Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Hope's Retreat at Camp Frederick

It's not too late to sign up for the All New Hope Retreat. The retreat will take place from Saturday, August 1 to Sunday, August 2. It will be a great opportunity for all ages of New Hopers.

During that weekend, we'll have ONE COMBINED GATHERING on Sunday at 10.30am (no Saturday Gathering).

Here is a message from the camp's Director, Tom Breitlow regarding the camp:

A slice of heaven amidst your average town where the spirit of God is felt and lives are changed. Each summer hundreds of people walk the trails, partake in the activities and learn about who they are. Camp Frederick has always been a place for people of all kinds to come and be treated equally, a place where the weak are strengthened, the selfish are humbled, the lost find direction. A place so comfortable that kids are lining up to come back year after year. In many cases, some kids come from troubled homes and count down the days to when they can get back to Camp Frederick where they know they are cared for and treated with love and affection. It is a place where youth groups come to strengthen their friendships and grow in their spiritual journey. It is a place free of judgment where each and every child is given a chance to shine their light and be who they truly are.

Camp Frederick is a place where God's beauty and wonder can be physically seen, visible in its surroundings. In the trees as the wind rushes through the leaves, in the creeks as the water flows effortlessly by, and most importantly, God's beauty is visible in the spirit of the staff. Over the past ten years, one word has defined the spirituality, the atmosphere, the experience, and the way people are treated at Camp Frederick. Namaste is a South Asian word originating in India. In its simplest definition, it means I see God in you. This, however, is what the word is all about:

I honor the place in you in which God dwells
The place that is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace
When I am in that place in me, and you are in that place in you
We are one.

Namaste is used as a greeting in place of hello or goodbye as a constant reminder that we see God in each other. The Holy Spirit is one of the Holy Trinity as we understand God in our Lutheran tradition. Through our baptism we are given the Holy Spirit and recited during most Lutheran baptisms is this verse: Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. With the holy spirit, we are called to let the light of God shine through us. Camp Frederick is a place where kids are given the opportunity to see God in themselves, in others, and in their surroundings. When the staff looks at each other they see God's hands at work and they treat their campers with an undying love and respect because they see God in each child.

Namaste is more than a greeting, it is a way of life. It is a way of seeing our world, seeing the people we encounter each and every day. According to the Lutheran tradition, the Holy Spirit works through all of us, connects us all through God, unites us as one.

I see the God in you, Namaste.

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