Longing for …
On a recent Zoom meeting with this summer’s leadership team**, these longings were spoken and held as our collective hope for campers (and staff alike) as we look to the summer. We recognized and named the seemingly endless swirl of change, disruption, chaos, confusion, and loss that the past year has held, as well as a shared longings for space and time to orient our whole selves towards God, palms open, spirits awake.
As one summer staff wisely noted, our longings for this summer and what campers will experience at Friedenswald are not necessarily distinct from previous years. We’ve always longed for campers to experience love, fun, community, rest, healing, acceptance, etc. This year, however, these longings take on new meaning and depth, as many campers come from a school year and family life rife with disruptions, losses, fears and death – on a personal, family, community, and global scale.
While we long for normalcy – and a return to Camp Friedenswald as we knew it – we also recognize that Camp will be different. We come as changed people – campers and staff. We come still living in the midst of a global pandemic and necessary adjustments to programming will be expected. And yet we trust that as we enter a 70th season, Camp will be a place where campers young and old might find that God meets them in their place of deepest longing.
This summer’s theme is all about longings of the human heart. Daily we’ll explore issues and concerns that as humans we wrestle with, and recognize that as people of faith, we look to scripture and traditions of those who came before us to see how we might face these same issues in our lives today. We’ll explore various prayer practices and ways of connecting with God. Together we trust that God longs to meet us here. Thank you for your prayers as we continue to prepare for the arrival of camper this summer.
**Introducing the 2021 Summer Staff Leadership Team:
Abigail Greaser, Goshen College (graduate)
Elsie Koop Liechty, Goshen College (graduate)
Katie Landes, Goshen College (senior)
Douglas Nester, Eastern Mennonite University (graduate)
Kate Szambecki , Eastern Mennonite University (senior)
We are so grateful for the gifts and service that each of these individuals will give as we enter a new summer at Friedenswald!