We interrupt our regular broadcast for a program note...
Ok, cheesy, but true!
In case you missed it, about a week and a half ago 25 families from PPC spent the weekend together at Pine Summit Camp in Prescott, Ariz., for Pinnacle's first annual Family Camp.
The weekend was designed to help families better connect with other church families as well as with one another. We spent time playing games — kids vs. parents Bible Twister! — enjoying the great outdoors, displaying our talents, and worshipping together. There was also intentional time for learning and growing for parents and kids. Parents gathered for time in small groups to share challenges and learn about ways to increase faith in their family's everyday life, while kids and teens made T-shirts for the walk at the Phoenix Zoo on Sept. 29 supporting the ministries of UMOM New Day Center (We hope you will join us!).
It was a good time in the life of PPC families and I am hoping that it has nurtured our spirits as we launch into the fall.
There is something special that happens to communities, to people, when they gather together away from all the distractions of daily life. I think has a lot to do with the simple art of learning to pay attention to the life we are living. If only for a day or two we let go of the emails, and the phone calls, the play stations, the laundry and the car-pool line. We feel the dirt beneath our feet, breath in the cool air, sit on the cabin porch and share a conversation with someone that does not have a deadline to it. And all of that is a deeply spiritual exercise. For God is present all around us if only we will take the time to pay attention. When faith is often portrayed as a way of thinking, being present to the world around us helps remind us that it is a way of life.
As Barbara Brown Taylor writes in her book An Alter in the World: "So many of us spend so much time thinking about where we have been or where we are supposed to be going that we have a hard time recognizing where we actually are."
On Saturday afternoon during our lunch time in the camp dining hall, a thunderstorm rolled through. Torrential rain and booming claps of thunder rattled the walls where we ate. As I sat having lunch with several other families I watched most of the kids get up from their seats and run to the windows or the door experiencing with delight this phenomenon of water falling from the sky. They shrieked with laughter as they darted out to feel the rain on their skin before hurrying back under cover.
Sometimes the idea of building a religious life or deepening our spiritual practices can be intimidating. But the truth is that we have been given everything that we need. We are all humans living in a world created by and full of God's presence; a world that is waiting for us to discover the holiness within it.