Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Atlantic Southeast District holds a Family Peace Camp.

Following the theme, "Empowered For Peacemaking," the Action for Peace Team and Camp Ithiel of Atlantic Southeast District sponsored a Family Peace Camp over Labor Day weekend, at the camp near Orlando, Fla.

A total of 83 people--62 registrants and 21 other attenders--were involved in this first all-ages Family Peace Camp in the district in many years. Some attended from the opening get-acquainted activities and devotions on Friday evening to the constructive evaluation and wrap-up Monday noon, while others could only be there part of the time. This flexibility encouraged participation according to family multi-age availability.

Resource leaders were Matt Guynn from On Earth Peace, and SueZann Bosler, a death penalty opponent. From the Camp Ithiel staff, Michaela Camps directed the children’s activities and Mike Neff, camp director, led group activities and games. Several other volunteers also helped with the event.

Through many participatory activities, Guynn placed strong emphasis on relationship with God and Jesus Christ as the primary source of "power from within" for peacemaking. With that relationship, peacemakers are better prepared to influence areas of strife and conflict in our communities through existing channels--such as the church, schools, youth organizations, service clubs, social agencies, ministerial associations, city government, etc.

Bosler shared her deep concern for those on death row and her calling to work intently for the abolishment of the death penalty in Florida. Her commitment to that work follows the murder of her father, a Church of the Brethren pastor in Miami, Fla., by an intruder into their home in 1986. She also was seriously injured in the attack. Bosler provided several resources and promised to assist the Action for Peace Team in the future, as it prepares to place further emphasis on death penalty concerns in the district. Bosler will assist the district in "empowerment to make a difference."

The Family Peace Camp also featured good food, singing, swimming, time for leisure activities, visitation, mutual prayer, Morning Watch, campfire, a talent night, and more. Tentative plans call for the possibility of another such peace-centered, ethnic-diversified event over Labor Day weekend in 2008.

--Phil Lersch is chair of Atlantic Southeast District’s Action For Peace Team.

Source: 10/10/2007 Newsline

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