Last weekend, five families participated in this year's Family Camp. We couldn't have had a nicer weekend regarding weather. Thanks go to the Gastony family for sharing their beautiful farm with us. They were such gracious hosts, and the accommodations were among the best that our Family Camp has seen. Thanks also need to be shared with our Ministry Hosts - Jeff and Kari Owens - who made sure we had enough food, supplies, and social activities to make happy campers.
There was a lot to do. We painted barn signs using authentic farm boards. Kaia Gastony lead horseback rides. A game of Ultimate Frisbee involved all ages - even the panting pastor! There were also bike rides to Cleary Lake, water wars, and campfire worship. It was a full weekend that even had some time for naps. Perfect.
Although there was so much to do for all ages and great fun each step of the way, the best part of the weekend had not so much to do with doing as it did with being. Simply being together was the best part of Family Camp. We were a community. We were a family. And we stopped along the way to listen, laugh, and share life. Whether it was a meal, a cup of morning coffee on the deck, washing a paint brush in the shared water bucket, or sitting in a circle around the fire - the interaction was something special.
Christian community happens when those who follow Jesus share their lives with each other. The level of the sharing can be deep, reaching those places where we are most genuine and vulnerable, or at the level of a joyful laugh, light and filled with frivolity. To be the people that God created us to be, we need community. We need interaction with others that goes beyond our tribe and clan. Jesus knew this and so the building of community was connected to his acts of healing and compassion. The community expanded as Jesus proclaimed in word and deed the kingdom of God. True community patterned on Jesus must be open and ever expanding. Hospitality broadens the circle around the campfire and adds space and chairs for others to sit down.
I am grateful for the hospitality extended and the community shared at this year's Family Camp, which was a short drive away. Thank you all and thank you, God!