I write this from the breezeway at Camp Christian. It is freetime at Advance conference on a Friday afternoon. There are many young people - including Audrey - at the pool having fun. The torch is burning to my right and beyond that is the lake.
It is a beautiful day and the my time here is almost over.
The theme this week has been balance and every one of the keynotes have been about balance. Audrey started by talking about the sacred and secular. Roger McKinney about how volunteerism brings balance to our lives and the world. I was next and talked about finding balance within our famlies. Jim Bane followed with talking about balance in romantic love and today Allen's message was about loving yourself. Every one of these keynotes were well done, thoughtful and really made us think.
I spent last week at Chautauqua which had its own "balance" for me - the balance between the intellectual (lectures and sermons and front porch discussion) and family and friends (time with Alyse, Reagan, Audrey, Chuck and Jim and Holly, Mary Wood and others) But this week also has its own rhythems and balance. Every day is full: with breakfast, faculty meeting, then Bible study, keynote, small groups, lunch, committees, free time, dinner, vespers and recreation. I love it here.
Now as others are resting and "recreating" I am starting that process of preparation to go home and thinking about my sermon for Sunday. And wondering where I am going with it - but trusting - as always - that it will come.
I am preaching from Hebrews about running "with perseverance" the race that is set before us. And today as I sit here in this familiar place with so many memories I know that we really do run the race a step at a time and so often do not know what is next.
I first came to camp in 1983 as a Chi Rho Counselor and since then I have spent one to two weeks at camp almost every year. Many, many years of chi rho counseling and being an assistant director and now working with young adults in Advance Conference for at least 15 years. And then when we add Grandparents camp and retreats - it is a lot of time. And the time has brought me spiritual growth as well as wonderful opportunities for ministry.
It has been a place that has provided balance for me. Time to be outside, time to be with colleagues who became friends, time to be away from the dailiness of my life in Bowling Green and Columbus, time to be with God.
I am grateful - as always - for the vision of those men and women 60+ years ago who bought and built this place and all the "cloud of witnesses" who have served in so many ways. As I write this Jim and Roger at probably en route back to camp from Howard Ratcliffe's memorial service. Remembering his leadership and his faithfulness. He truly did keep the faith and was a model to so many of us.
So, back to my sermon prep and as always blessed to be here.
At Camp Christian - The Beloved Community!