Corpus Christi receives the new year in Jyväskylä


On Saturday, Corpus Christi campers enjoyed in winter weather together. Picture: Ugis Mezulis

The four-day Corpus Christi New Year’s Camp 2024 kicked off on Friday in Jyväskylä. Fifty-five campers have arrived at the Kiponniemi Activity Center, with about twenty coming from beyond the borders of Finland. In addition to Finland, participants have come from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, and the United States.

Anna Siekkinen is part of the organizing team. Picture: Pauliina Pylvänäinen

Since early autumn, a team has been preparing for the camp, having organized similar events a few times before. Pastor Mika Tervakangas is leading the team. Additionally, Anna Siekkinen, Joona Marttila, Jere Toikka, Hanna Erkkilä, and Mari Mattila have been involved in the arrangements. – The first thoughts about organizing this camp came immediately after the previous New Year’s camp in Loimaa at the beginning of the year. In July, at the Corpus Christi conference in Latvia, we told participants that such a camp was coming. Actual planning started in August-September, and at that time, Kiponniemi was chosen as the suitable camp location, says Anna Siekkinen from the camp’s organizing team.

“We walk by faith, not by sight”

Biblical lectures held by pastor Matias Kröger are an essential part of the camp. Picture: Pauliina Pylvänäinen

The theme of this camp is “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). In Friday’s Bible teachings, Pastor Matias Kröger spoke about the Israelites’ exodus and on Saturday, about Christ in the Old Testament. Otherwise, the program for the camp days consists of prayer moments, meals, and relaxed communal activities, not forgetting dish duties.

The camp day on New Year’s Eve is special for two reasons: in the morning, campers participate in the divine service held in Isaiah’s Lutheran Congregation in Jyväskylä. After the service, campers are going to have lunch in the city and explore local attractions. In the evening, they gather to welcome the new year together. The evening is a combination of more formal and informal programs: they dress in their best, and the camp meal is enjoyed more elegantly. The program includes singing and music performances, speeches, Corpus Christi’s traditional dances, and indulging in sweets brought from different countries. At midnight, fireworks are launched, and sparklers are lit.

Next summer in Wittenberg

Jordan Tomesch came to Kiponniemi from the United States. Picture: Pauliina Pylvänäinen

Jordan Tomesch has come to the camp from Atlanta, USA, but his roots are in Germany. A few years ago, during a visit there, he was recommended to participate in the Corpus Christi camp. Jordan was interested because similar activities are not organized for young adults in the United States. Jordan mentions that this is his eighth Corpus Christi camp. From Jyväskylä, Jordan’s journey continues to Berlin. There, he will meet relatives and plan the Corpus Christi conference to be held in Wittenberg next summer with the rest of the organizing team. – Next year’s conference will be great! It’s fantastic to gather in Wittenberg. The theme of the conference is “Body of Christ,” Jordan says and encourages interested individuals to sign up.


Text: Pauliina Pylvänäinen