Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.” – Joshua 4: 5-7
The fall has always been a time of gathering and like farmers gathering the harvest we have been blessed to be gathering the fruit of the past 69 years of ministry at Camp DeWolfe. The gathering fruit comes to us in the form of stories and pictures, thoughts and sentiments. As we have toured parishes, enjoying God’s gift of the Eucharist with God’s people in the Diocese of Long Island, we have heard the wonderful stories about how God has been building community and shaping Christians here at Camp DeWolfe over the better part of a century. There are past staff members whose lives changed direction because they spent a summer at camp. There are campers who only were able to be here for a single summer, but upon whom the closing campfire or a particular counselor has made an eternal impression.
As we gather this bountiful harvest I am reminded of the passage quoted from Joshua chapter 4. This was it. Moses, the last of his generation, had died and the Hebrew people had finished wandering the wilderness. Joshua had led the people to a raging river Jordan, full of the seasonal rain waters, and just as God divided the Red Sea to take the Hebrew out of the land of oppression, Egypt, God once again divides the water to take the people into the Promised Land. Joshua did not want the Israelites to forget this most recent miracle, so he sent 12 of them, one for each tribe, back into the water to gather stones. The stones would be stacked to “be to the Israelites a memorial forever.”
We, the staff of Camp DeWolfe, have been gathering stones. As we put them together and form our memorial media it will obviously look different. We are building it with the technology of the 21st Century rather than the technology of the 14th Century before Christ. However, the point of the exercise remains the same. We want to tell the world the story of what God has done in this place, so that all who care to can hear that story and praise the Lord.
*If you would like to share your story or your pictures, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or share it with us on Facebook.