Wondering where your pastors are? We’re still at camp! Wondering what we’re doing? I’m glad you asked! Rev. Christy and I just wrapped up a week of leadership at Lake Louise Christian Community in beautiful northern Michigan. We helped lead Elementary Bear Camp - all week long we’ve been singing songs, telling stories, and eating s’mores with 3rd-6th grade campers. We aren’t ready to come home yet, though!
Now that Elementary Bear Camp is over, it’s our turn to be the campers. This afternoon, pastors and their families will be traveling to Lake Louise from around the state for an event called “Family Camp for Clergy and Ministry Professionals.” This gathering is unique - as far as I know, nothing like this camp exists outside the state of Michigan.
Clergy Family Camp started years ago when a number of young pastors, just starting families, were all asked to move to new churches. Those pastors realized that moving is an inescapable reality for the families of United Methodist pastors. Preachers’ kids and spouses know that any year they could be asked to go to a new community, a new neighborhood, a new workplace, a new school. Those young pastors looked at their growing families and wondered if maybe there was a way they could have a set of friends who would always be a part of their lives, no matter how many times they moved. After some brainstorming and headscratching, Clergy Family Camp was born!
The Peters children have been part of Family Camp for as long as they can remember. They look forward to seeing their camp friends each summer. Pastors and their spouses look forward to Family Camp, too. Each summer we take this opportunity to study and reflect together. We learn about church leadership, time management, preaching, family dynamics… Some summers we spend time collaborating to create new sermon series, and some of the series we’ve preached at Court Street came from those brainstorming sessions at Family Camp!
I come back from camp each year with a renewed appreciation for the gift that God has given us in this thing we call the church. Everything is easier when we do it together. Everything is less scary when we know we’re not alone. When we step away from our cell phones and all of the busy-ness of the world and spend time singing, praying, and telling stories together, God does powerful things. I pray that you experience God’s presence this morning at Court Street, even as we are experiencing God’s presence up north at Lake Louise! See you soon!
Your servant in Christ,