A Word from Our Pastor 2015 May

Dear Friends,
Some of you have probably heard already that we at BMU will be offering a summer experience for children ages 5-12, “Peace Camp.” This is a new effort for us, and we hope that many of you will want to be involved.

Since this is a new program, ALL OF YOU reading this are critical to its success. We have the staffing and program all planned, but more important is PARTICIPATION. For that, we really need your help in getting the word out and finding young people who will benefit from this program. You are the real key to our success!

WHO: We are delighted that Lynn Hiratzka (lkhiratzka@gmail.com) is our Camp Director, aided by Minister Chai (mspchaitanya@gmail.com).

WHAT PEACE CAMP IS ALL ABOUT: we will provide a variety of peacemaking activities – spiritual practices, the arts, cooperative outdoor games, yoga, music and more. Our Mission is to equip and empower children, through God’s love and grace, to be peacemakers in the world. We will focus on themes of Peace with Self, Peace with Others, Peace Between Communities and Peace with the World. We’ll also cover themes such as self-acceptance, empathy and compassion, cooperation, generosity, sharing, and respect. All activities will be age appropriate and will model deep respect for cultural and religious diversity.

The Camp will conclude with a closing celebration on Thursday afternoon – an opportunity for the children to share what they have learned with their parents and friends.

DATES: July 13-16, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. We will provide before- and after -care 8:30 – 9:00 and 3:00 – 5:30. (This will begin the week after Daruma no Gakko ends). Registration forms are available in the foyer, but people can also download a form at our website: www.bmuc.org

COST: $150 per child for the entire 4-day program; before- and after-care is an additional $50 per child. Parents are requested to provide 3 volunteer hours during the camp. We hope to make scholarships available. BMU is also subsidizing some of the cost of running the camp.

WHY: Peace Camp is an opportunity for BMU young people, but it is also an outreach program. We hope to provide this Camp as a service to kids in our neighborhood and broader community. Young people are challenged with many kinds of conflict in schools and sometimes, unfortunately, at home. We are hoping that the peaceful experience and skills from Camp will really help them in their daily life. We are encouraging people of all faith traditions to participate, as a way of creating a diverse learning community.

We are hoping that you will INVITE the children you know — in your family, in your friends’ families, in your neighborhood – to attend Peace Camp. We are planning to have a “GET TO KNOW US” event on May 15 so that families can meet the Peace Camp staff and learn more about the program. Please come and invite others.

We will also be encouraging teenagers and college age young adults to participate as camp counselors – so, again, please encourage people in this age range to find out more about Peace Camp.

Adults of any age can VOLUNTEER to help run Peace Camp. There will be a lot of organizing and hospitality – so if you are able to join us, please let Lynn or Minister Chai know.

DONATIONS are also welcome. It is unlikely (but not impossible!) that Peace Camp will be financially supporting, especially in its first year. If you would like to donate to help with the basic costs of running the camp (a budget is available if you want more information), or to provide scholarship funds for campers, please give your donations to Lynn or Minister Chai.

Remember, you and what you are able to do are the key to the success of this program. As you participate, you are serving the community!
–Rev. Naomi