Our second full day at Senior High Youth Conference (SHYC) focused on the theme Mark the Community. We began the morning reading the parable of The Good Samaritan then spent time in small groups thinking about who exactly is our neighbor when we are connected digitally to so many people around the world. In these small groups campers also identified the Samaritans within their schools, the communities of people who are continually ostracized and looked down upon by peers. We imagined ourselves as the Levite and the priest who passed right by the man left for dead on the side of the road, wondering the reasons why we might do the same thing today. Fear, self-involvement, denial, busyness – so many things keep us from serving our neighbors in need.
By The Rev. Allison Liles
Ultimately though, we believe in a God who came to earth so he could live serving other people. By healing, teaching and caring for others, Jesus shows us the love of God. Jesus serves God by caring for others and as Jesus’ followers, we are to do the same. With this in mind we drove to Luray and visited two separate nursing facilities where we read and crafted with dozens of residents. Many campers articulated their anxiety prior to our excursion and it was clear they stepped far outside of their comfort zones once we arrived. Other campers worked alongside the residents with such ease that an outsider might think they’d known each other for years and years. Whether they were overcoming discomfort or seamlessly transitioning from Shrine Mont to Whispering Pines Assisted Living, every single SHYC camper served with joyous hearts, humility, love and tenderness. A camper defined community later that evening as any group with whom you have a connection, and after this visit our SHYC community widened quite a bit. Thanks be to God.
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.