Thoughts As I Prepare To Be A Camp Chaplain

As I prepare for my first Church Camp experience as Chaplain, I though I'd share a sermon I wrote where I reminisce on some of my experiences as a camper.  I hope you like it:

One of my fondest teenage memories is attending Camp Hayah, in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Mexico, where I grew up.  We used to have youth from all over the Diocese, as well as visitors from various Episcopal Dioceses in the United States join us every Summer.  It was a diverse group, which represented different genders, races, ethnicities, and socio-economic groups.  Some spoke Spanish, some spoke English, and only a few of us spoke both languages.  It didn’t matter.  Although most of us didn’t realize it, we were following Jesus’s new commandment.  We loved one another, just as He loved us!

Camp Hayah was a working camp.  The only buildings were a makeshift kitchen in a one-room cabin and two outhouses.  Other than Bible Studies, prayer time, and swimming in the river, we did construction work in the heat of the Summer mornings in Northern Mexico.  Talk about a team building activity!  However, our favorite part of the day was the time we spent around the camp fire making a joyful noise unto The Lord.  It was a blessing to share each other's songs of praise in our respective home languages.  It didn't matter if we understood the meaning of the words, we loved one another, just as He loved us!

We will work with each other, we will work side by side.
We will work with each other, we will work side by side.
And we'll guard each man's dignity, and save each man's pride.
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love!
Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love!
This late 1960's Catholic folk song epitomized our camp fire experiences.  As we sang it during the climax of our day, we were praising Him, regardless of our cultural, socio-economic, or other differences.  We loved one another, just as He loved us!

Sea Life Greeting Card "For You"
Various Tim Holtz Dies, Embossing Folders, and Distress Inks: Martha Stewart Punch; McGill Punch; Watercolors; Acrylic Paints; Pastels; Gloss Medium; Crackling Medium; Sand; Fibers; Pen; Assorted Paper Products
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Animal Magic
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Make Your Own Background
Moo Mania & More - Summer Holidays

This folk song also reflects what Jesus meant when he said, “everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:31-35It was simple at camp, as we were all innocent teenagers.  It’s much more difficult these days, as we live in a world which is much more divisive.  It’s easy to love those with whom we share similar viewpoints or look like us, such as our family members, friends, and others.  However, what about the asylum seekers, conservatives, liberals, pro-lifers, pro-choicers, black lives matter groups, feminists, LGBTQ communities, 2nd amendment supporters, gun control groups, and others.  Do we love one another, just as he loved us?

This was the point in Bishop David Reed’s address (Episcopal DWTX) during Council, when he said, “Unity among Christians is part of the prayer Jesus prays at the Last Supper: “Holy Father, keep them in thy name…that they may be one, even as we are one.”(John17:11) I believe he must pray it still… To be the Body of Christ, to know and celebrate that we are one in him, is… not an option. If you’re tempted to think that… I encourage you to walk in love… outside your own church and see what division and suspicion and the dismissing and debasing of others are doing to our world, what that is doing to us.”  In other words, we need to love one another, just as he loved us.

St. Matthias Church Bell, Divine Texas
Personal Nikon D3300 Photo Edited on Pixelmator
Word Art Wednesday - Weeks #396-397
Wondering Camera
Inspire Me Monday - Week #392

Jesus knew that the spirit of rivalry would disrupt the disciples’ fellowship, just as it does to us these days.  He wanted the disciples to share the unconditional and limitless love he had for them, so they could be the convincing demonstration that they had partaken of His own spirit and purpose.  This is what our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry wants to accomplish through the 7 practices of “The Way of Love,” which are to turn to Jesus; learn Scripture; pray daily; worship in community; bless others; Go across boundaries; and Rest in His grace, peace and restoration.  These practices can lead us to love one another, just as He loved us.

Therefore, we need to make a conscious effort to build the body of Christ.  We used to have preconceived notions such as that slavery was a God given institution and that women were second class citizens.  Now, we need to battle preconceived notions such as that personal viewpoints and beliefs, ethnic and racial differences, and socio-economic status give people the right to demean others.  We must follow the 7 practices of “The Way of Love” to combat the divisiveness amongst us.  This is the only way we will recreate the love and joy I experienced at Camp Hayah, which in turn can grow our churches.  Let us love one another, just as He loved us!


Valerie-Jael said…
Beautiful art as always. Have a great weekend, happy PPF, Valerie
JFM said…
So very beautiful~

What a wonderful uplifting posting that benefits the soul and the eye! Wonderful Arnoldo! Thank you for yet another fantastic entry for AJJ and your support for Moo Mania & More is also much appreciated!

We all should open our hearts!!! That would be heaven on earth!

Happy weekend and blessings!
Susi xxx
I'm sure you will take the best of your memories into your new experience as a camp chaplain. I love both your messages and the script you used. I've been experimenting with lettering but yours looks so much free form than mine turn out. - Margy
Linda Kunsman said…
Such a beautiful post all around. I especially love your sea themed card! Happy PPF!
DVArtist said…
These pieces of art are beautiful. I have noticed over the years how your art has changed. If feels more at peace.
Beautiful, especially love the sea theme ATC? So calming.
Happy WoywW Tracey #8
Sue said…
Hi Arnoldo, I love the shell card.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your kind comment.

Sue #9
Sarah Brennan said…
Well said Arnoldo! Love the art work too. By the way, the colourful art work is Eva's not mine. Happy WOYWW> Sarah #2
Marit said…
Your post makes me smile, so full of love and joy! I also love the card with the seahorse, being a 'seaside-girl' my heart melts when I see shells, water, sand and fishes... Thanks for your visit earlier this week. I am a little late with my return visit, but at least it's still in the same week, ha! Hope you have a lovely weekend, hug from Holland. Marit #20
carol l mckenna said…
How exciting for you to be a camp chaplin ~ so spiritual as your divine artworks show ~

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
Gillena Cox said…
My favourite of this post is the proverbs page. I luv the simplicity of lines and colour used.
I luv that you posted the 7 practices of way of Love.
Happy you dropped by my blog

Caty said…
Wonderful Artworks !! Both are fantastic, your greeting card is wonderful.
I wish you a very nice weekend,
Big hugs, Caty
Oh Arnoldo. What a glorious message you have conveyed in this post. I was most impressed with the beauty of your art and your wonderful words you wrote. Congratulations as a new Chaplain. I know you will make others happy, too.

I was especially pleased you brought your heart to the forefront of the entry you shared with us for Art Journal Journey. Thank you so very much for that.

Yor greeting card was beautiful, too. I loved how you displayed it. But most of all, I was SO impressed by your words that we can NEVER have preconceived ideas about what or who is right and who is not. All people are special, regardless of who or what they are. I know we in the states are being pulled apart by none other than a president who wants to divide instead of unite us. I hope more people hear your calling and I'm impressed with your words of wisdom.
Such wonderful words, our sermon in church was about the teamwork that brings us together! Your art as ever is wonderful and I hope to visit more often once I catch up with a mountain of things that ought to be done!!! Have a great week, Chrisx
Hi Arnoldo, you always illustrate your posts so beautifully. I really enjoyed reading about your camping memories and I'm sure this year's gathering will be just as joyful. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! It's been ages since we last visited each other! Happy summer! zsuzsa #23
Shoshi said…
Beautiful art work and beautiful words, Arnoldo. Congratulations on being selected to be the Camp Chaplain. May you be blessed and be a blessing to all who attend. I love your Proverbs page and the absolutely beautiful sea life card - I adore anything to do with the sea, where the diversity of God's creation can be seen in all its glory! I have always loved seahorses, and all my life I have enjoyed searching for shells on the seashore. We are fortunate enough to live very near the sea, but we can't quite see it from our house. We hear the seagulls all the time, though, and they are often in the garden.

Thank you for your visit and your kind words, and especially for your prayers, which I think may be being answered because since I spoke to the pharmacist I haven't had another severe headache - only a couple of mild ones! I am expecting a call from the doctor this week to discuss a prescription for my severe headaches, but I may have entered another headache-free period! I am so glad you liked my watercolour doodles. They were a whole lot of fun to do. Our kitties are mostly indoor kitties but they are allowed in the garden under supervision and only when my hubby is around. Lily gets VERY cross when she's not allowed out!!

Happy belated WOYWW and God bless,
Shoshi #7
NatureFootstep said…
love your animal card :) It´s beautiful!
Rosie said…
Wow I love you artwork, amazing

Thank you for joining us at MOO MANIA & MORE
Sharon Madson said…
Beautiful projects and story about your camp. Nice to see you blogging again.
Beth Niquette said…
These pieces are wonderful--and I LOVED your sermon.
Hope everything went well at the Church Camp. I love how you did the sea horse that multi coloured pattern is brilliant. Thanks for the lovely comment over at mine. Best wishes for a lovely weekend, Angela xXx
sandra de said…
Thank you Arnoldo for your lovely comment on by rose painting. All glory and praise to our creator for providing us with such beauty. All the best in your camp Chaplain.
sandra de @20
Jean said…
Your bible art journaling is lovely! Church camp sounds like fun! The sea horse piece is filled with such lovely details and textures. Thank you for commenting on my blog!