I got a call from a younger member of our church. He had just returned from Episcopal Camp in Monticello and it was pretty clear he had a blast. He told me he went cave exploring, rock climbing and swimming and that he definitely wants to go again next year.
I think I am just as excited as he is. He is our first person from Chariton to go to camp and I really wanted him to have a good experience. He didn't mention much about the religious side of church camp but it's hard to compete with exploring caves and climbing rocks.
The other day I was looking at this old photo of a St. Andrew's Sunday School outing. It gave me a perspective of how our church has nurtured and cared for people in Chariton for over a hundred years. It was just seemed so cool, looking at this picture and seeing these kids about to go on a picnic. I assume it was a picnic. Every person in that picture has died but their gift to us today is their heritage. Now it is our turn to care for each other, to have our own church outings and offer our example to the people who follow us.
I just wanted to reflect on how we are just a part of a chain of people who have looked after and nurtured each other over the years.
Here is a picture of our future.
Last Wednesday at evening prayer we celebrated the life of Thomas a Kempis. I knew very little about him although I am sure I have read about him many times during my study for the priesthood. He lived and wrote during the 1400's and the major work to which he is credited is The Imitation of Christ. It is one of those writings that has been on my reading list for quite a while, so the next day, Thursday, I decided it was time. I checked on Amazon and for ninety nine cents they would deliver it to my Kindle in one minute. It was the best purchase I have made for under a buck in a long time, maybe ever!
The writing is very medieval. It has a lot of words like striveth and understandeth but you get used to the voice and it flows nicely. As I was reading I would tell myself, "you have got to remember this passage or that phrase." I was truly inspired by this man.
Here is an example. "The more a man hath unity and simplicity in himself, the more things and the deeper things he understandeth."
Here is another. "The more humble a man is in himself, and the more obedient towards God, the wiser will he be in all things, and the more shall his soul be at peace."
Isn't that what we all want? For our souls to be at peace?