Community of Christ

Shenandoah Congregation (San Antonio, TX)


At times, life affords us opportunities to simply sit back and observe.  They don’t necessarily happen often, but when they do, we need to try and take advantage of them.  This past week, I along with my family went to 2nd Reunion.  The grounds at Camp Sionito have always been special to me ever since I was a little boy.  That sense of Sionito specialness has not worn off.  It has changed over the years but is still an important annual destination.  During Reunion I had some opportunities to simply observe and was impressed with what I saw. 

First of all, I saw a 24 year old serve as the director for the week and do a wonderful job creating an environment for us to receive ministry.  Knowing what goes into that role, I was impressed with the ease in which she did the job and the enjoyment she seemed to be receiving from it.  I also observed other examples of youth who are future leaders within our church accepting and exceling in their responsibilities.  They ranged from teaching classes to leading worship services.

Another observation was the beautiful children who got up early each morning to head down to the river and fish for 1 hour before breakfast.  We would arrive as the sun was just beginning to make its appearance for the day.  While it was voluntary for them to participate, each morning there would be a group of children outside my cabin door at 6:15am waiting to go.  The thing that impressed me the most was the joy they showed just being with each other.  They would chat and laugh all the way down to the river and just enjoy each other’s company.  If someone didn’t catch any fish the day before, they all abided by the “first priority” rule which meant that that person got to pick their pole, was always first in line for bait, and was allowed to select their fishing spot.  There were never any complaints.  All of the children just supported the person who had come up short the day before.

My final observation was all of the people who took on official or unofficial roles during the week.  For each thing to occur, for each event to be held, for each meal to be provided, for each service to be conducted, there were a number of people who volunteered their time and talents in order to facilitate another person having a positive experience.

During the Friday evening service I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on Living Sanctuary.  I spoke of how we see Sionito as sacred ground.  While the grounds are special to me, my observation is that it is the people and the love which makes it sacred.

Pastor Richard Cole