This is What the Kingdom of God Looks Like

A little over two years ago, Pastor Yehiel Curry of Rescue, Release, Restore applied for and received a grant from the ELCA — and the vision of MYLA (Multicultural Youth Leadership Academy) came into being. But this was not a solo endeavor. Rescue, Release, Restore partnered with Living Water Ministries and ELCA Glocal to shape MYLA camp together. When the combined efforts and gifts of each organization came together, MYLA was born. Coincidentally, this partnership is analogous of MYLA’s baseline essence– learning about, growing from, and celebrating each other’s unique qualities. Based in Chicago, Rescue, Release, Restore is best known Continue Reading →

Building Bridges, Not Walls

This week, Living Water Ministries welcomed 30 campers from 6 different states to participate in Bridge Builders. Bridge Builders was made to raise young leaders and teach them to challenge oppressive systems as an expression of their faith. This program sheds light on the sweeping presence racism has in the world, which can be a surprise to some given racism’s elusive nature today. When I was a Bridge Builders camper 4 years ago, my eyes were definitely opened to the disparities of our broken world. During my time at Bridge Builders, I played a game called “Star Power” (which is Continue Reading →

Spiritual Gifts

I was confirmed in an ELCA Lutheran church, I participated in Living Water Ministries camps for eleven years, and I’ve gone to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Detroit. One might say that my ‘Lutheran Résumé’ is through the roof. But, here’s the shocker– I started my faith life by being baptized into the Episcopal church. I had inherited Lutheranism from my paternal family but many people on my mother’s side were Episcopal priests. Because of this, my family has molded my faith life into a beautiful culmination of ELCA Lutheran and Episcopalian traditions. Living Water Ministries is an example of Continue Reading →

Fishers of People

MYTH: Day camp is less important than on-site camp at Stony Lake. Last year, I was hired as a Day Camp counselor and I’m not going to lie– I was pretty anxious about it. As a long time Michi-Lu-Ca camper, I was unfamiliar with how Day Camp worked, and my fear of missing out on happenings on-site, or at Stony Lake, was real. But let me tell you, the day camps I had the privilege of taking part of changed my life. Day Camp is in a different city each week, which required me to plunge into the culture and Continue Reading →

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

“She’s wonderful,” exclaimed Mary Anne to a fellow Abundant Life camper as I served them slices of cheese for their sandwiches. The response to the question, “What is Abundant Life week all about?” is almost always, “It’s one of the happiest weeks at camp”. Before I experienced Abundant Life week for myself last year, I had always wondered what made this program so special. Now I understand that what sets this week apart from the rest are the little joys the Abundant Life campers bring to us, like Mary Anne, who will forthrightly tell you when she thinks you are Continue Reading →