'The Way of Love' permeates camps and all of diocesan life
Camp Cross, a rustic camp on 110 acres on the east shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, continues to impact lives and retain traditions developed since it opened in 1923, said John Palarine, director for the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane's camp and year-round canon for youth ministries.
"I hear many stories of how camp changes lives," he said. "We seek to develop future church leaders at camps and in youth ministry."
Families across generations—children, parents and grandparents—are part of Camp Cross' tradition as a place outdoors to gather and grow in faith, as well as to hike, swim, canoe and kayak, he said.
This year, the camp, youth ministry and diocesan ministries are reflecting on the theme, "Walking in the Way of Love," inspired by national Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
Summer camp staff on site all summer oversee facilities and camp life. Volunteer resource teams of clergy and lay leaders develop activities and lead discussions on how the power of love can change lives.
"Our leadership model is a community or sacred circle," he said. "Everyone is a leader—campers, staff and volunteers. Each has gifts and is equally important. Each listens with respect. That's how we love."
As last year, national musicians and leaders are coming through Youth Presence Ministries, an organization John started in 2013 to train youth ministers. For senior high camp, Aug. 4 to 10, a team from the Episcopal Diocese of Utah's Camp Puddle will come.
There are two adult sessions and family camps from June 14 to Aug. 10, plus other groups also use the camp until October.
In addition to camps, John will lead a youth pilgrimage to Ireland and Northern Ireland for 22 young people ages 16 to 22, from Aug. 14 to 22. The group will connect with the Church of Ireland's peace and reconciliation work and explore Celtic spirituality.
For information, call 624-3191 or visit campcross.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, June, 2019