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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Gather 'round the camping season

This summer, bring home what many value about outdoor ministry

Outdoor ministries awaken marvelous ministries, but they also awaken memories.

After I read the cover story ("'Camp changed my life'"), it did not take long before I was back at Mount Carmel as a child, or at Wilderness Canoe Base on a winter retreat with adults from our urban parish, or with families at Camp Luther in West Virginia as ELCA presiding bishop.

I also began to ponder. What if we not only participated in and supported one of our excellent outdoor ministries, but also thought about this summer as a time to experience together what so many value from being at camp?

May this summer be a season of prayer.

It was in outdoor ministry settings that I first learned that prayer was not only something I do but a time to simply be in the presence of God: listening more than speaking, being a beloved and forgiven child of God, and being a new creation in Christ.

May this be a time to embrace what has been a lasting contribution of camps: immersion in a context quite different from what is most familiar to us.


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