Rick Blum and Chip have been friends for over 20 years. Rick and his family are members of the Arcadia Cottage Colony. His father, Dick Blum and his uncle Frank Miller were both instrumental in the establishment of the Lutheran Camp Association and Camp’s renovation efforts in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
I was sitting in church this morning when the first hymn started playing, “For All the Saints.” When I hear that hymn, my mind goes back to my dad and grandpa, both of whom had that hymn played as they were laid to rest in Arcadia. And it dawned on me how fitting it was that the Camp season ended on All Saints’ Day this year.
It reminded me of something I learned at Valparaiso in the first sermon I heard when I started attending school there. The minister reminded us of the connection faith in Christ gives to all believers, in heaven and on earth, and how it makes us all a part of the communion of saints. It helped a homesick kid feel better about where he was that day. But today, it also dawned on me how Arcadia often makes that all happen.
Uncle Frank always said Arcadia is a place “where it is easier to sense the eternals.” He’s right. But I think he left something out…about the connections to fellow believers that are created there. Maybe I feel it more now, as people who have been examples of faith to me have moved on to heaven. But as I heard the first few chords of that hymn played this morning, the connection to “the communion of saints” hit me like a lightning bolt…like I could feel that connection to my fellow believers just by singing the first verse. (It actually reminded me of that scene in “Finding Nemo” when Dory remembers all of her connections to the other characters in the movie.)
Why do I mention this? Well, once this happened I felt I should drop you a note and say thank you for managing to keep this special place available to create and mature faith in others.
So, thanks for another great season. Thanks for keeping Arcadia as a sanctuary for people needing a break from their everyday lives. Thanks for keeping watch over the place in the winter, when most of us don’t think much about the camp on the frozen shores of Lake Michigan. And thanks for giving us the ability to connect with our fellow “saints,” in ways that can last more than a lifetime.