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This past August Hope families were invited to participate in Family Camp at Kuriakos, at which I served as Resource Pastor. This year the Woods and the Wolds were able to attend, and it was such a wonderful time that I hope many more will join us next summer! (Grandparents are also welcome to bring grandkids, and if a full week doesn’t suit you, you can come for just a couple of days.)

The theme of the week was “Living in God’s Time.” In activity and learning sessions for adults and children (separate groups!) we explored what it means to step out of the busy pace of our modern lives, and into the gift of God’s time. Using the seasons of the liturgical year as our guide, we discovered together what each season taught us about God’s time. So in a single week we celebrated Advent, Christmas/Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and finally Pentecost!

In Advent we learned that God’s time means “holding the space,” or having the courage and faith to simply be present to our own (and others’) deepest longings, sufferings, and hopes. This is the space into which God comes. Christmas and Epiphany were all about becoming mindful of the gift of Christ, the light of the world that is not overcome by any darkness of our lives. He comes to us in the practice of gratitude, which is like lighting a candle that become a blaze to lighten our darkness. In Lent we “remembered that we are dust, and to dust we will return.” Far from being a self-judging put-down, this is a gracious affirmation that we are beloved of God, even in our frailty, mortality, and sin. Easter is the practice of peace and reconciliation that brings resurrection life to our world. Jesus came preaching peace, and in his death and resurrection all things were reconciled to God. We are called to be people who in turn bring this life to the world. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended in wind and fire. We connected to the breath of the Spirit by becoming mindful of our own breathing. God’s Spirit prays in us even when we don’t have the words, and is always as close as our own breath.

Of course God’s time is not only for summer camp but for all our lives! I plan to carry forward the insights and practices we discovered at camp into my personal and pastoral life this fall. May God’s time be alive in you, even and especially in the midst of all the busy-ness of fall activities!

Peace and blessings are yours.

Pastor Kristian