BY REV. REBECCA CRAVER |
As I sit in Higgins Lodge and participate in Mission Camp at Laurel Ridge, it is clear to me how important camping ministries are to the life of our congregations. Camping ministry is a spiritual practice of the congregations and ministries of our church. We support, encourage, and participate in camping ministry because we know that time spent away from the busyness of life can help people deepen their faith and build the kinds of relationships that sustain us through life. The days spent at camp filled with biblical study, worship, group discussions, hiking, swimming, singing, conversation, laughter, and sometimes tears have been a part of many lives of faith in the Moravian Church in the Southern Province and beyond. In a beautiful place where God’s creation is on full display, we can see so much more of what really matters to God. Camping ministry isn’t just for the kids. There are opportunities throughout the year for congregations, individuals, and small groups to set a time to come to camp to retreat, reflect, and revive their faith.
Over the years many other campers, counselors, mountain staffers, and others have used their gifts to contribute to the ministry of summer camps. Lots of Christian educators, clergy, and leaders in congregations have stories about how camp has been an important part of their spiritual formation and faith life—leading them into the ministry they live out in the congregations they serve.
Throughout the United States and Canada, there are Moravian Christians gathering for camping ministry this summer-sharing the Gospel and growing in their practice of following Jesus. Even if you aren’t a part of camping ministry this year, I invite you to pray for and consider the ways that these ministries have and will continue to be a part of the congregational witness to Jesus’ Way. Let us all give thanks for the leaders and staff that make these camps happen and that share freely their faith with the young people entrusted to their care.
Camp is collaborative ministry and it takes many different people to contribute their gifts to make a tremendous impact for the sake of Jesus’ Reign in the world.
How has you congregation benefited from camping ministry throughout the years?
Might there be new ways for you to support the work of camping ministry?
About the author
As Director of Congregational Development, Rebecca works with congregations and provincial leadership to provide resources and support their ongoing work towards greater health and vitality. She works to cultivate collaborative relationships between and among pastors, congregations, provincial and interprovincial agencies and other partners. Working with communities of faith, her passion for capacity building and innovation have shaped her 15 year career in ordained ministry. She has led communities in reimagining their structures, practices, and traditions as they embrace Jesus’ call, supporting them through organizational change, worship creation, and adult learning curriculum. Rebecca’s evenings and weekends are often spent investing in good conversation over a mocha, making new connections in the community, or delighting in the laughter of her children and spouse. Email Rebecca.