Monday, March 23, 2015

Hospitality and the Renewal of Camp

One of the highlights of last week came on Thursday.  A local pastor contacted my spouse as someone who could help him figure out people in Broward county who have a connection to church camps in general and Luther Springs in particular. 

Instead of a meeting over coffee or in someone's office, my spouse suggested that the pastor come over for dinner.  My spouse knows how to do hospitality!  I tried not to worry too much about all the ways our house might not be good enough.  I've written about this idea of scruffy hospitality, most notably in this blog post.  I say, "Come on over!  My kitchen floor isn't clean enough to eat off of, but that's why we have plates."   But secretly, some part of me believes that my floor should be clean enough to eat off of, and that I will be judged harshly when it is not.

My spouse made a wonderful meal on the grill.  We let our guest decide whether to eat in the dining room or on the front porch.  The pastor, who has a degree in urban planning, chose the porch.

Our porch table is big enough for three plates and not much else, so we made our plates inside and took them to the porch.  And then, we had a delightful time.

We talked about camp and Luther Springs, of course.  But we also talked about the issue of the local church.  He's pastor of a church that doesn't have its own building, and given the costs of acquiring a building and land--and then insuring that building--the church likely never will have its own space.  We're part of a church that has a building and 4 acres, most of them sitting vacant.  Occasionally we think of doing something else with the land, but it never works out.  Currently, we have a multitude of other groups and churches also using our building.  Most days, that sharing situation is a gift to us all.

We talked a bit about larger church stuff and theology.  What a treat!  Most of our dinner guests are not inclined to talk about theology.

Will it lead to more involvement in camp?  There's no getting around the fact that it takes 5-6 hours, or longer, for most of us to get to Luther Springs.  If we're in the western part of the panhandle, it's even further.  That makes a week-end trip almost impossible.

I know that most people think that camp means summer camps with kids spending nights away.  But I think camp can be just as vital for grown ups.  We could have lots of renewal in a week-end--however, it might not be as possible when that week-end is book-ended by a car trip of that size.

It was a weeknight, and so we called it a night at 10:00--a late night for me.  But it was worth the slight weariness that I felt on Friday. 

When just talking about camp leads to feelings of renewal, just think about what a time away at camp could do!

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