May 2, 2013

Summer provides unique opportunities for spiritual formation – two of which I would encourage you to consider participating in this year.

Vacation Bible Camp (July 15-19) is a great reminder that it truly takes a village to raise up the children of the church – and there are ways in which everyone can get involved at their own level of interest. We began offering Bible Camp two summers ago – not just for the opportunities it would provide our children (although those are significant) – but also for the opportunities it would provide the whole congregation. Those who enjoy working with kids are encouraged to check out various ways of helping out during the week of Camp. Those who enjoy crafts and decorations are encouraged to check out the various ways to help with decorations. Those who want to see more kids at Camp can provide scholarships or help with promotion. Those who want to impart some spiritual wisdom are encouraged to help with curriculum writing. We also need volunteers to shop for supplies, help with set up and take down, and invite kids in the neighborhood/community to attend Camp. Bottom line – there is something for everyone to do to help promote and produce this great experience for Campers, Counselors, Leaders and the whole Community. If you have any ideas about how you might want to help out, please talk to me or Camp Director Karen Okusu.

Lakeshore’s Annual Church Retreat (August 2-4) is another great opportunity for spiritual formation this summer. Listening to God’s Spirit has been an important exercise during the retreats over the past few years, under the capable leadership of Mark Yaconelli (2011) and Marie Onwubuariri (2012). Continuing in this vein, we have commissioned our own Carolyn Matthews to function as our retreat facilitator this year. Our theme is Let Your Light Shine, taken from Matthew 5:14-16. Carolyn and I will work together to provide a weekend of listening to what God’s Spirit might be speaking to us, as well as sharing with one another some stories of how God’s light has shown brightly in our own lives, both during times of joy and times of hardship. It is our hope that through setting aside time to listen for God and listen to one another, we might be strengthened in our own faith journeys. We trust that the Spirit will move among us in a meaningful way at this year’s retreat.

As you look to your own summer calendars, I encourage you to find ways to participate in Christian formation activities!