I was welcomed upon my arrival at Judson University by Jeanne Davies (workcamp coordinator) and Dan McFadden (workcamp director); nurse Amy Hoffman soon appeared, as well as Lori Campbell, another adult chaperone also from the Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren, Middle PA District. The returning campers knew each other well from attending this camp in previous years. They quickly accepted us into their community. They embodied such an enthusiasm for each day, enjoying morning coffee and evening ice cream, cheering at the Kane County Cougars’ baseball game, belting out favorite songs from a playlist we compiled together, participating in evening vespers, and enjoying movie night. There was no complaining, no personality conflicts, and no “drama.”
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (theme scripture for the 2019 workcamps)
From stuffing Annual Conference envelopes and packaging meals at Feed My Starving Children, to leading Wednesday morning chapel at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, participants repeatedly demonstrated we are able to add goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love in increasing measure, as called for in the 2 Peter text.
During our time together, We Are Able workcampers modeled this scripture. In addition to being able to grow in their own walk of faith, participants daily inspired me to model the attributes of 2 Peter on my own faith journey. I think these young folks can be an inspiration to the larger church body. We Are Able be the Body of Christ and the Church of the Brethren – peacefully, simply, together – if we listen and learn.
As the mother of a son who was diagnosed with diabetes at 18 months, I know the concerns one faces when parenting a child with specific needs. We were blessed by our son’s opportunity to participate in Camp Setebaid, a week-long camp for diabetic young people. What a welcome relief to know that any medical concerns would be addressed by competent counselors and additional medical staff on site. An integral part of the We Are Able staff is the inclusion of a nurse. If you are the parent of a son/daughter who qualifies for this workcamp, I strongly encourage you to explore this opportunity. For more information, contact the Workcamp Office at 847-429-4383 or email@example.com.
Karen Norton Biddle is a member of the Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren, Middle PA District. Married to Eric with one son, Justin, she recently retired from 30+ years of teaching high school mathematics and is “ready to embrace this next chapter of life.”