Thanksgiving is really a tremendous time of year. I was really struck last spring about it, as I happened to be in London at a church’s Wednesday evening service, and a testifier gave a testimony that came out of prayerful work she had done from the previous Thanksgiving. What a contribution to humanity Mrs. Eddy has given us through this specific effort to acknowledge, through our prayerful study on this topic, the power behind Thanksgiving. That even in a completely different country where the holiday of Thanksgiving doesn’t even exist, it is Christian Science that is out spreading the understanding that to take time to express gratitude is not just a worthy, but a necessary, part of humanity.
Doing some of my own studying and thinking recently, I was really struck how Thanksgiving, in the light of the teachings from both Christ Jesus and Mrs. Eddy, are so much about humility and turning over a belief in any power other than God, divine Love. Jesus is recorded as giving thanks before breaking bread and feeding the multitudes with the loaves and fishes; he also gave thanks at the Last Supper – presaging the ultimate proof of eternal Life and Love that God is the power behind all.
In Mary Baker Eddy’s writing, she talks of the power behind gratitude and giving thanks as acknowledgements of God. She talks about the “perfume of gratitude” as she shares about Mary Magdelene’s humble prayers of forgiveness at the feet of Jesus (see Science & Health, pg. 367). She also shares with us (Science and Health, pg. 3), “Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.”
So with that idea of gratitude as action in mind, Crystal Lake Camps would like to express – and show – our deep and sincere thanks to everyone our program touches. First and foremost are the campers and families who come to camp who most directly reap the benefits of the program, and offer nuggets of gratitude themselves like the following from a summer camper:
“I learned that God is love & spirit and always with us! Also that we are all good perfect child[ren]…. With the girls [in the cabin] I made best friends.”
We are also so deeply grateful for our staff – both the summer seasonal staff and the small cadre of dedicated year-round staff that keeps the operation humming along. Our staff work so hard, and the fruits of their labor are seen in the campers who return home at the end of their session feeling filled, with a wider community of like-minded Christian Science peers, and a deeper understanding of their true nature as children of God, as evidenced in the above quote.
And to our contributors – know that the year-round staff and Trustees of CLC are deeply dedicated to making sure our mission and programs are maintaining our solid foundation of Christian Science practice as our purpose, while reaching further each year! We are out signing up campers, supporting families, and doing our all to keep the mission and purpose of Crystal Lake Camps moving forward. We are humbled with gratitude for all of your support – from the hundreds of volunteer hours from so many people, to all of the financial contributions. We work hard all year to earn your contribution, to put into action your desires to ensure that Christian Science youth are getting a solidly metaphysical, yet fun and wholesome experience when you volunteer time, services, items, or donate money.
So from all of us at Crystal Lake Camps, thank you. It takes us all to make CLC function, and we are profoundly grateful you’re part of our family!
Blessings to you all on this wonderful holiday,
Nathan Bowen, Executive Director