It is always hard for me to wrap my head around the month of February. It seems like Christmas and New Year’s Day were not too far behind us. I wonder where January went. Though I do enjoy the month of February, it seems like so much is packed in it from Black History month, Groundhog’s Day, President’s Day, Ministers’ Week at Texas Christian University, National Bird Feeding month, American Heart month, National “I Want Butterscotch” Day (February 15th), National Margarita Day (February 22nd), National Banana Bread Day (February 23), and so many other activities. Luckily, this is not a Leap Year, so we will not be celebrating National Frog’s Legs Day on the 29th of February. Valentine’s Day, however, gets lots of attention as a day to celebrate love and relationships.
Excluding the consumerism, the values of Valentine’s Day are core tenets in Christianity and can illuminate how we engage other relationships as well. We all have a myriad of relationships that include others, environment, organizations, God, and even ourselves. Within these relationships we have opportunities for growth, nurturing, grace, acceptance, transformation, empowerment, creativity, and hope and dreams. I see this every day at Slumber Falls Camp. The people that have fallen in love here have a wide variety of reasons that connect them to this place. Not only are the bonds forged here sacred, our senses trigger memories and make them more potent. I am humbled how the camp, the churches, and the people over the years have touched the lives of so many people, helped them find healthier ways of living, and also created spaced for them to experience the sacredness of creation and even God’s presence in their midst.
This is a camp built, shaped, and operated in that divine love where God’s people and creation come together. The last couple of years were tough on the camp financially, but we were blessed by the many volunteers who came out here to lend a hand, clean-up the campgrounds, fix-up some of the cabins and lodges, and support us with physical and monetary donations to improve our ministries. While our faiths do not require any financial support, our institutions where transformations occur do. As Christians, we are called to be reflections of God’s light and love in the world. One of the powerful tools the church has is our outdoor ministry programs that are operated by the values and beliefs that we embody as a result of God’s Spirit moving among us.
Camps are growing across the county. People are recognizing the value and sacredness of human contact and relationships on deeper levels. This could be the start of a new revival in our churches and communities. What an exciting time to be part of the church, the Slumber Falls Camp family, and God’s bearer of light and love. I look forward to see how God’s love will manifest this year in our camps and retreats. We are ready to welcome new faces and celebrate the return of many of our camp family this summer. I look forward to seeing you.
If you want to be part of a ministry that has a clear vision and your efforts will contribute to these goals, I want to invite you to join us. Join us in sharing God’s love through our sacred spaces, our program development, and discerning where God is calling us to serve. I hope that this month also provides you some time to reflect on how you will be an agent of love this year and specific ways that you will challenge yourself to grow and engage God’s call. Until we see each other in person, I hope you sense the refreshment and renewal of Slumber Falls in your soul and the relationships forged are authentic and life-giving.