Faith is a beautiful, life-affirming gift.
It is by faith that we say Yes to each day that God gives us. By faith we reach out to others, hoping to find a friend. By faith we risk a life of commitment, generosity, and forgiveness.
And by faith we open our lives to God, who, we are bold to believe, loves each of us fiercely, and is calling all of us to join on a brave journey.
In the Gospels, Jesus celebrates whenever he recognizes faith in anyone. He is amazed by the faith of some (Matt. 18:28). Many times he says to someone, “Your faith has saved you.” And then, after affirming their faith, he calls them to follow.
Faith is crucial, and yet it can be elusive. Faith can be a struggle. Some are reluctant to speak of faith because they do not want to claim more than they know. Faith is deeply personal, and it differs from one to another because faith has to do with trust, and trust is hard-won and easily disappointed. And, of course, faith is not exactly trending these days. By most counts, the number of those in the U.S. who profess Christian faith is diminishing.
This leads us to wonder whether our children, or our grandchildren will have faith. Will the next generation say Yes to this?
So, it is a great privilege to be around young people who are growing in faith. Our counselors come from many different traditions, but they are each on a Christian journey. The campers watch, listen, and take these counselors seriously, and this makes for a really interesting (sometimes daunting) encounter. Camp can be one of those places where faith is kindled, and where faith grows and expands.
Faith begins when we are seen, heard, and loved, as God loves us. Faith grows as we hear trustworthy people tell their own stories of belief. We see this happen beautifully at camp, when trustworthy counselors have to put their own faith into their own words during devotions at night.
Faith expands as people are welcomed into healthy communities of faith.
When people experience belonging, they begin to acquire the language of faith. Faith is confirmed when we begin to confess our own belief, in our own words, learning to tell our stories truthfully, in the faith that God loves us, each and all.
Faith is deepened when we are allowed to ask honest questions. And it is strengthened when it takes us into hard places, the places where Jesus is truly found.
Camp is a place where faith can grow. Will our grandchildren have faith? I’m hopeful.
Coordinating Director & Director of Risk Management