My Two Cents
June 26, 2022, 12:00 AM

One thing in ministry I learned the hard way was about who suffers when a crisis visits the church.

After a Christmas night church fire in the congregation we used to serve burned our building essentially to the ground, everyone valiantly stepped up to provide key leadership to get us through the crisis. A neighborhood church offered us their sanctuary and offices. A community center offered us a big room for meetings. People came through with donations of books and office equipment. We even had a call from someone who offered us their old choir robes!

So, out of the ashes we were able to cobble together a vital congregational life- with one big exception. Our kids. It took us weeks and weeks to even begin to find the energy to provide programming for our kids, while everyone was doing whatever they could to keep us going. We all know that Sunday school and Youth groups are important- really important! But, when the focus narrows to doing the things that are absolutely necessary just to get by, the kids too often get shuffled to the side.

Thankfully that hasn't happened at Christian Temple over the past two years of "crisis".

During the pandemic we had some folks who really stepped up to keep things going for our kids and youth. Peter Kruse and Mindy Swain managed to get the CYF together a few times and even had modified work trips both years. Kecia Johnson and her crew made sure we had a virtual Vacation Bible School and other things for kids. Jayna Powell kept our younger kids singing from their homes. Our young adults gathered once or twice.

One thing, though, that has gone by the wayside over the past two years is our congregation's participation in the Regional Camp and Conference Program. For obvious reasons, Covid meant no camps. And no camps, meant no money allocated in our budget to fund our historically generous camp scholarship program.

For decades it has been the practice at Christian Temple to pay for half of the expense of church camp for children, youth and young adults. That policy has reaped huge rewards as kids have so often found their spiritual home at church camp- or at least have had their faith deepened. But, two years ago, because we were doing just what was absolutely necessary, we zeroed out the funds for this line item. Then, we did it again last year as the camp program continued to be on hold.

But this year, even though the budget line remains unfunded, church camp is back! And we have some kids, youth, and young adults who are interested in attending. So, in addition to announcing the return of church camp, this column is for the purpose of inviting anyone out there, who might be inclined to make a special, "over and above" gift to Christian Temple marked Church Camp, to do so. As our congregational life returns to whatever the new normal is, and as we consider building camp scholarships back into the budget for next year, a special gift or two will jump start this important hallmark of our ministry.

So, if you are able, give a little extra to send a kid to camp!

Shalom,  Rick