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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Confirmation bubbles

Vieraskieliset / In-english
17.12.2021 12.00

Juttua muokattu:

19.11. 13:49

Text: Kirs­ti Wal­le­nius-Rii­hi­mä­ki

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

I have now ex­pe­rien­ced a mo­dern con­fir­ma­ti­on camp that took place in bub­b­les.

I am at Jäm­sä Opis­to. Two con­fir­ma­ti­on camps of 50 stu­dents each are in pro­cess. One group is wor­king downs­tairs, using the as­semb­ly hall when the whole group needs to be pre­sent as well as the out­door dorms. We are ups­tairs. We do not have sau­na, be­cau­se the sau­na sec­ti­on is wit­hin the ter­ri­to­ry of the downs­tairs camp. There is re­no­va­ti­on going on in the kitc­hen. At lunch time we the­re­fo­re run ac­ross the yard with our masks on in­to a big tent where lar­ge pots of he­a­ted soup are wai­ting. Me­al­ti­mes are stag­ge­red in such a way that the staff have time to di­sin­fect the place in bet­ween the bub­b­le groups.

All con­tacts bet­ween the camps are by te­lep­ho­ne. We can on­ly greet fa­mi­li­ar te­ac­hers from a dis­tan­ce. We do not te­ach each ot­her’s les­sons. When one te­ac­her in our group was qu­a­ran­ti­ned, and I with my two do­ses of vac­ci­ne was gone for a day to have a co­vid test, I am sure the staff did not have prob­lems of how to use their lei­su­re time! Ear­lier in the sum­mer, Jäm­sä Opis­to had hos­ted a group eva­cu­a­ted from Mai­toi­nen camp and anot­her group from Kal­lio. With eve­ry­bo­dy fle­xib­le, things went well.

Some of you may ask why el­der­ly pe­op­le like us still need to par­ti­ci­pa­te in all that bust­le. No-one as­ked us to come – we as­ked if we could come just “one more time”.

One can get ad­dic­ted to many things. I gu­ess ad­dic­ti­on to con­fir­ma­ti­on camps is not re­al­ly the worst kind. Each camp con­sists of the staff and the yo­ung pe­op­le with whom the staff share that me­mo­rab­le pe­ri­od of time. The staff and the cam­pers to­get­her make up the camp. Those who share our bub­b­le get some new and fresh ex­pe­rien­ces from the yo­ungs­ters’ bub­b­le. We can all be part of a col­lec­ti­ve that is ba­si­cal­ly si­mi­lar from ye­ar to ye­ar, though the ex­ter­nal cir­cums­tan­ces chan­ge. Even Opis­to it­self chan­ges. The floors no lon­ger creak, the doors do not bang, and the win­dows are not draf­ty. And one need not wait in line to use the bath­room.

Wor­king with the yo­ung pe­op­le, I re­a­li­zed why the songs of Zion need to be re-wor­ded from time to time. When I was tem­po­ra­ri­ly off the ranks due to my sore throat, I he­ard the clear voi­ce of our can­tor’s four-ye­ar-old child sin­ging one of the new songs and a group in anot­her di­rec­ti­on sin­ging anot­her.

When I was their age, I sang dif­fe­rent songs. Each age group sing their own fa­vo­ri­tes. And each re-edi­ti­on of our song book at­t­racts new sin­gers. Now I le­arnt about the songs of the 2020s.

It seems the qu­an­ti­ty of ma­te­ri­al that I need to at­tend a camp inc­re­a­ses all the time. At first I on­ly nee­ded a duf­fel bag. Now my “ne­ces­sa­ry” stuff ma­kes up a car load. My check list grows lon­ger sum­mer by sum­mer. I ad­ded a flys­wat­ter ye­ars ago and a re­a­ding lamp when they re­no­va­ted Opis­to’s elect­ri­cal sys­tem. The lap­top now re­qui­res an ex­ten­si­on cord, and I have re­cent­ly ad­ded a sho­e­horn and a mag­ni­fying glass to my list.

I am fi­na­li­zing this text in our big­gest clas­s­room on the last eve­ning of our camp. The camp par­ti­ci­pants are sit­ting on the floor, wri­ting gree­tings to their camp ma­tes on card­bo­ard he­arts. Eve­ry­bo­dy will get some nice desc­rip­ti­ons about them­sel­ves – they are not sup­po­sed to write ne­ga­ti­ve things on the he­arts. Con­fir­ma­ti­on ser­vi­ce will be to­mor­row. The song that we will sing when we say good­bye to them at the al­tar spe­aks about a group of an­gels wal­king to the church, fol­lo­wed by a pra­yer that the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her would pro­tect His child­ren in His king­dom and would car­ry them in­to he­a­ven one day.


Herra on kuningas! Riemuitkoon maa, iloitkoot meren saaret ja rannat! Pilvi ja pimeys ympäröi häntä, hänen istuintaan kannattavat vanhurskaus ja oikeus. Ps. 97:1–2

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