Welcome to our blog…enjoy! On Thursday evening (June 3), we finished 3 ½ wonderful days of Youth Peace Travel Team (YPTT) Orientation at Camp Blue Diamond in western Pennsylvania.
We learned. We learned about our mission and sponsors: On Earth Peace, the Outdoor Ministry Association, Brethren Volunteer Service, and the Youth/Young Adult Ministry Office. We had seminars on the biblical foundations of peacemaking, teamwork, and working at camps.
We talked. We talked about ourselves, our hopes, and our fears for the summer. We talked about our beliefs and found diversity within the team, a diversity that makes our team richer. This is something we became aware of early on during orientation- we have notable theological differences among us. In fact, as we talked and reflected as a group, we realized that we are very representative of where the Church of the Brethren is today as a denomination. Initially, we were unsure of how to find common ground on certain issues. But we slowly came to understand that God had clearly brought us together for a purpose. God brought us together so that we could spread God’s message of love and peace, so that we could learn from each other, so that God’s name would be glorified, and maybe, just maybe, so that we could serve as a timely and prophetic model for a church struggling with divisive issues. Perhaps God brought such different people together and challenged them to show God’s church that not only can it work together- it must. This is our goal. We certainly have our work cut out for us this summer, but we are excited and ready to go!
We bonded. Our first “test” as a team was making dinner Monday night (May 31), and we passed with flying colors. From then on we learned that Marcus sings (almost constantly). He even coined his first smash hit, “Timbo come back.” Tim is a thinker but also has a goofy side. Cambria loves to laugh. And Hannah likes to dance. We also bonded over a black bear sighting. We had a great week and we became a team.
We greatly appreciate all the effort Marie, Dan, Becky, Margo, and Camp Blue Diamond put into helping us have an awesome week!
-Cambria, Marcus, Hannah, and Tim