Waters of Grace 2017

Waters of Grace

The theme for the 2017 National Gathering is Waters of Grace.  Water brings us to the source of life in the body, and life in the spirit.

John 4:10: Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

During our time together we will celebrate water as the tangible expression of our interconnectedness, with the collection and display of water from every ministry in attendance. Find out how you can be a part of that, here!  Through prayer and worship we will also have the opportunity to reconnect with the grace of God, a gift that we often embody more freely to others than to ourselves.      Together, let’s feast and be nourished with love by the One who loved us first!

John 4:10: Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”


Worship and Bible Study

Time set aside for spiritual renewal and growth is a deeply valued part of the National Gathering.
Each morning you are invited to share a Bible study with Rev. Kevin Witt as he leads a meditation on scripture and the gift of grace.
Our morning gathering time is a comfortable and joy-filled for music and fellowship, followed by daily keynotes from renowned child therapist and camp enthusiast Bob Ditter.
To bring each day to a close, we come together in the main hall to sing out with favorite camp songs, spirit-filled hymns, and contemporary melodies.  We will have evening worship, with a message and sacramental celebrations given in his uniquely engaging and thoughtful style.

Water is elemental, like grace; water symbolizes the grace and love that God has for us, which rains down without our asking or earning.  In 2017 we gather from the tributaries of our dispersed ministries, around the living water that is our spiritual heritage.  Let us set aside this time to drink, be renewed, seek clarity, and grow closer as children of God.

 


 

Monday: Vespers. Welcome to fellow travelers

Psalm 65:9-13

You visit the earth and make it abundant,

    enriching it greatly

        by God’s stream, full of water.

You provide people with grain

    because that is what you’ve decided.

Drenching the earth’s furrows,

        leveling its ridges,

    you soften it with rain showers;

        you bless its growth.

You crown the year with your goodness;

    your paths overflow with rich food.

Even the desert pastures drip with it,

    and the hills are dressed in pure joy.

The meadowlands are covered with flocks,

    the valleys decked out in grain—

        they shout for joy;

        they break out in song!

We gather to remember with all creation what we are made for—to be fully alive, to shout, to dance, and to gratefully sing.


Tuesday: This Gift of Grace

1 John 4:19: We love, because God first loved us.

 

As sisters and brothers in ministry, we recognize the unique challenges that we carry.  On this, our first full day together, let us welcome one another and honor with graciousness all of those blessings and burdens that we bring to the table.  Let us feast and be nourished with love by the One who loved us first.

 

Sacrament: Communion

 


 

Wednesday: This Gift of Water

Mark 1:4-8: And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River…And this was his message: “After me comes one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

Through the baptismal font we are brought into wholeness with Christ.  Each time we remember and renew our baptism, we participate in the cleansing and healing of that which stands in the way of our wholeness.  Let us become empowered by the grace of the Holy Spirit with and within us—the gift of God’s presence. 

 

Sacrament: Remember/Honor/Renew Baptism (inclusive of all who are not baptized)


 

Thursday: Rivers of Living Water

John 7:37-38: On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

 

Let us leave this place refreshed.  Stay connected to those upstream who poured God’s love into you and stay committed to those downstream who are thirsty and relying on your faithfulness that all might drink.  Be the grace you wish to see in the world and know that God is good, all the time!

 

Sacrament: Communion