Atlantic Southeast District holds its ninth Family Peace Camp




A heart found in nature at Camp Ithiel.
Photo courtesy of Camp Ithiel

A heart found in nature at Camp Ithiel.

By Merle Crouse

The ninth Family Peace Camp was held at Camp Ithiel in Gotha, Fla., from Friday evening to Sunday noon, Sept. 4-6, just before labor Day. This year the resource leader was Kathryn Bausman, co-pastor of Community Church of the Brethren in Twin Falls, Idaho, with her husband Mark Bausman. Both Kathryn Bausman as speaker, and the theme, “Living into Scripture, Today! Building Justice and Peace,” were chosen with the help of On Earth Peace.

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Kathryn Bausman has been director of Jubilee House, a recovery home for mistreated women. Her interactive sessions involved Bible study, discussion, and passionate witness from her experiences.

The 29 participants including adults, young people, and children, represented four Church of the Brethren congregations--Miami First, New Covenant, Sebring, and St. Petersburg--plus campers from United Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, and Roman Catholic churches.

Worship experiences were led by Steve Horrell, Berwyn Oltman, Sue Smith, Jerry Eller, and Terry Grove, host pastor at New Covenant Church of the Brethren at Camp Ithiel.

Marcus Hardin, Atlantic Southeast District youth and camp director, got the camp started with get-acquainted games. One of the games asked each person to respond to these questions: “Who is a person you greatly admire, and why? What is a place you would like to visit?”

An informal sub-theme was focused on the Brethren in Nigeria: a Peace Banner featured EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria); special music was in Hausa, a language spoken in northern Nigeria; and on Sunday morning a Nigerian family attended whose home in the conflicted area of northeast Nigeria has been occupied by the Nigerian army as it attempts to push back the Boko Haram insurgents. Bob Krouse was song leader for the camp, accompanying the singing with his guitar, and taught the group an EYN song in Hausa.

Jerry Eller coordinated a full schedule for the annual Variety Show. There were acrobatic skits by young people. Elena Taneva, a nurse at Florida Hospital, dressed in her native Bulgarian peasant dress and sang a Bulgarian love song, then did a fast, intricate folk dance. She also led a simple line dance with a dozen campers joining in. Marcus Harden led the annual Closing Circle after worship on Sunday.

-- Merle Crouse is part of the Atlantic Southeast District’s Action for Peace Team which sponsors the annual Family Peace Camp.

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