Posted by: jblevins | May 14, 2008

Eco-Justice and Church Camps

Recently, I have been engaging in a conversation with members of the NCC’s Outdoor Ministry Commission. Basically, I have been meeting with representatives of our denominations camp and conference centers to explore the connections between the work our eco-justice program is doing to bring the concepts behind Creation Care to the lives of people of faith and the work of our camp and conference centers to do the same.

I can certainly remember that it was at camp (a Church of the Brethren Camp, specifically, Shepherd’s Springs in western Maryland) when I was first exposed to taking care of the Earth as an issue of my faith. We would do things like weigh our waste after every meal, take hikes exploring nature that was around it, and have campfires enjoying being out in God’s Creation. It was truly at camp that the foundation of what I am doing today was laid.

Our camp and conference centers keep doing wonderful work like this – bring the notion of Creation Care to future generations of people of faith across the country (their 2008 educational resource even includes a section on green building). They are places where the reality of the work we are doing in DC is lived out – places people visit to get that wilderness experience of the Holy. We are now looking at ways we can make their ministry connected to ours, and making their ministry as holistic as possible.

It is exciting stuff – and it allows me to connect in an even more direct way the camp experience of my youth to my current work. If you haven’t visited the church camp near you, I encourage you to do so (maybe even consider it for your next church event!) – and thank them for the ministry they bring, and the opportunities they provide to experience God and God’s Creation!


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