The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


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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