Over the course of the past eight years, I’ve had the privilege of baptizing God’s beloved in some pretty amazing places. A pond, a river, over a kitchen sink, and yes, in the church, but it wasn’t until Sunday, July 3rd that I experienced this holy sacrament at one of my favorite places on earth. On that Sunday night, 200 Shrine Mont campers, staff, and alumni gathered together in the rec hall for a worship service I’ll never forget.
All camp worship is one of the highlights at Shrine Mont. The entire mountain gathers together for prayer, song, and the breaking of the bread. The energy is always high, the singing joyful, and the spirit present. This week, however, all camp worship looked a little different. This week, we had the joy of participating in the baptism of future camper, Luca.
One of my favorite parts of the baptismal service, which is often overlooked, is the vow made by the congregation to support the newly baptized. It reads,
Leader Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support this person in their life in Christ?
People We will.
Never in my life, have I heard such an energetic, hopeful, and committed response than I did from the campers and staff on that Sunday night. The community of faith gathered here in this holy place took their vow to support Luca wholeheartedly. During the service, they remembered their own baptisms, proclaimed the kingdom of heaven has come near, and promised to live into a perpetual state of grace by loving themselves and their neighbors. To say the world felt a little less broken that evening would be an understatement. Luca will grow up in a more loving and a more reconciled world because of the community which surrounded him that night.
And all God’s people said, “AMEN!”
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.