Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I learned at Seeds of Peace Camp

Last week, one child I encountered was my best teacher. This child was one who I least expected to be excited about the Seeds of Peace Camp at Land of the Sky UCC Church was a rough and tumble, hair in shambles child, who was thin as a rail, but looked as tough as nails. When I first encountered him in music, he popped out of the crowd of kids as a child who I labeled as someone who was not going to enjoy singing our cute little songs. He just did not look the angelic choir child type. It was to my great surprise on the second day of music, he said, “this is really a lot of fun, I love our camp, playing with all my friends, singing and hearing stories about God.” It was at that point that I said to myself; “see John, you cannot, dismiss anyone; everyone is full of possibilities, inquisitivenesses and surprises and each person is unique in their spiritual journey. The week at the camp was filled with amazing energy and as we mixed fun games, cute songs, playtime, craft making and adults providing yummy snacks, the children who attended Seeds of Peace Camp were exposed to the presence of God through these encounters. For this age group there were no attempts to systematically build a theology of God, but to let their experience inform them as to the vast array of emotions and experiences that go into fueling our spiritual pilgrimage and concepts of God. One never knows how this experience will ultimately be integrated into their image of God and life philosophy. But as a fellow traveler, it is not the task of any of us to produce cookie cutter “people of faith” but to let the experience do its own work. And thus in the long run we will all be more authentic in our faith and more invested in its implications for adding meaning to our lives. This is what I learned at Seeds of Peace Camp.

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