The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Several months ago on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we were offered a reminder of the type of terrain where shepherds often traveled with their sheep. There were many areas where rocks and dust were prevalent, along with a multitude of dangers to avoid. Peaceful places seemed few and far between. Do we also have difficulty finding these spaces? The psalmist is renewed as he is led by the Lord to green pastures and still waters. We are all called to places that have been prepared for us for renewal.
Camps Chestnut Ridge, Don Lee and Rockfish offer places where children and adults can go to find renewal as God “forms the inside, outside.” Our three camps serve thousands of children and adults each year through summer camp, retreats, and other program opportunities. Summer camping invites youth to adventure, Christian community, and a deepening relationship with God. Environmental education provides opportunities for us to encourage sustainable living as we respond to the call to be stewards of God’s creation. Our challenge courses help teams understand how to cooperate with one another and honor difference. Lifetime friendships are formed with other campers, but most importantly, individuals of all ages experience spiritual growth and renewal.
Many of us can offer testimony to times where we have experienced a profound sense of God’s presence and direction – especially when we get away from our normal routine and places. We find rest and renewal as we form friendships with other people of faith as we play and pray together. Many have their first experience with God in the outdoors, and still more experience God’s presence in deeper and more profound ways during these times in which we intentionally respond to God’s call to come away for re-creation.
As a relatively new member of the UM Camp and Retreat Ministries Board of Directors, I have a raised awareness of our need to make sure that we are serving children in our communities who do not necessarily look like us and who don’t necessarily have the same experiences and opportunities that some of us have.
Our Campership fund reaches far beyond our own neighborhoods and churches to those who may need camp more than any of us will ever understand. Please consider underwriting the cost of sending one or more children to camp who may not have the opportunity to participate otherwise. You are encouraged as individuals, small groups and churches to give generously.
Your support will help continue our efforts to provide “places apart”, and to share the love of Jesus Christ with more and more folks throughout the year!
To contribute, checks can be made out to “NC Camp & Retreat Ministries” and sent to 700 Waterfield Ridge Place, Garner, NC 27529. You can also give online at any of our camp websites: www.campchestnutridge.org, www.donleecenter.org, www.camprockfish.org
If you would like to print or share this edition of Claire…ification,
you are encouraged to use this pdf:
Claire – Opportunities to Serve Others – 06.22.2017
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