Over the past few months I have had the privilege of seeing a whole new side of camps, and this experience has only confirmed and strengthened my belief in the importance of a camp ministry for the broader church.
Ephesians begins by blessing God for revealing the great mystery, namely, to “gather up all things in Christ” (1:10).
“Changes coming upon us / It keeps moving, moving around us. / Got to keep singing, knowing he loves us; / Got to keep joy in our hearts.”
It was a tender time. Our 86-year-old mother had fallen ill and was hospitalized. Family members who lived nearby were keeping vigil at the hospital, consulting with doctors and caring for Mom’s basic needs, at points even helping her to eat.
It was my first day on the job as associate pastor. I enthusiastically unlocked the door to my new office and was taken aback by the writing on the wall. Literally. There was a massive white banner hanging on the wall with a warning, handwritten in giant red letters, that read, “We don’t like change!”
“In the spring of 1928, not quite 15 years after the settlement had begun, Jake Funk opened the new red-brick store on a prominent corner of Main Street in Blaine Lake, Sask.
Transition plans, storytelling and navigating change were all part of the Jan. 27-28, 2018, weekend when the Mennonite Church Canada Joint Council convened at Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond.
The numerous staff changes at Mennonite Church Eastern Canada in the last year have been coming for a long time.
Saskatchewan Mennonite Youth Organization retreats are an annual highlight, and the senior-high retreat held at Shekinah Retreat Centre has been an opportunity for youth to reunite with each other for a long time.
Marie Penner from Toronto United Mennonite Church had a dream of a camp that would develop the musical talents of young Mennonites in Ontario.
Donning my biology lab coat and goggles, I push through the bustling crowd of eager campers who are anxiously waiting to sing for their lunchtime mail delivery, and I raise my hand in the air. “Ready?” I ask. “One, two, three!” And the crowd of 80 bursts into an enthusiastic, barely organized uproar.
When I was 5, my parents dropped me off for a week of camp at Silver Lake, near Sauble Beach, Ont. I was terrified. When they were trying to say their goodbyes, I would not let them go.
A young girl pretends she is an expert equestrian. Slightly older, she learns the difference between a J-stroke and a C-stroke. Later, as a counsellor, she races through pouring rain near midnight to the lodge bathroom. Another night, she holds a tiny hand as someone struggles to fall asleep in a strange place.
Many summer camps offer horseback riding as part of their overall programming. The Youth Farm Bible Camp is developing its summer horse program into a year-round ministry.
Johnny Wideman of Theatre of the Beat shares his peacebuilding wisdom with campers at Conrad Grebel University College's Peace Camp. Peace Camp is a day camp and peace educational program for youth aged 11 to 14 in Waterloo Region. Campers learn that peace is possible as they share stories and learn from people in the community and meet people from various cultural backgrounds, faiths, and orientations. (Peace Camp photo)
Have you ever been in a place, space or community where you have been encouraged to try something new? Have you been challenged to take risks and leap out of your comfort zone? Have you tasted the confidence that comes with mastering new skills?
Luke Nickel recently completed a PhD in music composition at Bath Spa University in England. (Photo by Leif Norman)
Luke Nickel co-founded Winnipeg's Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival while studying at the University of Manitoba. (Photo by Leif Norman)
Pianist Everett Hopfner performs one of Luke Nickel's pieces at the 2017 edition of Cluster. (Photo by Leif Norman)
The Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival aims to bridge the gap between new music, dance and visual art. (Photo by Aaron Sivertson)
Since Luke Nickel was young, his parents instilled in him the value of thinking critically. He recalls one conversation—the exact topic escapes him—during which his father said to him and his siblings, “I don’t care what you think about it, as long as you think about it.”
James DeGurse, centre, a Roman Catholic, finds value in reading the Bible communally. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Braden Siemens’s take on Scripture is informed by attending both Pentecostal and Anglican churches. (Photo by Aaron Epp)
Claire Hanson, Braden Siemens, James DeGurse, Marnie Klassen and Kenny Wollmann share their views of Scripture at CMU on Feb. 5, 2018. (Photo courtesy of CMU)
Scripture is a massive, ancient, messy archive of God’s relationship with humanity that many claim to interpret correctly.
But with such diverse understandings of the Bible, how can Christians approach it with humility while granting God’s words authority over their lives? How can young people take Scripture seriously in an increasingly secularized world?