With this issue we begin Round Five of our series related to the camping curriculum, Creation Speaks, which we are using for our programming in 2022. We take our time with these stories and listen to many camp and retreat perspectives so that we can hear anew what God is saying to the people. Today we explore again the image of Light and theses texts: Genesis 1:1-5 and John 8:12.
Ever wake up in the middle of the night and stub your little toe or step on a lego? Often painful consequences occur when we try to navigate in the dark. We stumble and fall, and in our stubbornness we say to ourselves, “I can do this, it is just a short walk to the kitchen to get a drink, what could happen?” We end up falling over furniture or our children’s toys. If only we would have turned on the light!
“When Jesus spoke to the people again he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12) When I wake up in the middle of the night I often think I can find my way without reaching over and turning on the light. Sometimes I am successful in safely accomplishing what I got up to do. Most of the time I trip, step on something, or run into a wall.
Many times in my stubbornness and rush to get things done I have not waited for the light. I forged ahead, running into obstacles that were hidden in the darkness. When I slow down and take the time to reach out to “the light of the world,” life falls into place. Amazingly, people arrive to lighten my load. I am blessed by this and I know that they also have the feeling of being blessed. There is a grace in being the light for others, which increases the light for the whole world to see.
The light from the stars that twinkle above Sawtooth Camp traveled many years before it reached my eyes. The mere number of stars takes my breath away. Like the light from those stars, the light we put into the world will travel through generations and change lives long after the light shined in the darkness--and the scope of that impact takes my breath away. May you be blessed by the light of others, and may your light bless others so that together we can lead the way from darkness in our world.
Michael Pletcher, Director
*PHOTO: Although Todd Bartlett, our usual photographer, is actually at Sawtooth this week, he was unable to send a starry sky photo from camp. But you can imagine you're experiencing the night sky from one of our sites with the photo above by Wil Stewart on Unsplash.
If you look at the About page of Wallowa Lake Camp’s website, the first thing you read is, “Camp is not just for Kids!” This is true not only for Wallowa, but also for nearly all of our other sites.
Perhaps you’re a clergy member looking for a wellness retreat or one to help you prepare for the coming liturgical year. Do you like to quilt or sew? Are you looking for time away that includes meditation and prayer? We offer all that and more (how about listening to your heart or a spiritual detox for men?) Click on the following links for more information and to register.
If you have any questions, contact our registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-802-9214 or visit the Camp Sessions page of our website: https://www.gocamping.org/campsessions.
Alton L. Collins Retreat Center
Time to Sow
Cultivating Presence Through Movement, Meditation, and Poetry
Kintsugi Breaking and Mending Retreat
Suttle Lake Camp
Fall Quilts, Craft & More
Transformations Prayer Retreat
Wallowa Lake Camp
Refreshing Waters: A Clergy Wellness Retreat @ Wallowa Lake Camp
Spiritual Detox! Men’s Retreat: The Spiritual Path of Jesus for Men
Healing Through the Heart Retreat
*PHOTO: Trees, water, mountains...these elements and more are waiting to welcome adults to retreats at Wallowa Lake (Todd Bartlett).
As Mike points out above, gazing at the sheer number of stars can take our breath away. But he's also aware of the incredible impact that happens when, like the stars, each of us shines the light of God's love into the world. That happens repeatedly at camp, and it also happens each time you support camp and retreat ministry with your dollars. Every generous donation, no matter how small it might seem, is magnified by the light of all those other donations, just as the night sky is filled with stars. Join all the other "camp stars" by donating today!