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 Bob Kerr

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July 2017: "Summertime Memories!"

Dear Friends in Christ,

School's Out!

I always loved summertime when the school year ended, the pace changed, and summertime activities kicked in. For my brothers and me, that included going to Church Camp in Leesburg, Florida, where we did crafts, played games, could go swimming or canoeing in the lake, explore our faith, and take long walks through the woods out to the rustic little chapel with a wooden cross overlooking the lake. The experience was very much a "faith formation" event for me and I always looked forward to it.

We also went to Scout Camp in Sebring, Florida, during the summer, and it was while there that I was tapped for membership in The Order of the Arrow, and eventually became a Vigil Honor member and a championship OA Indian Dance team member in 19363 (whew, sounds like a long time ago!). I loved my years in Cub Scouting, Boy Scouts, and Explorer Scouts. While in Cub Scouts, Papa served as our Cubmaster. When we graduated to Boy Scouts, he was our Scoutmaster. We so enjoyed having him participating with us and leading us.. However, when we went on to Explorer Scouts, he told us we were on our own! The highlight of our summer in Explorer Scouts was a ten-day canoe trip of over 100 miles down the Kissimmee River into Lake Okeechobee and down the Miami New River Canal. Fourth of July celebrations were also included in the schedule as we celebrated the Declaration of Independence as a nation.

Heading Out for Michigan

One can't spend all summer at one camp or another, so after the camping experiences ended, Papa would load my mother, we three boys, our cocker spaniel, Ginger, and all our camping equipment and clothing in our 1952 Hudson Hornet and off we would head from Miami to Stockbridge, Michigan, where my grandmother lived. We always came through the Great Smokey Mountains, stopped in Cherokee and Gatlinburg, and at the time, I had no inkling I would spend nearly all my adult life in North Carolina.

My grandmother grew corn in the garden beside her house there in Stockbridge and I can remember the evenings she'd place a platter of ears of corn in the middle of the dining room table, lavished with butter and waiting to be salted and eaten as the family sat down for dinner together. I enjoyed playing "Chop Sticks" at the piano my mother had learned to play on in the side room, again not knowing how much a part of my eventual ministry music would become. As many of you know, we boys grew up hearing Mother play the piano while she and Papa sang songs of the faith (and more) together as we dropped off to sleep at night.

Family Life Is Formative - Especially in the Summer!

Aside from enjoying reminiscing, I think it's important to consider that summertime offers a wonderful time to create special memories and to form and nurture faith foundations that will stand the test of troubled times. So this summer, spend some time doing things that strengthen the bonds between you and your loved ones - things that enable you to breathe in the beauty of God's creation.

Yours in the service of Christ and the Church,


Rehobeth United Methodist Church • 9297 Sherrills Ford Road • P.O. Box 356 • Terrell, NC 28682
Copyright © 2016 Robert L. Kerr, D.Min
Used by permission