Thursday, June 30, 2011
Our family just returned from our 6th year out at Family Camp at Campus by the Sea on Catalina Island. Though it was hardly a vacation for me, as I spoke 5 times over the course of the week, it was nevertheless, a valuable time to recalibrate and rebalance.
I came back committed to doing what ever I can to get a few more GraceSLO families to one of the 6 weeks of camp next year. It's just such a powerful week for our family and for all famliies who go. I've been trying to figure out why. Here are a few reasons I've come up with so far. . .
Concentrated Family Time: Spending a week together where family connection is encouraged and faciltated is powerful. Family hiking, kayaking, fishing, Bible study, worship and eating, game playing are all part of the program.
Relief from some of the chores of life: No meal prep, no dishes. No work.
Unplugging: There is no cell service and no wifi. There is no electricity in cabins. Campers are encouraged to unplug from technology altogether.
Contained Isolation while living in Christian Community: While less than 30 miles away, being on an island and looking out on the open ocean makes it feel like you are a world away. Campus by the Sea is self contained, isolated and safe. You either hike in or boat in. We let all our kids and even our 5 year old wander around the small grounds by themselves. At the same time you are spending concentrated time eating, talking and worshipping with other families who are committed to family.
Great Food: I have never had better quality food over a week's time. I'm not kidding.
Fun in Creation: It's breathtakingly beautiful which is soul -restoring.
Biblical Instruction about the Priority of Family: We don't realize the impact of our culture and busyness on our famliy lives. Marriage and parenting are always the focus of the Friesen's instruction. I always come away encouraged and challenged to keep investing in our family.
Our family is looking forward to next year already. I honestly don't think there is a better investment you can make in the life of your family. Here's what family camp costs, lifted for the Campus by the Sea website. . . .
That may sound like a lot, but remember, that includes all your meals for a week. Compare that with, say, the cost of a week-long camping trip including meals, campsite, gas to get there and any family activities you might pay for. I think family camp is a great deal.
If you are interested or have questions, I'd love to talk to you. Or you can talk to the Erb or Kardel families, who also are family campers. Enrollment opens March 1, 2012 and sells out fast. I don't need you to come to our week. You hear me all the time. Pick another week. I'd recommend the week my friend, David Hegg, speaks (usually week #3).
I'll cue you again around the first of the year, but make a commitment and start saving and planning now. I have been reticent to promote this thing, for fear of sounding self-promoting, but I'm truly convinced your family is missing out by not being there. So I'm pulling out all the stops and going for it this year. My goal is to see 5 more GraceSLO families get to Family Camp next summer.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Here finally is that terrific Serve Day 2011 vid that was shown in the service a few weeks back. Many thanks to Jack Hutchinson for running around on that day to catch the vibe. And many thanks to all who served. Serve Day 2012 is in the planning stages right now...
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Since my girls were serving in the nursery and toddler classes last Sunday, I asked my 9 year old, Zeke, to draw the diagram from Sunday's message and explain justification to his sisters. He did a bang-up job! After Zeke's explanation, I hid the diagram and then asked the girls to each draw their own without looking. That lead into a fantastic discussion of justification. So quick. So easy. So fun.
Here's the diagram, if you happen to listen to the message online. . .
Thursday, June 9, 2011
What were some of the hightlights of this last year?
(There were lots!)
How big was the 2010/2011 budget surplus and what do we plan to do with it?
(It was significant)
How are we going to reach out both locally and globaly
in stretching ways next year?
Who on our Pastoral Staff is heading off on a summer sabattical?
(What is a sabbatical anyway?)
For this and a whole lot more valuable "behind the scenes" info, listen to our Annual Meeting audio and download the 2011 Annual Report by clicking the banner below. Our aim is to put this information in as many hands and heads as possible. Its Christ's church first, but its your church second, so be engaged and informed and involved.