Four Reasons to Celebrate Camp Sunday
by Rob Watson, Director of Camps & Conferences and Anne Spears, Director of Development
1. To Raise Awareness
Camp Sunday 2021 will take place February 7 and is an opportunity to celebrate and be thankful for the shared ministry of our congregations and our diocesan camping program while encouraging others to sign up for a weekend or summer camping session. It’s also an opportunity for people to give financially so the monetary obligations of camp never hinder participation. This year especially, Camp Sunday represents a bright new season and hopeful return to normalcy after a relentlessly challenging 2020. After the loss of the 2020 season and the social isolation brought on by the pandemic, the connections, adventures, and joy provided at camp are more needed than ever. People who have suffered financial loss, children who are affected by poverty, and those who are grieving have a deeper need to experience the transforming nature of God at work in a safe, nurturing environment where the meaning of unconditional love comes alive.
2. To Explain How Diocesan Scholarships Work
It’s important to note that diocesan and congregational funds are needed for camp scholarships. This is not either/or scenario; it's a both/and opportunity!
1/3 diocesan funds + 1/3 congregation scholarship funds + 1/3 personal funding, if available = CAMP!
If personal funding portion from the family is not available, then the balance can be provided with a combination of church and diocesan funding, determined by the church and camp offices.
3. To Let Our Campers Tell The Story
The most recent Camps and Conferences Summer Video is available on the Camps & Conferences page at dwtx.org/camps, and on the diocesan Vimeo account. Consider playing this video in a public space between services, linking it to your online service bulletin, or sharing the video during your service that is comfortable and appropriate for your congregation, whether you're gathering in-person, online, or both.
Consider inviting someone from your church (the priest, youth, camp counselors, Family Camp participants, alumnae, etc.) to share a personal camp story. Contact Camps Annual Campaign Co-Chairs, the Rev. Bert Baetz or the Rev. Ripp Hardaway, for a list of camp enthusiasts throughout the Diocese who are available to join your online service or speak in-person to your congregation about the impact of camp on their spiritual and daily life.
4. To Give Thanks and Pray for this Ministry
While Christian formation is a lifelong, year-round pursuit, the hands-on experiences of living in intentional, Christian community, daily prayer and study, joyful singing, fun activities, and restful retreat found at Camp Capers, Mustang Island Conference Center, and Duncan Park can make a lasting impact on someone's faith journey. On Camp Sunday, we give thanks and pray for the continuing mission and ministry of our camping programs.
A Collect for Camp Sunday: Almighty God, giver of all life, Your creative hands have molded the dry land and gathered the waters into beautiful places for your children to experience your glory, to build relationships, to find you; your spirit moves in your church to inspire the lives of generations of children, youth and adults with generous and tender love. Move in us as we seek to strengthen the ministries we share, that we may be empowered by your presence to draw all people to you. Keep us ever mindful of the gifts and opportunities before us for the formation of children and families, that, when they ask to see Jesus we might show them the way through the generous and creative camping ministries of our church and diocesan family. Through Christ, who welcomes us to walk with him in unity with you through the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.
Other prayers and liturgical resources will be shared with clergy and church offices, via email.