And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. (Genesis 1:6-8 NRSV)
Many of us are drawn to water. People dream of a home near the ocean beaches, on the shore of a lake, or along a mountain stream. We are attracted to water for recreation. Ocean beaches and lakes are popular places for us to relax and enjoy our leisure time. Water provides us with electrical power and a habitat for many species of animals with which we share God's Creation.
Water is essential for life; it allows the body to function correctly. Water helps rejuvenate us when we are tired. A hot shower cleans off the dirt from a long day of work and relaxes our tired and sore bodies.
Water is also important in our spiritual lives. At our baptism, water is used to symbolize the washing away of our sins and the renewing of our spirit. Many times in the Bible water is used to represent the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Water: that amazing liquid that can satisfy a parched throat or relieve tired and aching muscles can also help to renew our spirit. If we just slow down enough to lounge on a beach and listen to the lapping of the waves or sit quietly by a river and let the motion of the water and the sound of it running by soothe our souls.
Director, Sawtooth Camp
*PHOTO: Stacked rocks invite contemplation along the river at Sawtooth (Todd Bartlett).
On a warm, sunny day in early June a team from the Wallowa Lake United Methodist Camp travelled to Lapwai, ID to install a GaGa Ball pit at the middle school on the Nez Perce reservation.
For many years the Nez Perce nation has held two culture camps each summer for elementary and high school children at the Wallowa Lake Camp, which sits on part of the historical lands of the Nez Perce, or Nimiipuu Nation.
For those of you unfamiliar with GaGa Ball, it is like dodge ball except that it is in a space defined by a wall, and when trying to get someone “out” of the game by hitting them with the ball, the contact must be below the waist.
The GaGa Ball pit at Wallowa Lake is a gathering place for the Nez Perce culture campers. There is much laughter and joy that is experienced around the pit, especially when one of our co-directors, Peggy Lovegren, steps in and plays the game with the campers.
Because the pit was such a popular place for fun and fellowship during camp, we decided to ask if GaGa Ball might be a welcome addition at one of the schools in Lapwai. The response was quick and positive! It was decided that the middle school would be the best location for the new pit.
Camp and Retreat Ministries and the Wallowa Lake camp community are thrilled that this game will be used by children who will have fun, learn, and grow.
Money is still needed to cover the cost of the equipment and installation. If you would like to donate to the project you can send a check directly to Wallowa Lake Camp or you can donate online. Simply indicate that the gift is for the GaGa Ball pit.
*PHOTO: Middle Schoolers are already leaping for joy at the new GaGa Ball pit at the middle school in Lapwai (Peggy Lovegren).
It was obvious to David and Peggy Lovegren (pictured above at the left) how much the Nez Perce kids at Wallowa Lake's culture camp loved the GaGa Ball pit. So the next step was also pretty obvious: could the Wallowa camp community donate a GaGa pit to a school in Lapwai? As you can see, the answer was a resounding yes. And now we're ready for the next obvious question: can you help us cover the cost of purchasing and installing the pit? You know the answer to that! (Hint: the green button is just below this line.)
*PHOTO: Students at Lapwai Middle School celebrate the installation of their new GaGa Ball pit with David and Peggy Lovegren.