How people communicate, what is communicated is changing right along with language itself. One can "Blog" "Twitter" and post pictures of where you are to thousands of friends on FaceBook or MySpace all while texting, talking on your cell phone and checking your e-mail, at lunch of course with a group of friends - face time with best friends forever (bff). Back in former days, we used to think life moving at the speed of sound was fast. Now life moves at the speed of communication.
Communication has become about sharing the details of life in the exact moment as it happens, with hundreds of people whom one barely knows or doesn't know at all. Communication has become the connecting tissue of moment by moment life for the culture. The good news is people are wanting and needing to be connected. The even better news is the church has an opportunity to share the good news more widely and effectively than ever. We just have to be willing to reach into the new technology, to be church in the 21st century.
That is really what the camping ministry of the Indiana Annual Conference is about, communicating the Good News to current and future generations in such a way that they can become connected with their new best friend forever, Jesus or in the new vernacular, "face time with Jesus, your new bff."
Camp ministry communicates with children and youth in many new ways. We text, twitter, post, e-mail, have Web presence and, and. but the most effective communication system is still drawing kids into a community of faith for a week where they play, make new friends and hear the Good News of God's love, true "Face time with Jesus, your bff."
With the economy the way it is, this summer funding a child or youth at camp will be more difficult than previous years for families. In fact, many parents will tell you they don't have time for their kids to go to camp, when it in fact, money maybe the real issue.
Congregations and individuals are going to bless youth and the Kingdom by making it financially possible for kids to go to camp through individual scholarships. Look around your church or community, is there a child or youth who you could sponsor for camp? Check with your pastor to see how your church is funding kids for camp, and then be generous. Or, consider a donation to the Conference scholarship program for the camping ministry by simply sending a check to either the Marion or Bloomington United Methodist Conference Centers or give online in North Indiana at www.impact2818.com/donations-give.html.
Just think, when kids are at camp, they will be "blogging" the good news to their friends, posting on MySpace and Facebook the great experience of having face time with Christian friends, and face time with Jesus Christ - their new bff. Maybe these new communication systems aren't so complicated after all. Kind of makes your heart all a "twitter." LOL.
Jean Brindel, CFRE, AFP, serves as Development Officer of the former Northern Indiana Conference of the The United Methodist Church. She lives in Carmel, Ind.