This past week, we had a large number of boys (in addition to one girl serving as counselor in training) who spent the week at Camp Overlook. Zach and Hunter were among the ones who went, and they had a fantastic week. On the ride home from picking them up, we, of course, got the run down of all the fun things - and a couple of not so fun ones, too - that had happened over the course of the week. The stories were filled with the names of new friends that they had made at camp. To my surprise, the boys were even able to tell us what the home church of several of their new friends were. As I heard them name several congregations on the Harrisonburg and Augusta districts, I thought of the pastors of those churches who are my colleagues in ministry, my brothers and sisters, and I gave thanks for this connection we have in the United Methodist Church. This connection is a wonderful thing. We are never alone in ministry, and together we are able to accomplish so much more.
There are times, certainly, when we may not be as keen about this connection we have. There are times when we disagree with our brothers and sisters over decisions to be made. There are times when we may wish we weren't expected to support the denomination's ministries because things are tight here in our own church. Despite these, however, the connection we have with our fellow United Methodists is a good thing. What great things have been accomplished day by day through the power of congregations working together in the name of Jesus Christ.
Through our cooperation, we have created and maintained Camp Overlook, a place for our kids to meet God on the mountain. Through our connection, we have built many fine colleges, universities, hospitals, and retirement homes that are places of peace, healing, and growing in this world. Through our combined resources, we have missionaries working around the world in our name to bring the love and grace of Jesus into some of the most impoverished, hopeless communities. Thanks be to God that we are connected with other brothers and sisters all over the world for the ministry of our Lord!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Living in Community
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