I would like to tell you about something that really excites me about being the bishop of the Episcopal Church in Delaware — I get to go to Camp Arrowhead. I’m invited to be a part of one of the greatest assets, one of the greatest traditions, and one of the greatest ministries of this diocese – Camp Arrowhead, located on the Rehoboth Bay.
I had the opportunity to be with the counselors, the staff members, and the campers as they celebrated some of the best parts of what it means to be ‘camp’. I presided over two closing Eucharists this summer: one followed a two-week camp session where campers and their counselors celebrated their last evening together and another this past Sunday night where all staff and counselors took time to pause and reflect on the summer they had just served together.
These celebrations are really wonderful, emotional, and a joyful time. Sometimes in the church, we wonder if we are doing enough ministry for youth and young adults. I will tell you that one night at Camp Arrowhead — one closing Eucharist — will make you come to appreciate the good things that are happening. Camp Arrowhead is a ministry of youth and young adults, by youth and young adults, for youth and young adults. It is a place where the love of Jesus Christ is palpable. You can feel it in the air. It’s alive.
At a summer youth camp you see people who love and respect each other for who they really are. I see kids eager to help with the smallest of tasks. I see joy and laughter, tenderness and vulnerability, and truth telling. I see real and genuine compassion, community and love. It’s faith, it’s hope, and it’s love. It is what we preach each and every Sunday and it’s alive. This spirit will remind you about what is good and right in the world. This gives me hope that there is good things around the corner in our future. It is too bad that we, as adults, don’t get a chance to go to summer camp, as we stand to be reminded of what is good and right in the world and that the love of Jesus Christ is palpable and alive. Tenderness and vulnerability matter and it is a gift.
To my brothers and sisters who were campers, staff members, and counselors at Camp Arrowhead, I thank you for your summer, for the gift that you gave one another, and for the gift that you gave me.
May the peace of Christ be with you always and remember that you are the beloved of God.