On October 18th, the Dedication Service took place for the Joint Camping Ministry of the Presbyteries of Lehigh and Philadelphia. A piece of the service involved the dedication of the Brainerd bell and flagpole as well as the Circle of Swings and the Gorman Roof Chapel, all of which were relocated from the former Camp Brainerd.
Gershon Gordon, Acting Camp Director, welcomed us and the Rev. Ruth Santana Grace, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, spoke fondly of her experiences at Camp Brainerd and opened us in prayer. We sang a number of camp songs with Gershon Gordon, Kari Olson (pastor of Hope of Christ PC, Summit Hill), and Skip Brecht (pastor of Eddington PC, Bensalem) playing guitar. The Rev. Dave Duquette (Lehigh’s moderator) and Elder Mike Henry (Philadelphia’s Moderator) dedicated the camping ministry with following liturgy:
Litany of Dedication
- Dave: Here in this sacred space of Kirkwood Camp, people have renewed faith and grown in the knowledge and love of the Lord.
- People: For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith. (Romans 1:16)
- Mike: Here in this sacred place, the legacy of Camp Brainerd lives on as our children gather to worship and praise our Lord and Savior.
- People: Choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 25:15)
- Dave: Here among the hemlocks and pines, faith is fostered, friendships are forged, and foundations are formed.
- People: If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:12)
- Mike: Here in the midst of flora and fauna, the gifts of counselors, volunteers, and donors come together to make a difference in young lives.
- People: Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. (1 Peter 4:10)
- Dave: Here in the peace and quiet, heaven touches earth as the people of Lehigh and Philadelphia work together being the Church of Jesus Christ.
- People: And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
- Mike: Here in the symphony of babbling brook, honking geese, and laughing children, the old is mixed with the new, the familiar is mingled with the unfamiliar. And we glorify God and enjoy him forever as we seal the bonds of this new partnership between Philadelphia and Lehigh.
- People: Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness! (Psalm 150:1-2)
- Dave: The spirit of Kirkwood is blended with the spirit of Brainerd as we dedicate anew the Circle of Swings, the Gorman Roof Chapel, and Brainerd Bell and Flagpole.
- Mike: The Holy Spirit is among us as we work, serve and pray together. God’s heart is made glad by our united efforts to reach more and more of his children with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- People: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:5)
- Dave & Mike: So it is truly right and a great joy to rededicate ourselves to camping ministry and we promise to:
- People: Live the Word of Jesus Christ by providing a safe, nurturing, caring Christian community that energizes and transforms children and adults in a tranquil, natural setting. (Kirkwood Camp Mission Statement)
The Litany of Dedication was followed by a closing prayer by Lehigh’s Stated Clerk, Marsha Heimann. We adjourned to enjoy a wonderfully delicious meal of Shepherd’s Pie, Corn, Rolls, and Banana Pudding prepared by Ben Hooper from the Catasauqua Presbyterian Church.
Please click here for a PDF of the article and pictures: Kirkwood_Dedication_Article