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Working Hard to View God’s Glory: St. Philip's Workday at Camp St. Christopher


This past Saturday, nearly 30 St. Philippians met for another workday at the St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center on Seabrook Island. Since the onset of COVID, Camp St. Christopher has been operating with limited staff, unable to keep up with the landscape needs of this beautiful barrier island.  Individuals, parents with their teenagers, and even one family of three generations all showed up to serve. Equipped with chainsaws, weed eaters, blowers, and mowers, we all set off in different directions to tackle the day.  

I joined the chainsaw crew and headed to Kimbel Chapel for what l thought would be some easy limbing and pruning. However, when we arrived, we were told to cut everything from the chapel to the dunes. The problem was that from the chapel, we couldn’t even see the dunes for all of the trees and shrubs that needed to go. Undaunted, we began to work. Chainsaw-resistant palmettos, gnarly pine trees, and briar-infested wax myrtles were all attacked. Some of us cut, some pulled, and some hauled limbs and trunks to a spot where another St. Philip’s crew would then load and haul all the debris to a natural disposal site deep in the maritime forest.  

Todd Brown Lawnmower St. Christopher

Todd "Zero-Turn" Brown (a.k.a. "Mr. Clean", a.k.a. "Senior Warden")

We all broke for lunch on the verandah of Susanna’s House for food and fellowship. That is, all except for Todd Brown, who was once again glued to the seat of a zero-turn mower. As enjoyable as the conversation was, we all returned to our tasks once again to finish up. Pressure washing, road clearing, and more cutting and hauling still needed to be completed. In the end, we indeed had cleared all the way from the chapel to the dunes. We decided to take a look from inside the elevated chapel to see if we had made a difference.  

Needless to say, we were all awe struck by the view––the dunes, Deveaux Bank, and the Atlantic Ocean were all clearly visible from the windows of Kimbel Chapel thanks to all of our hard work.

I left the workday thankful. Thankful God had blessed us with such a beautiful day––low humidity, a good breeze, and plenty of sunshine. Thankful we’d accomplished all that we did with no casualties––other than a stuck pickup truck (which we promptly freed). Thankful for the opportunity to get to know parishioners I’d never met nor spoken with before. Some were lifelong members, while others had only just moved to Charleston and joined our church.   

At lunch we all discussed how COVID has changed various aspects of our lives.  Thinking back, COVID has now indirectly brought me to Camp St. Christopher for two St. Philip’s workdays, where a glimpse of God’s glory was revealed. Sometimes we just need to clear all of the tangled debris from our lives to fully see it. 

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