This past week Renee and I were at Camp Crestfield where I was the chaplain. Each week at Crestfield an ordained pastor from Pittsburgh Presbytery is present to lead devotions for the staff as well as to work with the staff in the planning of the evening worship services.
A few really cool things went on. The first was to see some of the same staff who Renee and I worked with two summers ago and to see how they’ve grown. It was also really cool to see some of the campers who I had in my groups two years ago who were there again this week.
Renee and I also had the chance to really relax for the first time in a while. As much as I love my job, when I’m here I am focused on it nearly all the time and it seems I am either (1) doing something (2) trying to relax from doing something. I actually did a great deal of reading this past week, which I haven’t been able to do in a while. I also had a ton of fun taking part in activities with the various family groups and leading Vespers in the evening was a great experience as well.
In any event, Crestfield was once again a great experience for the both of us and I can hardly wait until next year to go back.
This past week was Thanksgiving here in the United States, so that afford Renee and I a little while to get to my hometown of Spencerport to see my family . I realized that I hadn’t actually been home to see my parents since May (for Renee’s bridal shower) and admittedly felt a little bad about that. Although, in my defense I had a whirlwind of activity between May and now.
I am starting to feel like life has settled into a pattern of sorts. Minus Renee switching jobs this week I feel like we’ve hit somewhat of steady pace and I am starting to feel settled into somewhat of a routine
This week I am off to Charlotte for the National Youth Workers Convention. This is my second year going, as I went last year when it was here in Pittsburgh. Last year I went somewhat unsure where my calling was – and out of NYWC came a clear understanding that my calling was in fact to youth ministry. Now that I’ve gotten that far, I’m not sure what I’m looking for or what I’ll hear when I’m there. Either way, I am looking forward to it.
After I return from that our senior high group is off to Camp Crestfield for a retreat with just our group which should be a lot of fun. We’ll be watching and discussing “The God Who Wasn’t There” and talking about other questions of faith – should be a good time.
This past Sunday I preached my second sermon ever on “Evil”. I preached my first sermon on evil while in seminary at the PTS Chapel. It was entitled “Welcome to the Seminary: The Devil’s Playground”. Sunday it was on demons and the “ordinary” demons that haunt our lives and keep us from following Christ into the world. I preached the same message at all three services, but the 11:00 edition was far and away the best (in my and other’s opinion). I’ll link to it once I get the recording online. I’ve learned that preaching on evil is never easy and never fun, but always worthwhile as people need to know that the evil they face is real – and how it can be dealt with.
I’m headed back to school – kinda – this term. I’ve decided to audit History of Christian Social Thought @ PTS this term. Should be interesting… plus, with an audit there’s no papers and no grades.