Four fourth- through sixth-grade students accompanied by the Rev. Amy Godshall-Miller of Christ Lutheran Church and Debbie Finalle, recently attended a two-night Lutheran Church Camp.
In-Tents Lutheran Church Camp for Elementary Youth is a program of the Mid-Northeast Mission District of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).
St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Hooversville, approximately two hours from DuBois, hosted the camp and provided the tents for the overnight stay.
The theme for the event was Isaiah 9:2, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
“There are two camps, for younger and older youth,” said Godshall-Miller. “In-Tents is the mission district ministry for youth in the area. Eighteen students from six churches in the district were there at the same time.
“This was a good opportunity for younger kids and helped to bring congregations together for Christian education and fun.”
Godshall-Miller said the program reminded her of Bible school with worship, arts and crafts, music, a camp fire and a storyteller who helped the children see themselves in the stories.
“The kids had fun and are ready to go back,” said Godshall-Miller. The students echoed those sentiments.
“When I was at camp, we had fun playing Capture the Flag and having water balloon games,” said Grace Prontock.
“I also learned about the Prodigal Son and made a new best friend. My first time in a tent was a good experience.”
Drew London and Anson Armagost had both experienced overnight in a tent before in Boy Scouts and shared the enthusiasm for the Capture the Flag game.
“Camp was fun and I liked it,” said London.
“I wanted to go along with the others,” said Armagost. “It was fun.”
Godshall-Miller was impressed by the opportunity. “I got to meet and spend time with the other pastors and leaders,” she said.
“They were very welcoming to us, a new congregation in the NALC.”
This was the first youth activity for members of Christ Lutheran in its new denomination, the North American Lutheran Church.
Earlier this year, Christ Lutheran completed a year-long process of joining this young, smaller denomination with two nearly unanimous votes of the congregation.
The NALC, formed in 2010, strives to be Christ-centered, mission-driven, traditionally-grounded and congregationally-focused.
The NALC, and similar denominations newly-formed in other Protestant traditions, were created due to the recent breakup of large nationwide denominations established over the last 50 years.
The NALC more closely reflects the needs of Christ Lutheran today. Christ Lutheran hopes this is the first of many fruitful experiences in the years ahead in the North American Lutheran Church.