Word One

Camping Ministry “God’s Cathedral”

The kids are back in school and the summer camps sponsored by religious organizations are packing up the tents and putting away the canoes, but not without a backward glance.

The Anglican Journal reported that two-thirds of Canadian Anglican dioceses own and operate summer camps.

Although Bishop Ralph Spence of Niagara once said his own idea of roughing it is a hotel room with the window open, says he “loves and supports his diocesan camp” like other church leaders despite the expense.

Canon Bain Peever of the diocese of Algoma explained their enthusiasm for the camping ministry: “I think we are able to touch the lives of young people and young adults more efficiently and more dramatically than any other kind of ministry. It’s God’s cathedral. It’s a relaxing atmosphere where people tend to be more open to learning. We work and celebrate life with one another and give thanks to God for all our blessings in a tranquil (setting).”

Bishop George Bruce’s Ontario diocese sponsors a program that includes music, drama, and special opportunities for children with disabilities as well as children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“It’s an incredibly important ministry,” he said. “It’s the first time some of these kids have heard the name of Jesus except as a swear word.”

This article appeared in the October 2006 (Volume 34, Number 4) issue of Word One.

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