There have been tens of thousands of SpringHill campers and summer staff over our 42 year history which means there are SpringHill alumni literally all over the world.
I had this reality driven home during my “pastor day” this past Tuesday when I ran into two former SpringHill summer staff, one who’s now working for Kensington Community Church and another serving Mack Avenue Community Church.
First I had the opportunity to reconnect with Cameron Underdown who’s the high school and college director for Kensington’s Orion/Rochester campus. Cameron’s playing a key role in a significant ministry. Talking with him reminded me of the part SpringHill play’s in the spiritual, personal and professional development of college age people.
Later that day while touring with Eric Russ I had the opportunity to talk with Kristen VanderPlas Selle. Kristen and her husband Scott live in one of the poorest communities in Detroit (and thus in the country) where they’re both involved in the Mack Avenue Community Church family. In particular Kristen leads Mack Avenue Community Church’s literary and tutoring program designed to serve the young children of the Mack Avenue neighborhood. As I watched Kristen working with some of the students I couldn’t help feeling a bit of pride knowing that a SpringHill alumnus is serving the “least of these” in this way.
These two friends represent the literally thousands of SpringHill alumni who’ve committed their lives to the service of others and to expanding Christ’s Kingdom. We, at SpringHill, pray every summer that God would use us to help our summer staff and campers grow in their faith as well as to develop as people and leaders who’ll make a difference in Christ’s Kingdom.
So “pastor day” had a second blessing – to see our prayer answered in two SpringHill alumni.43.928283-85.286682
My wife Denise called Tuesday my “pastor day” because I had the opportunity to hang out in metro Detroit with three dear friends who are also inspiring pastors and incredible leaders – Terry Prisk, Steve Andrews and Eric Russ.
My first stop was with Terry Prisk, a long time SpringHill partner and leader of The River Community Church. Terry and I meet every few months to share, challenge and encourage each other in our respected leadership positions. As usually happens we exchanged books we’re each reading knowing we’ll discuss their respected contents the next time we’re together.
Next I had the opportunity to have coffee with Steve Andrews from Kensington Community Church. Steve’s a former SpringHill board member and current member of our strategic planning team. In these roles, as he did once again in our time together, Steve’s spoken into my life by challenging me to think big about SpringHill and its place in God’s Kingdom.
I ended my day near downtown Detroit with Eric Russ, a current SpringHill board member, who leads Mack Avenue Community Church. Eric and I spent our time together riding in the “Mack Truck”, an old pickup truck used by the church. We toured the neighborhood where his church ministers. I’m inspired every time I’m with Eric but never more than when I see the community, people and work he’s committed his life too.
As I drove home from Detroit I thought to myself “what a great day”. I also thanked God for each of these men and the significant impact they’ve made on both SpringHill and on me. In my final thought of the day I searched for answers to this question “how can SpringHill and I better support them and their churches in the incredibly important work they do in the communities they serve?”43.928283-85.286682
It’s SpringHill’s Labor Day Family Camp weekend at our two overnight camps. There are nearly 300 families and 1500 people enjoying family time, pursuing fun and adventure and worshipping together with great music and inspiring speakers.
Our Michigan camp speaker is Clint Dupin, a Teaching Pastor for Kensington Community Church in Troy, Michigan. His theme for the weekend is the “weight of God’s glory and its significance in our lives”.
As he was speaking on Saturday morning I couldn’t help but think about some of my favorite words from a sermon from one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, titled “The Weight of Glory“.
Since you might not be listening to Clint this weekend I thought you might be blessed and challenged instead by C.S. Lewis’ words.
“The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbors’ glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.
All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.
There are no ordinary people.
You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours….
Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.”43.928283-85.286682