Guest Post by Perri Rosheger
Every once in a while, unique opportunities surface that set the stage for community building. What do I mean by community? One aspect of community that comes to mind is found in Galatians 6:2 and relates to bearing each other’s burdens. But you have to get to know someone before you can share their burdens.
The school where my husband teaches and two of my children attend is one of my communities. Of course I’ve gotten to know many of the parents through dropping off and picking up my girls from various school-sponsored events. Sometimes we even have the opportunity to chat at a sporting event or during a class party. But rarely do we get to go deeper and hear each others’ life stories.
If you are seeking community with people you interact with regularly, I recommend a weekend together at Laity Lodge Family Camp. The last weekend of March, my family and twelve other families from school experienced camp together. It was a wonderful few days of play, worship, introspection, one-on-one time, and — let us not forget — food.
Being together with our children when we aren’t preoccupied with setting up for a school function or by the distractions of the event is rare. At Family Camp, we had time to sit together and visit, learning about each other’s lives. It’s amazing how our perceptions of people change when that can happen. I learned that one of the dads had bounced from town to town throughout his childhood. He didn’t know his father growing up, which shed brighter light on why he’s over-the-top adventurous and fun with his own three children. I learned about the vulnerabilities of a single mom who was nervous about attending a weekend event with a bunch of two-parent families. For a long time, she had felt like an outsider, but our weekend at Family Camp changed all that when she and her daughter felt fully embraced. I got to know one of the older children of a family who had some wounds from the church where she grew up. She was grafted into some late night fun with the college staff and left camp beaming.
Sharing a weekend camp with these families who are a part of my daily life was very meaningful. We now want to make it an annual event and perhaps expand it to more families. Now when we see each other at school, we see each other a little more deeply. Hopefully, I’ll be one of the first to be there to share in the celebrations and bumps along the way.