Confirmation Students use Bear Creek Camp to find the power of the Cross.
The purpose of the our Fall retreat at Bear Creek Camp was to create the space for the confirmation students from diverse cultural and geographical locations to get to know each other and, in the process, see how their faith surrounds them. The youth and advisors represented three different Allentown churches: St. John’s and San Martine de Porres, Allentown, and St. John’s, Fogelsville.
After a morning lesson about the power of the cross as a symbol of witness, the youth had fun exploring the camp seeking objects with the shape of a cross. We found an old chapel site with the presence of a wooden cross. We found a broken tree that had left a sign in the appearance of a cross.
In the process, students met a few salamander friends along the way and helped them cross the trail. When we reached the outdoor chapel, the students took a break to breathe God’s air and reflect.
The ropes course gave us an additional opportunity for fun and group building ….and prayer. So by the time we gathered for the post zip-line picture it was clear that God was in the midst of us all. And we think the youth felt God’s presence, too. We didn’t know it until after the picture was taken, but one of the catechetical students behind the group stood with her arms extended in the sign of a cross.
This retreat was an important beginning to our combined confirmation program. Through our joint effort we hope the youth will continue to see how our faith, often symbolized by a cross, is what unites us beyond the walls of our individual churches. We are grateful for the grant from the Witness and Service Ministry Team from the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod in support of this time of learning and personal growth.
The pictures you see provide a portrait of Christ’s presence in the midst of the catechetical students at Bear Creek Camp this past fall.
(submitted by Pastor Nelson Quinones and Pastor Lori Kochanski)