Gray hair is no deterrent to joyful service

contributed by Caroline Loftin

St. Paul UMC in Little Rock hosted its first-ever music camp for children this summer.

Camp is always a fun opportunity for summertime fellowship, but what makes this one so special is the significant generational gap between its hosts and participants: all of St. Paul’s volunteers were 70 or older, and the campers were first through sixth graders.

For a congregation comprised of mostly older adults, ministry opportunities for children and their parents can be few and far between, but St. Paul’s music director, Barbara Stefan, was more than ready to branch out. Members did not balk at the idea of bringing young people into the church and agreed energetically to move forward with the idea.

“It was inspiring to witness the willingness of so many volunteers helping to make the adventure a success,” said Judy White, St. Paul member and camp volunteer.

The twenty campers and twenty-one volunteers learned, sang, and played a variety of musical instruments and techniques together. The children performed for a large gathering of parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends at the end of the week making it a significant accomplishment.

“I loved seeing their hearts and minds; they were like little sponges… so eager to BE,” said White.

The gift of this music camp was clearly reciprocal. It’s a true testament to faith being stronger than any societal boundary. Young or old, we can all share in the love and light of Christ.

“Gray hair is no deterrent to joyful service,” White continued.

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