As many of you know, our metaphysical theme for the summer is, “What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds.”* When we first settled on this theme, I was excited because I saw it naturally linking up with the four pillars of Newfound and Owatonna - be the best, love one another, give gratitude, and have fun. To me, patience is a commitment to "be the best" in every moment, even when things would seem to be developing slowly or frustrating us. Meekness is the quality you need to "give gratitude," otherwise selfishness would rule. Love is obviously the manifestation of "loving one another." And there are few things more "fun" than doing good deeds for others.
Obviously things didn’t play out how I was expecting them to at that point, but I have still been thinking about our theme as the summer has gone on. I was excited to see it in this week’s Christian Science Bible Lesson, and as I read it hit me again just how important this idea is for this moment in time.
In thinking about all the turmoil in the world, and especially in our country, from covid-19, the push for greater human rights, the upcoming election, and more I realize that now, as much as, if not more than ever, we most need this “prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace.”
As I scroll through my news feeds I see very little patience, meekness, love, and good deeds being highlighted. Instead, they are filled with what people should and shouldn’t be doing, who we should trust and distrust, people assigning blame to others, and lots of general comments about how awful 2020 is. When this seems to feel overwhelming, it makes me so grateful to be a part of our camp community, because I know that even though we aren’t together this summer, we are all bringing good to our world because of our commitment to striving for this most needed desire. I know Newfound and Owatonna campers, staff members, alumni, and friends are daily working to express “patience, meekness, love, and good deeds” and they are leavening their communities through their thought and example.
Thank you to all of you for the good work you are doing. We miss you here at camp, but it may be just that much more important that this summer we are all striving to live camp from wherever we are - spreading our good far beyond the shores of Long Lake.
– By Reid Charlston, Owatonna Director
* Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 4:3-5