Outdoor Ministry-Why I Love It

Those of you who read this regularly probably already know my primary vocation outside of being a daddy is outdoor ministry.  My secondary vocation has been pulpit supply.  It is with mixed feelings that I am listening carefully to the knock on the door of my heart to more fully embrace pastoral ministry as an equal partner with my love of outdoor ministry.

That being said, I spent this past weekend and first few days of this week volunteering at Camp Magruder on the Oregon Coast.  I was able to spend time with first and second graders, some of whom were going to camp for the first time, and it reminded me again of how much I love what camp is and does for campers.

Recently, Brian McLaren commented on the importance of outdoor ministries and gave it a twist/new perspective I hadn’t fully thought of before: Camp/retreat ministry as a mini monastic experience (see below for the clip of him speaking).

Is that why I love it so much or is there something else?  All through a week of camp, activities and liturgies, singing and playing together as a community of faith happens with intention.  God is central to the rhythm of life experienced at camp.  Campers and staff alike reach upwards to God and outwards to one another in the age-old image of a cross, which also becomes the age-old community image of a circle of people holding hands reaching out to one another.

Each of us then becomes a cross with our bodies, while each of us, holding hands together (all hands held out in front, all thumbs pointing left) becomes the literal and metaphorical holding up of one another in a supportive solidarity of intentional community.

With all of that in mind, I say thank you to our deans and camp staff, our campers and to the witness of God’s creation as the Holy Spirit breathed upon all of us to grow more upwards and outwards.

Mr. Scott aka “Scottrick,” aka Scott Crane

Brian McLaren on the Importance of Camping

During the Saturday Session with Brian McLaren at the 2014 Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference, Rev. Kevin Witt, the United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry Executive for the General Board of Discipleship, asked him to elaborate on his comments about church camp.Click to see video of McLaren’s Response:

(c) Brian McLaren and the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Permission is granted for personal use and non-profit sharing in churches and church-related organizations.


About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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