In this column, we discover more about our Baptist whānau, meeting someone in our team of 40,000 each post. In this entry, we are getting to know Casey Clark from Manukau City Baptist Church and a bit about eCamp, of which she is the new director. 

Kia ora everyone, I’m the new director for eCamp! 

eCamp is an awesome and action-packed camp for Intermediates (yr7-9’s) run over Easter weekend at Finlay Park, Lake Karapiro. We have super fun activities (especially on the lake), good food, amazing worship and speakers – all with an emphasis on introducing young people to Jesus and inviting them deeper into their faith. I was at the first one in 2004 as a camper and have been at many, many more over my years as an intermediates ministry leader. It’s now a privilege to be at the helm with an incredible team that is passionate about this age group and helps make it all happen. 

Intermediates are often an age group that falls through the cracks in church life – but this is where the gold is! They are so fun, yet they hold such maturity at the same time. If you have a large or tiny group of intermediates at your church, I encourage you to see how you can input into their lives, and I 100% recommend bringing them along to eCamp.

1. What is something you think everyone should experience at least once in their life? 

Live theatre! Musicals, plays, opera… there’s nothing quite like it! I love the costumes, sets, technical ability of the actors, singers and dancers, the story, the music, the orchestra – I am a huge fan! In fact, in a former life, I was training to be an opera singer!

2. If you could be a pro at any one thing, what would it be?

Maybe figure skating… it would only be useful on ice, but think about what a huge flex it would be when you whipped out your moves at the annual youth group ice skating trip. 

3. What is a random interest that has completely nothing to do with your study or work? 

I once went cage diving with Great White Sharks off the coast of Stewart Island – it was surprisingly a very peaceful and relaxing experience. I would definitely be keen to do more of it. Check out some footage here.

4. What is the oddest fact you know?

It’s not a fact per se, but I’m pretty good at identifying what a lot of fonts are just by looking at them. For example, I’m pretty sure this article will be published in ‘Roboto’. And that’s a pretty odd fact. (Really hope I’m not wrong, haha)

5. What is the most boring thing you’ve ever done?

Probably any time I had to wait for my parents to stop talking after church. That always seemed to last an age! Though, I think the roles have reversed these days.

6. What is your favourite way of connecting with God?

I love worship music and singing, but I also love chatting away with Jesus while I drive. Sometimes, I go for drives just for the sake of having some distraction-free time with Him. Bit of a luxury with Auckland petrol prices but so worth it.

7. Can you describe a significant moment when you experienced God’s love?

There have been many times I’ve experienced God’s love ­– some in the still, and some where I’ve ended up flat on my face in worship. But some of the most significant moments for me come when God gently prods with a bit of that holy conviction. He loves me so much not to leave me where I am but invites me into better, and that’s how I know that he knows me and really, really cares.

8. What is your favourite thing about the neighbourhood where you live?

Practically speaking, I love that there are lots of different ways in and out so you can avoid traffic when you need to haha; #aucklandlife.

But I also love the life and vibrancy, especially with all the random people and different cultures that are represented here. We have a lot of issues, and some are quite significant, but there’s always life happening, and I love that.

9. What do you love most about being Baptist?

I really love voting… just kidding. But I actually do love the idea of ‘the priesthood of all believers’ – that we in the movement and individual congregations get to have a say in what happens. I’ve always felt my random opinions are heard. And in that, I love the wider community that we get to draw from and be part of – my ministries have benefited so much from what I’ve learnt from others – plus I’ve made a tonne of friends and #ColleaguesInChrist along the way.

Photos: Supplied by Casey Clark

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