Welcome to Camp Nazareth

Welcome to Camp Nazareth
Welcome to Camp Nazareth! This online journal is the official journal of Camp Nazareth Conference and Retreat Center. Over the years, many memories have been made here. Through this journal we hope to share with you the many wonderful moments from the many years at camp!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Power of Morning Prayers

We've come to the midpoint of training week for the CN Counseling staff! So far everything has been wonderful. And while the training is intensive and can make for long days, the time has been flying. For those of us who are not undergoing counseling training, we still have our work cut out for us. Fortunately, though, we are still able to enjoy the benefits of camp.

The other night I was talking with some staff, and we were discussing how camp is truly a refuge for us. We experience God in a very real way, dare I say a tangible way. Last year, for example, Father Mark Leasure brought the Myrrh-Streaming Icon to camp for prayer, veneration and anointing. It was an incredible encounter with the power of God. Never will we forget the impact the icons had on the campers and staff. It was quite literally an encounter with Panagia in a tangible way; something we could see, taste, smell and touch. The icons were part of the discussion in regard to camp being a place of refuge and safety. 

So yes, camp is a place of refuge and safety; but it's also a battleground. What do I mean by that? Well, like any other job, we are faced with tasks that can be overwhelming, or the workload can take its toll on us either as individuals or as a group. At a place like Camp Nazareth, the devil is working overtime to take our experience of peace and refuge, and turn it into a place of frustration, exhaustion and shortness with one another. Thankfully, we begin each and every day with morning prayers. Not only is this practice spiritually healthy and beneficial, but it also sets the tone for the day. One of my favorite phrases from Morning Prayers is: "Grant me the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day and everything that it will bring." While this line speaks specifically to the spirit and the soul, it's applicable to the body and mind as well.

Anyone who knows basic psychology realizes that our mind and body affect each other in both positive and negative ways. Being physically exhausted will impact our mood and our spirits. Being spiritually exhausted takes a toll on us physically. So that line, "Grant me the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day and everything that it will bring," is often looked at as asking God for His blessing for a safe and peaceful day, and to allow me the strength to work until all of my tasks have been completed.

Of course, we all know the work at Camp Nazareth is never truly over. But somehow God provides the staff with the ability to keep going. So there's a power in saying morning prayers, a grace, if you will. It's a power and a grace that God gives us because He recognizes the mission of camp has been branded onto our hearts and souls!

- - -

In other news, Metropolitan Savas of the Greek Metropolis of Pittsburgh was with us yesterday to visit the final week of GOYAN campers. We also welcomed our hierarch Bishop Gregory yesterday! We're very much looking forward to another wonderful summer with him! Eis Polla Eti Despota!

Here are some pics from recent activities:::

No comments:

Post a Comment