Reformation Day Faire—After Action Report
From October 18-20, my family and I went to Providence Church’s Reformation Day Faire. The theme of this year’s Faire was “Celtic Christianity” and the lecturers were Dr. Marcus Serven, Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr., and Providence’s own Rev. James McDonald. It began Friday afternoon and lasted until Saturday night. Pastor McDonald stated his three goals for the conference: “to strengthen your faith, to encourage your family, and to have fun!”
Friday began with a lecture by Dr. Serven. Entitled “Doctrine Divides,” it was an overview of the distinctive doctrines of the Celtic Church. For those interested, all lectures are available, for free, at http://www.providencecpc.org/category/resources/media/special-messages/reformation-day/
The next lecture was by Dr. Sproul Jr. It was titled “Liturgical Worship and Celtic Christianity.”
After another break came Psalm Instruction, where all who desired could learn/practice singing in four-part harmony. There were two songs this year “Psalm 144” and “We Lift up as our Shield God’s Name,” a shortened version of St. Patrick’s Breastplate.
Next came “The Celtic Church and Missions” a lecture charting the amazing missionary endeavors of the Celtic Church. St. Brendan and others were featured in this lecture by Dr. Serven.
After this lecture came a dinner break, followed by an informal “jam session” from Andy Kenway and his two brothers. Next came a concert by Mr. Charlie Zahm. The concert closed a fun-filled day, but there was another action-packed day to come.
The first lecture on Saturday was “The Living Theology of Patrick” by Dr. Sproul Jr. This lecture detailed how Patrick of Ireland’s theology influenced all of his life.
After another break came “One Simple Life: Reflecting on Patrick of Ireland” by Rev. McDonald. He gave an overview of the extraordinary life of Patrick.
The last lecture of the conference was “From Minister to Parish” by Dr. Sproul Jr. It was a call to action for all Christians, to go into their parish, the world, bringing Christ’s light.
Dr. Sproul’s was the last lecture, so we dispersed for lunch, but the conference was far from over!
After lunch was “Towne Square”, an ambient area of the parking lot dedicated to hands-on activities from the era. For example, you could copy a manuscript, or dip a candle, or participate in many other crafts.
When the “Towne Square” had finished, we followed the bagpiper to a nearby park, to participate in Highland Games. Young men could toss the caber (a large log) or throw a roughly 40 lb. rock. For younger athletes, a smaller rock was provided.
When everyone who wanted to had sent the caber and rocks through the air, the last event of the Highland Games was announced: the far-famed Boffer War. A “Boffer” is a PVC pipe, wrapped in foam (to lessen the impact) and then liberally covered with duct tape. These are used like swords as men and boys run around and try to deck someone else with them. The rules for the game are very simple: “One hit and you’re out; hit someone on the head and you’re out.” The head is protected, but this didn’t stop at least one person from getting his glasses hit and twisted on his face.
The most-anticipated part of the Boffer War, though, is the melee. The players are split into two teams, who then battle it out. The last team left on the field, wins. In that round, I managed to lose any teammates I recognized (or any enemies I recognized for that matter) and spent most of the battle wandering around cluelessly. I was not alone in this confusion, as I walked into a group of perhaps fifteen other baffled Boffer-ists. Finally, I was hit by an opponent and went out of the game for that round.
After the games came dinner, prepared by the folk of Providence Church. As always (this is my third year at Reformation Day Faire), the dinner was delicious.
The last event in the queue was a Historic Ball. The dances were of the English Country sort. This was an enjoyable end to a very enjoyable weekend! Pictures will be forthcoming.