I love church camp. I can’t help it. It is one of my favorite things to do. This year is my 37th year as a storyteller for elementary church camps. I’ve worked at Ceta Canyon Camp and Retreat Center, Butman Methodist Camp, and Sacramento Camp and Retreat Center. I’ve had the joy across those years of speaking to thousands of boys and girls and seeing God do some pretty remarkable things.
Felicia and I had a great time in Altus, OK! We were greatly blessed by working with their pastor, Rev. David Player, a lover of Jesus all the way from South Africa. We were refreshed and encouraged by his incredible enthusiasm, passion, and vision for the work of the Kingdom.
Below is the prayer written by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Allied troops were invading German-occupied Europe during World War II. The prayer was read to the Nation on radio on the evening of D-Day, June 6, 1944, while American, British and Canadian troops were fighting to establish five beach heads on the coast of Normandy in northern France.
My Fellow Americans:
Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
Below is an excerpt from a speech made by President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 when the debate on slavery was raging in our nation. Some called for abolition, some called for acceptance, some called for a middle way of tolerance. This is a portion of what Lincoln had to say about it as he ended his speech in New Haven Connecticut on March 6, 1860. If you’d like to read the speech in it’s entirety, you will find it here.
“but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it (slavery) to spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States?
If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored — contrivances such as groping for middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man — such as a policy of “don’t care” on a question about which all true men do care — such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance — such as invocations of Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington did.
Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government, nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty, as we understand it.”
There has been a lot of talk about the possible schism from both sides of the debate. There are those who have declared that the schism is a done deal because of the refusal of a portion of our churches and clergy to abide by the rulings of General Conference. These pastors and churches are performing gay weddings, ordaining and appointing practicing gay pastors, and refusing to hold anyone accountable for those violations. As a result there are many who have tired of the drama and are simply recognizing that the most loving thing to do is allow that group to pursue their vision for the church while those who wish to retain the traditional definition of marriage does the same.
The discussion around the possible schism in the UMC has been about whether or not those who practice homosexual behavior should be ordained or married in our churches – by our pastors. The debate has centered around being loving, open and tolerant of other’s views. We are being asked to seek a middle way that would allow everyone to stay together, even though we believe and practice our faith in ways that are diametrically opposed.