Grant Us Strength and Courage
“Strength and Courage” are two things all of us need everyday. Often life feels like a piece of cake, but there are many times, too, when we feel like we are not making any peace as we churn around in the mixing bowl of batter that the world throws at us. In other words, life is a mixed bag; we take the good with the bad, but through it all, strength and courage are mighty helpful.
I have been granted the gift to serve as Chaplain for the first session of Family Camp at our favorite Episcopal Camp and Conference Center, Procter Conference Center! I cannot wait until June 8 when I get to make a right turn off of State Route 38 and into the holy space known to many of us simply as, “Procter.” Actually, I find myself at Procter Conference Center on a fairly regular basis for a variety of reasons. I used to serve on Diocesan Council. I currently serve on Commission on Ministry, and Clergy Days often meet at Procter. There is a qualitative difference for me, though, from when I enter Procter to attend a Clergy Day and when I enter for summer camp. Clergy Days are great and all, but they don’t hold a candle to summer camp in a loving, Christian community.
This year’s summer camp theme is, “Grant Us Strength and Courage,” and what a theme it is! The world needs a lot of help these days in a myriad of ways. All baptized Christians have the need to have the strength to explore and to share their faith journey. Our life as followers of Jesus is about witnessing to how God is active in our lives through the love of the Son and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. To share effectively we need to have many different aspects such as knowledge, vulnerability, trust in our relationship with God and with each other, and most certainly, strength and courage. We need strength to endure misunderstanding. We need strength to step out of our own wants and needs and into the greater good of God’s purpose. We need courage to allow our lives to be a living witness to the grace of God in our hearts and minds and souls. Loving God and loving our neighbors is not always the easiest thing in the world to do. In fact, oftentimes, loving God and our neighbors can often be downright challenging. We need to be able to dig deep into our faith community, our understanding of Holy Scripture and the Sacraments, to garner the strength and courage to be the witness of a gracious and loving God as we know and experience God today.
I know that I do not have it all together. There are days I feel strong and days I feel weak, days I am full of a mountain’s worth of courage and days when I allow my fears to get the best of me. My best days, though, are the days I remember that I am not on this Christian journey alone. I have an entire host of Christian sisters and brothers seeking to walk with me as we witness to the grace and transformation of a God who first loved us.
I invite you to join me at Procter Camp and Conference Center this June 8-10. All ages and types of families are welcome. Single, married, divorced, college-aged, infants through high schoolers, older folks, and any other demographic I have forgotten are truly welcome! You can sign up via the following website: https://proctercenter.campbrainregistration.com.