Dear Friends,

"I am somebody"

That's the theme of this week's Making Your Mark Art Camp at St. Andrew's. The leaders have been helping the kids explore their somebodiness in mask work, abstract painting, collage, song, paper-making, Handz bridge-like card game, physical recreation, storytelling, drumming, watercolors, and more.

If that sounds like a lot, it is! The gifts of so many have been gathered lovingly around "our kids" from Hopkinton and environs. As you can see from the masks above, the individual creativity and storytelling of each child has truly been welcomed and given space to grow, and there is so much good fruit.

The theme draws on words lifted up by a poem from civil rights activist the Rev. William H. Borders, Sr. In his poem "I am somebody" he lifts up the value of the individual, even, and especially, when that person's dignity may be embattled. While we have given kids the space to create, we have been thoughtful to help them know that they are valued not for what they create, but that their value is inherent in who created them.

That's a lesson that each of us, of every age, can benefit from hearing again.

God bless everyone who has given of themselves for the camp this week, and for all of you who create this space where a camp of such love has arisen. May we celebrate it, and in turn be sent our in diginity and love by these children who have come in our door.

All are invited to their Art Opening in the Great HAll, tomorrow, Friday the 12th, from 4-5pm.

The Rev. Border's poem, as made famous by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who proclaimed it from Wattstax to Sesame Street, is in full below. And I can't recommend highly enough that you hear it from Jesse Jackson himself in the video link!

I am - Somebody!

I am - Somebody!

I may be poor, But I am - Somebody.

I may be young, But I am - Somebody.

I may be on welfare, But I am - Somebody.

I may be small, But I am - Somebody.

I may have made mistakes, But I am - Somebody.

My clothes are different,

My face is different,

My hair is different,

But I am - Somebody.

I am

Black,

Brown,

or White.

I speak a different language

But I must be respected,

protected,

never rejected.

I am

God's child!

I am – Somebody.

In Peace,

Reed