PREVIEW OF THE march 2014 ISSUE
Finding a mountain to pray
Each morning, I wake up to a barrage of email. News of violence in the world slides across the television as I glance at a to-do list that ridiculously includes a reminder to create a to-do list. Coffee softens the expectation of a day full of noise: text messages, phone calls, meetings, and traffic. At some point during the day, I’ll probably hear about the declining church—about empty pews on Sunday morning, a budget (not to mention a social witness) now much reduced, and the search for those elusive young adults. I’ll read about family time on the decline and how people are more stressed than ever. And each time, I’ll think to myself: we have too much of all the wrong things and too little of what matters most.
But there are places on this green earth where that isn’t the case—places of spiritual formation that draw people of all ages in abundance to be renewed and then sent out into the world to do God’s work. With over 140 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) camps and conference centers spread across the nation, people are discovering the importance of retreat, as modeled by Jesus in his own journey.
When I began my career in camp and conference ministry at age 31 with two small children in tow, my family was blessed to be a part of a congregation that embraced the camp experience as part of its year-round ministry. Led by a pastor and spouse who met while working together at camp, this congregation sent its children and young adults to the presbytery’s summer camp, held school-year retreats there, and even arranged volunteers and raised funds for it. The congregation saw the camp as a true extension of its ministry.
Members, they believed, benefited from having a place to gather away from home to worship and to study God’s Word.
One in mission | Linda Valentine
The ripples of camp across a lifetime
Camping has long been an important part of my family’s spiritual and professional life. Coming from four generations of avid campers (I’m in the third one), I am proud to claim family camping as an integral part of my life and legacy.Continue reading
Forming faith through camps
With the promise of spring in the air, many Presbyterians can look forward to the warm days of sunshine, swimming, and sports at camp.
However, according to a recent Presbyterian Panel survey (a representative sample of Presbyterian members, ruling elders, and teaching elders), camps and conference centers offer much more than recreation.
Adam J. Copeland | Faith and Culture
Kicking in together
I send my web browser to kickstarter.com, sitting in a coffee shop in Fargo, North Dakota. As the site loads, I’m greeted by a large image with the words, “Bring creativity to life.” Below the advertisement, the Kickstarter “project of the day” has received nearly $8,000 in funding, over 50 percent of what’s needed to publish a new children’s book. The project could make it—14 days remain until the window to pledge closes. Below the book, four images with appeals for local projects appear on my screen. They range from a family board game to a new batch of Minnesota Mule wild game and fish seasonings. As I continue to scroll down the page, a section of “popular” projects appears with an image of a burning flame indicating they’re receiving a lot of support—they’re hot.Continue reading
Presbyterians Today | 2014 Lenten Devotional
Cross-Bound to download a preview click here
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.—Luke 9:51
Jesus foretells his coming death twice as he heads toward his crucifixion. Instead of running away from suffering, he embraces it, step by step. He is bound for the cross, and by the end of his journey, he will be bound to the cross. He is, in a word, cross-bound.
Along his journey, Jesus challenges those around him ...
Cross-bound, the beautiful new Lenten Devotional from Presbyterians Today, is now available!
NEW THIRD EDITION. Presbyterians Today’s special issue and guidebook — “Welcome to the Presbyterian Church!” — is a wonderful introduction and overview of all things Presbyterian.