God is Good – All the Time: Reflection of Summer Camp 2022

God is Good – All the Time: Reflection of Summer Camp 2022

“God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!” This was a gathering call at Camp Claggett’s Youth Camp July 17-22, 2022. Camp Claggett is the summer camp sponsored by the Episcopal Dioceses of Washington and Maryland and run by the Claggett Center in Buckeystown, Maryland. As a chaplain at Youth Camp, I witnessed over fifty 7-10 year-olds make friends, try new things, and explore their faith in fun ways. “God is good!” a counselor would call. “All the time,” the campers would respond. “All the time,” the counselor would echo. “God is good,” came the campers’ answer. While a statement of fact at all times, this sentiment felt especially true at camp where God’s goodness was frequently felt in palpable ways.

Each morning began with breakfast, followed by chapel and small group. Then campers engaged in a variety of activities including a ropes course, canoeing the Monocacy River, hiking Sugarloaf Mountain, swimming, and games. After a lunch break, more of the same occurred, followed by downtime, dinner, evening fun and chapel.

This year’s camp theme was Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Campers were encouraged to live out and to look for acts of justice, kindness, and humbleness. I witnessed several myself. Campers cared for one another. On our walk back from canoeing, one camper noticed that one of their peers was lagging behind, weighed down by their backpack, the uphill walk, and the heat. The first camper offered to carry the other camper’s backpack. The invitation was accepted with gratitude and relief. This example of kindness moved me and filled me with an almost overpowering feeling of hope.

God is good all the time! God’s goodness is evidenced in the kindness, justice, and humbleness of God’s people, especially the youngest, God’s children. Our young people have been through a lot these last two years. Life has been altered. But goodness is still present. Kindness abounds. My experience at camp reminded me of this essential truth. As I accompanied campers on their trips, watched them braid friendship bracelets, build relationships and extended kindness to one another, I was reminded of God’s goodness.

Camp Claggett offered me a snapshot of God’s goodness and a reminder that that goodness is embedded in each of us, especially in our rising generations.

This experience is available to you and your families, too. Camp Claggett offers a variety of summer options including camps for elementary, middle and high schoolers; as well as camp for the entire family and other special interest camps. If you are a community leader, share this information with your folks. If your families haven’t experienced the type of community that camp can create, encourage them to learn more about Camp Claggett. I am happy to speak with your parish about Camp Claggett and share more information about the uplifting experiences camp provides. It’s never too early to begin planning for summer 2023. Why not schedule a glimpse of God’s goodness into your calendar?

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell
Missioner for Faith Formation and Development

Elevando el granero – El Centro Claggett

Elevando el granero – El Centro Claggett

Hace un año, las diócesis de Washington y Maryland se asociaron para avanzar en una relación de cooperación para los ministerios de campamentos y conferencias ubicados en el Centro Claggett en Adamstown, Maryland. El Obispo Sutton y yo acogimos esta nueva relación porque compartimos la creencia fundamental de que las experiencias transformadoras y formativas son esenciales para el desarrollo de la fe de los jóvenes, los jóvenes adultos y los adultos, y porque la combinación de la amplia variedad de recursos, programas y ministerios del Centro Claggett, su ubicación geográfica y su entorno campestre y restaurador fomentan dichas experiencias. Claggett es un lugar de recuperación y renovación, un faro de crecimiento, cambio y esperanza. Fundamentalmente, el Centro Claggett es un lugar donde las nuevas generaciones pueden nutrirse, hacer amistades para toda la vida y descubrir a Jesús.

Este mes, el Centro Claggett ha lanzado su campaña de capital “Raising the Barn” para renovar su histórico granero, para que pueda seguir ofreciendo una programación de alta calidad, tanto ahora como para las generaciones futuras. El espacio recuperado incluirá una acogedora plaza al aire libre, un espacio de reunión totalmente equipado para reuniones simultáneas en el campus con acceso ADA, y un nuevo comedor con capacidad de 192 comensales. La “nave” restaurada del granero ofrecerá espacio para que 273 personas se reúnan y celebren su servicio de adoración con telón de fondo del valle del río Monocacy.

Acepté de buen grado la invitación a co-presidir la campaña de capital Raising the Barn, porque sabía que sería un medio para hacer llegar a muchas más de nuestras congregaciones el regalo de Claggett, su potencial y las oportunidades que ofrece, especialmente para nuestros jóvenes. Servir como co-presidente me ha llevado a reflexionar sobre lo que yo aportaría y cómo podría asegurar a los demás que no les estaba pidiendo que hicieran algo en lo que yo no creyera y apoyara realmente.

Aquellos que han experimentado Claggett no necesitan que les recuerde que el centro es un espacio sagrado. Para los que aún no han tenido la oportunidad, permítanme asegurarles que todo en Claggett invita al descanso y a la renovación. El mero hecho de viajar a Claggett hace que uno sienta la belleza de la Creación. Cuando uno recorre los senderos, esa sensación de belleza, de asombro, no hace más que profundizar. Me encanta ver cómo la vida natural llega a su expresión, el tesoro que supone caminar por el laberinto, rezar el laberinto, en medio de los campos. El sonido del río de fondo es un momento verdaderamente transformador, trascendente en su poder.

Aquellos que han experimentado Claggett no necesitan que les recuerde que el centro es un espacio sagrado. Para los que aún no han tenido la oportunidad, permítanme asegurarles que todo en Claggett invita al descanso y a la renovación. El mero hecho de viajar a Claggett hace que uno sienta la belleza de la Creación. Cuando uno recorre los senderos, esa sensación de belleza, de asombro, no hace más que profundizar. Me encanta ver cómo la vida natural llega a su expresión, el tesoro que supone caminar por el laberinto, rezar el laberinto, en medio de los campos. El sonido del río de fondo es un momento verdaderamente transformador, trascendente con poder.

Cuando ves el granero histórico, piensas en música y baile y en gente pasándolo bien. Y piensas en los jóvenes, especialmente, que gravitan hacia esa energía como polillas a la luz. Esta energía es la que creo que aportará el granero renovado de Claggett: una dimensión única de base espiritual, llena de alegría y exuberancia.

Únete a mí y apoya la inversión de Claggett en nuestro futuro común. Al contribuir a la campaña de capital “Raising the Barn”, estás sembrando semillas en un terreno fértil.

Fielmente,

Obispa Mariann


Raising the Barn – The Claggett Center

Raising the Barn – The Claggett Center

A year ago, The Dioceses of Washington and Maryland entered into a partnership to move forward in a cooperative relationship for camping and conference ministries located at the Claggett Center in Adamstown, Maryland. Bishop Sutton and I welcomed this new relationship because of we share a core belief that transformational and formational experiences are essential to the faith development of youth, young adults, and adults–and because the combination of the Claggett Center’s wide variety of resources, programming and ministries, geographic location, and restorative, bucolic setting foster such experiences. Claggett is a place of recovery and renewal, a beacon of growth, change, and hope. Crucially, the Claggett Center is a place where rising generations can be nourished, make lifelong friendships, and discover Jesus.

This month, the Claggett Center launched its Raising the Barn capital campaign to renovate their historic barn so that they may continue to provide high quality programming both now and for future generations. The reclaimed space will include a welcoming outdoor plaza, a fully equipped meeting space for simultaneous campus gatherings with ADA access, and a new dining center for up to 192 guests. The restored “nave” of the barn will provide space for 273 people to gather and worship against the backdrop of the Monocacy River valley.

I gladly accepted the invitation to co-chair the Raising the Barn capital campaign, because I knew it would be a means of getting the word into more and more of our congregations about the gift of Claggett, the potential of it, and the opportunities there, particularly for our young people. Serving as co-chair has prompted me to ponder what I would contribute and how I might assure others that I wasn’t asking them to do something that I didn’t also really believe in and support.

Those of you who have experienced Claggett don’t need me to remind you that the center is a sacred space. For those who have not yet had the opportunity, let me assure you that everything about Claggett invites rest and renewal. Just traveling to Claggett gives one a sense of the beauty of Creation. When you wander the trails, that sense of beauty, of wonder, only deepens. I love seeing the natural life come to its expression, treasure walking the labyrinth, praying the labyrinth, in the midst of fields. The sound of the river in the background is truly a transformational moment, transcendent in its power.

When you see the historic barn, you think music and dancing and people having a great time. And you think of young people, especially, who gravitate to that energy like moths to light. This energy is what I think Claggett’s renovated barn will bring forth – a unique dimension of spiritual grounding, full of joy and exuberance.

Join me, won’t you, in supporting Claggett’s investment in our shared future? By giving to the Raising the Barn capital campaign, you are sowing seeds in fertile soil.

Faithfully,

Bishop Mariann


Summer Camp is Awesome!

Summer Camp is Awesome!

There’s nothing like the opportunity to spend time in nature, hang out with your peers, play games, and learn about Jesus. And I say this as an introvert, someone who gets their energy from being alone. As a child I was shy. Leaving home was difficult for me. To be honest, at first, the thought of spending a week away from my family was kind of scary. But with a little encouragement, I braved the unknown. And once I did, I found so much meaning in my camp experiences.

As a child, I learned lots of exciting new things like games, crafts, songs, and stories. As a teenager, I formed lasting friendships with folks I would have never known otherwise. At camp, I was able to ask questions about my faith and about Jesus. And with my new peers and our camp leaders, I got to explore my own answers to those questions and to learn from other people. I also learned that I was part of a large community of Christians, beyond my congregation, who faithfully loved Christ and showed me that loving Jesus could be fun.

The Episcopal Dioceses of Washington and Maryland partner together to offer stunning camp experiences over the summer at the Claggett Center. I look forward to serving as a camp chaplain one week in July at Claggett. I hope you will encourage your children to participate in camp, too. Outdoor fun, community, fellowship, and connection are all the more important after the two years we’ve been through. Consider having your children–or the children you pastor–experience the blessings of camp this summer.

The Claggett Center will host an Open House about all things summer camp on Sunday, April 3 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Come check it out!

The Rev. Amanda Akes-Cardwell
Missioner for Faith Formation and Development