fire was roaring into the wee hours together with the songsters. I photocopied 14 St P hymns in a small book so we had the words this time, and that was a plus. It also meant there were two venues, so that people gravitated into their affinity groups with much choice for wandering back and forth to warmth and live or CD music.

  I led a Zen type bush walk late Sunday where each person walked alone for 45 minutes in the bush, led by an envelope of instructions (feel the sun/wind, listen to sounds and your heartbeat, repeat the sentence xxx - a sacred verse) and an opening and closing circle and poem. Very time out and much appreciated. 

  The open air Morning Sunday service was by the campfire, with many voices reading different parts of the usual service, readings, prayers (I did two Mertons) and song and we gave bread and wine (not consecrated though) to each other.

  Beth was rostered for Sunday lunch and she created a huge group table complete with fabulous table decor, full roast and pudding!!! Choccies and wine were in usual generous supply throughout too. 

The noise levels were constantly high and it was rather tiring not to be alone at all (Except I escaped to write a story for Heartsong, half an hour on my bunk in semi-darkness...). It was also VERY cold  at night, and the bunk was hard on my back, but these pale into insignificance now that I have so many good memories to consider.

  Several of the men commented that they liked the female leadership provided by CC Caroline and myself (and Kim with food, indispensable) and that it was a great camp. I think we all felt wonderful that we had not only pulled  it off, but ALL entered into the group game so deeply, including being very challenged by it and in some instances by members of their group, wrestling with the big questions of The End Days and How are we to Live as we each did. It was quite a sobering scenario and made (this was also said by others, not just my perspective) the services we shared each day especially poignant and potent, as we all realised that without the common thread of the sacred, the constant spiritual gifts of worship and tradition and prayer, and the cohesion it brings to community, we would not survive in a post-disaster world where interdependence and selfless service and a sense hope were paramount. This is in fact the mind-set we are called by the New Testament to live by, and it was theologically sound that the group exercise, though not based on a specific Bible text, brought us to this realisation.

Page Updated October 25, 2020