Sacred Ground: A Result of our Mission for Christ
A report to the 2013 Memphis Annual Conference
“Sacred Ground”. “A Holy Place”. “A Home Away from Home”. Each of these descriptive names and a multitude of others define the heart of Lakeshore and the camp and retreat ministry of the Memphis Conference. And, they affirm that our mission statement is being lived out in the life of the ministry here.
“Offering ways for ALL to experience
Life, Love and the God of Grace”
The sacredness of the Lakeshore mission is not in its facilities, acreage or equipment. Rocking chairs, pontoon boats, the lazy river, stars bursting forth in the night sky and the moon sparkling across the lake are beautiful things. The soft yeast rolls and the forbidden breakfast of sausage, gravy and hash brown casserole is not too bad either. But, the sacredness of Lakeshore is in the One often revealed here; the One called Love….the God of Grace that highlights lives lived both well and poorly. Yes! The sacredness of these grounds lies in the mission to get out of the way and let God be God.
In the summer camp program, our counselors and staff, though not infallible, teach the Christian story by modeling God’s love and calling on the lives of all baptized Christians. Teaching with hands and feet and hearts on fire, each theme time, worship and experience becomes free of obstacles allowing God’s grace to freely come upon young hearts.
During retreat season, we remain committed to offering the highest level of Christian hospitality that we firmly believe to be a “means” of God’s grace. To welcome our guests by removing anything that could steal negative attention away from a positive Spirit ready to reveal its love is our goal. For one to experience the peace of God’s presence, to discover something new, and to have been in a community of faith without fear is to walk on sacred ground.
Bishop McAlilly has reminded us, “Nothing is sacred but the mission”. We agree and are committed to living out our mission to work with our churches and guests in making and nurturing disciples for the transformation of the world.
Come and see us. Walk along the ‘shore that many call “sacred” and see what God is doing through the ministry of camps and retreats in the Memphis Conference. In the meantime, we cherish your prayers and loving support. You remain a means of grace to all of us at Lakeshore.
The Reverend Gary D. Lawson, Sr.