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Good Shepherd Lutheran Church / La Iglesia Luterana El Buen Pastor

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In addition to a national survey, researchers from The Confirmation Project visited congregations, using the research method of Portraiture to understand how confirmation and equivalent practices are practiced in congregations. Portraiture is a method of inquiry that shares some of the features of other qualitative research methods, such as ethnography, case study, and narrative, but it is distinctive in its blending of aesthetics and empiricism in an effort to capture the complexity, dynamics, and subtlety of human experience and organizational life. Portraiture first came to prominence in the works of Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. This Portrait is one from a gallery that can be found at

RECOMMENDED CITATION: Elton, Terri Martinson, “Good Shepherd Lutheran Church,” The Confirmation Project, Princeton Theological Seminary, September 25, 2015.


God offers abundant life to everyone. Yet discovering the path to abundant life is filled with many twists and turns and unexpected encounters. Navigating this journey is done best in community with a guide.

Path at Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center

Path at Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center

At the end of Luke’s gospel the disciples experience some surprising twists and turns as they try to figure out what it means to follow Jesus. Having heard God’s promises first hand, they are trying to understand what it means in the days after Jesus’ resurrection. On the road to Emmaus they find themselves amazed and confused talking among themselves and a guide joins them.

Could this scene be us? Wondering what it means to be a follower of Jesus and a guide appears. As I joined students studying and living this text, I encountered young people excited, curious, and questioning what Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection means for their journey. And in the midst of their conversations, guides appear and accompany them. And as they do, “their eyes [are] opened, and they recognized him.” (Luke 24:32)



As the plane made it’s final approach to Newark’s Liberty International Airport, I got a bird’s eye view of the greater New York City area. On this Saturday it was booming. Ferries coming and going, busy freeways moving in all direction, and ships preparing for their next journey. As lady liberty offered her greetings from the harbor, I felt welcomed to the city and into its larger story.

Sunday the bright August sun greeted me as I navigated the twists and turns of the New Jersey Turnpike. Guided by my GPS, I headed to La Iglesia Luterana El Buen Pastor/Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Weehawken, NJ. Just before the Lincoln Tunnel I exited the freeway. Venturing up a hill, I landed at Hamilton Park, a beautiful park overlooking the Hudson River. On this clear morning I had an amazing panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline.

Located on a bluff above the river, Weehawken is a community nestled between Hoboken, Union City, and West New York. Incorporated in 1859, Weehawken is a dynamic city that has adapted to numerous societal changes. Today Weehawken is primarily a residential community; in fact, this small .796 square mile township is the most densely populated municipality in the United States.[1,_New_Jersey accessed July 30, 2015] With the Lincoln Tunnel and ferries connecting it to New York City, and freeways, trains, and buses connecting it to New Jersey communities, Weehawken is a hub and gateway city within a greater hub and gateway metropolis.

I continued my journey to El Buen Pastor turning onto Columbia Terrace, a narrow one-way street through a residential neighborhood. Driving past homes over 100 years old, I wondered what it was like living here. And before I finished my thought, I arrived at the church and would have the opportunity to find out.


Organized in 1905, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd began as the only Lutheran Church in the North Hudson to conduct worship in English rather then the languages of the Norwegian, Swedish, and German immigrants. Sixty years later they were the first congregation to offer a worship service in Spanish. A commitment to speaking the language of the neighborhood demonstrates that this congregation is concerned about speaking and listening to its context.

Good Shepherd cares about its neighbors and is committed to welcoming the stranger. As I entered the narthex I was greeted by Pastor Birgit Solano, their good shepherd. Her warm greeting suggested she was expecting me, yet I sensed Pastor Solano greets everyone this way. Her greeting had a way of saying, “You are welcome here” and “You will be missed when you leave.” My GPS has gotten me to 98 Columbia Terrace, but now a person, and soon a community, would guide me.

During the school year, El Buen Pastor/Good Shepherd has two worship services, one in Spanish and one in English. In the summer, it has one bilingual service.1 Pastor Solano (fluent in English, Spanish, and German) and a lay liturgist led the service. Worshippers followed in their worship folder in either language. Singing, in both languages, united the community and offered a taste of Pentecost. Summer worship deviates from the lectionary, allowing the congregation to explore one book of the Bible in-depth. This year Good Shepherd explored the gospel of John. And on this day the reading focused on the Good Shepherd.

Multiple languages are not the only diversity this congregation navigates. Located in Weehawken, a wealthier community, and on the border of Union City, a transient poorer community,2 Good Shepherd’s commitment to being a neighborhood church also means navigating socio-economic and mobility challenges. This commitment makes ministry complicated. It means third generation members alongside first generation immigrants. It means people in the neighborhood commuting to New York City and people struggling to find work and pay rent. It means there are youth who have many options post high school and youth who struggle to learn English. Being welcoming to such a wide range of people requires more than worship in two languages or offering certain activities. It means making welcoming part of this community’s character.

El Buen Pastor is not a program church; it is a dynamic caring Christian community. With 200 members, half who identify as Hispanic/Latino,3 it takes its call “to unite people through the love and faith in Jesus Christ”4 seriously. Faithfully attending to Scripture, Lutheran commitments, and its own history, El Buen Pastor finds organic and authentic ways of living this mission within its dynamic context. With no “play book” to guide them, leadership has had to discern their own direction and discover their own way of leading. Solano’s twenty-year tenure has gained the trust of the long-term members and given her a robust understanding of the greater community. Worship, fellowship, and ministry with and for children, youth, and their families are central to El Buen Pastor’s life together, as does staying in tune to the needs of the neighborhood and wrestling with how their ministry will respond.

The primary discipling ministries for children and youth at Good Shepherd are Sunday school and Youth Group. In Sunday school (for children ages 5-12) “children learn about God and Jesus through stories, prayers and communal activities.” 5 The goal is that children’s faith deepens and they begin to understand the basics of faith. In Youth Group (for youth ages 13-17) students are offered a place to talk and navigate the many decisions of life within a safe and supportive environment.

Two milestone ministries are important at Good Shepherd: First Communion and Confirmation. First Communion (2nd grade and older) attends to the children’s questions of faith and includes hands-on learning about worship, Jesus, and the sacrament of communion. Confirmation (7th grade and older) offers the opportunity to go deeper in the basics of faith and the Christian story with hands-on learning in a community of adults and peers. The aim of confirmation is to help youth make the language of faith their own and is “an invitation” for youth to live the faith they have been taught.6

Because of her high commitment to these ministries, Pastor Solano is the main leader of both First Communion and Confirmation ministries. Pastor Solano’s experiential learning teaching style is well received by young people and naturally connects faith and life. These learning ministries are grounded in relationships and focus on getting to know each other’s stories in the midst of digging deeper into the Christian narrative. This incarnational approach to learning fits this congregation and makes learning accessible for students from various socio-economic backgrounds, with different first languages and different cultural identities.

Pastor Birgit Solano

Pastor Birgit Solano

Atypical to many Lutheran congregations, First Communion is the bigger of these two milestone ministries. Parents and youth learn together and Pastor Solano embraces the opportunity to build relationships with both students and parents. Discovering many parents had not experienced their first communion, Pastor Solano created first communion experiences for both students, the first Sunday after Easter, and parents, on Maundy Thursday. As students reach confirmation age, Pastor Solano draws on these relationships and intentionally invites students to participate in this additional milestone ministry.

“I am the good shepherd,“ we read in John’s gospel. And “I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) El Buen Pastor is a community centered in this promise. Pastor Solano and the leaders of Good Shepherd, in response to this promise and God’s guiding, offer to welcome and guide others. Confirmation ministry is one way this congregation does this.


Confirmation offers the opportunity for students to learn more about the biblical narrative, talk about faith with peers, and wonder about faith’s impact on their everyday life in the years following Sunday school. Students meet with the pastor on Saturdays several times a month from April to June, join area youth for a week of confirmation camp in August, and return to Saturday sessions during September and October.[8 In 2015 there were seventeen classes sessions, two special trips (one to another church and one to Six Flags), a week of camp, and various projects. Good Shepherd Lutheran Confirmation 2015 handout.] Students attend worship and participate in church projects throughout the year. Confirmation culminates with a focus on helping students incorporate prayer into their everyday life. They do this by learning spiritual practices, making their own personalized wooden prayer stool, and discovering ways of quieting themselves.

Students enjoy confirmation. “The activities are fun”7 and they “get to bond with people.”[10 Ibid.] Learning matters, primarily learning more about the Bible, but the atmosphere sets the tone. Confirmation camp, attended the year students are in confirmation and often again the year following given the two-year curriculum, reinforces and deepens the Saturday sessions and expands student’s view of the church. As a small group,[11 The size of the group varies, but is often in the range four to six students.] students appreciate the chance to be with youth at camp. One student noted, “camp adds (to confirmation) because now I know Lutherans are a big community with caring people.”8

Confirmation Camp – to Cross Roads and beyond

Gathered on the Preschool’s playground, the community of Good Shepherd engaged in fellowship and conversation after worship. In contrast to the hustle and bustle of Park Ave, the people on the playground were not in a hurry. Children were at home exploring, adults were chatting in small groups, and young people made their way from one activity to another.

Joining the group, Pastor Solano introduced me to three people going to camp.9 Naomi,10 one of the adult youth leaders, was first. Attending with her 3-year-old son, she was excited for the week and eager to see youth grow in their faith. Being part of a meaningful Christian community matters to Naomi, and Good Shepherd and Cross Roads Camp are two communities she spoke highly of.

Good Shepherd students Kayla and Karen at confirmation camp

Good Shepherd students Kayla and Karen at confirmation camp

Two sisters, Kayla (attending confirmation camp) and Kate (attending Sr. High camp), were next. Excited for camp, they shared with me (the newbie) the ins and outs of Cross Roads. Kate explained the basics; you can’t use your phones or eat junk food and the people are great. Kayla talked

about the confirmation part saying, “You live in the story and it becomes real.”11 Sitting with their parents, the two girls did most of the talking, but by the nods and smiles I gathered mom and dad were tracking the conversation. I soon learned of their personal interests and about family back in Ecuador. All five of them were born in Ecuador, miss family, but are happy with life in New Jersey.

As lunch arrived Eve joined the circle. Having finished summer school and returned from a trip to Puerto Rico to visit family, her enthusiasm and passion for camp was contagious. Without deep friendships at school, she clearly felt excepted at church and could hardly wait to connect with her friends from last year’s camp. As the last students arrived, it was finally time to head off to camp.

Back onto the concrete freeway maze, I was happy for the light Sunday afternoon traffic so I could easily follow my guide. Thirty minutes into the drive the tone changed as we transitioned from urban sprawl to dense lush green trees. Suddenly I understood what Eve meant by “I love the feel when we start driving to camp.”12 The lush trees did not feel like Weehawken, Newark, or New York City.

Transitioning to two-lane highway we passed several small communities set amongst rolling hills, rich vegetation, and hobby farms. In between theses small communities were older homes, farms, bed and breakfasts, and single-family dwellings. This was both an area people lived, but was also were people come to visit.

Soon we made our final turn onto a narrow, winding road and began climbing. And, less than 2 miles later, we were at camp – Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center – a joint ministry of the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Church in America. Getting out of my car, the sounds of youth and counselors exchanging greetings welcomed me. We had arrived.

Just like lady liberty welcomed me to Newark and Pastor Solano welcomed me to Good Shepherd, I, along with the students, were welcomed by the camp staff. Once out of the car Eve quickly made her way toward the crowd and found some friends from last year. Other students moved more timidly, but as they were welcomed, they quickly made connections. One by one all 100 plus students were checked in and escorted to their cabins. Through learning names and hearing campers’ stories the process of building relationships and creating community began, even before parents left the camp property. Another confirmation camp was underway.

Anthony, the camp director, has been a leader in outdoor ministry for twenty-nine years. Having served at four different camps, this day marked the start of his 45th week of confirmation camp, and, as he says, “his favorite week of camp each year.”13 Reflecting on these camps, Anthony recognized there’s something unique about confirmation camp for the students, for the partner ministries, and for camp. It is a joy for him to be part of such a rich ministry surrounding students.

After registration turned into cabins conversation, people started settling in, including us adults. We, just like the students, unpacked our bags, checked out our beds, shared our names, and started telling stories. Soon dialogue moved from cabins to dinner tables. Midway into the meal camp leaders introduced the theme for the week as three characters interrupted our meal with a drama. On the road to Emmaus these characters were telling each other of the amazing things that has just taken place. Now we, the community of Cross Roads, were invited to join their story and share their journey. Curious, amazed, confused, and unsure of who was in their midst these travelers were familiar and unfamiliar, their script could have been our script.

For some confirmation camp began as they drove away from the church building. For others it began as they arrived at camp. For others camp began when they saw a familiar face or met a new friend. No matter what marked the start of camp, camp was now fully underway. At some point the guides that had gotten people to camp had transitioned to other guides. At confirmation camp there was not one guide, but many. The guides for the week were a team of leaders, from both the congregations and camp, ranging in age from early twenties to sixties. This leadership team was a motley crew; many pastors, others Sunday school teachers, some parents, and others recent college graduates. This group had one purpose – make faith come alive for these young people.

Leadership is most often a dance, and confirmation camp had it’s own unique dance. The dance went as follows: In the morning, the congregational leaders led devotions and learning activities. After lunch, the camp staff led various activities and spent time with students in their cabins. In the evenings, the congregational leaders led a session and then camp staff led campfire and cabin devotions. From a campers’ perspective, it was awesome having a diverse group of leaders, yet such a model of leadership was complicated. While not easy, this leadership approach provides for a rich and meaningful experience. And in the same way the Emmaus story, not the curriculum, anchored the week and the needs of the community, not the schedule, set the agenda.

New Jersey Synod – Confirmation camp and more

After eleven years confirmation camp of the New Jersey synod is a well-oiled machine. With the leadership of Jason Reed, youth ministry specialist in the synod, confirmation camp has had a steady and committed guide since its inception. Jason’s dedication, the commitment of other experienced ministry leaders, and the support of the synod have come together to keep confirmation camp alive and vibrant.

Eleven years is long enough to create a legacy. Jenny, one of the young adult leaders who came with a group of girls, remembered when she came to confirmation camp. It was an important time for her and now she wants to give back. Confirmation camp touches the lives of a wide range of “Jennies.” Some were the solo confirmand in their congregations, others were the only boy in their group. Some were lifelong Lutherans, and others were new to church all together. And while students remember confirmation lessons “at home” there’s something special about camp that sticks even all these years later. Jenny dreamt of expanding this legacy to involve “alumni” working with their home church. And Mary, a Sunday school teacher, took three days off of work to join her students at camp. Since many of the congregations at confirmation camp are lead by solo pastors, it is not always possible for pastors to join students for the entire week. But here Mary, an important adult in the lives of these young people, offered her time to be with the students and bridge the experience at camp with the congregation. In fact, Mary described the formal and informal ways students shared their experience with the congregation when they return. And for her, that’s one of the important pieces. Pastor Woodruff, one of the younger pastors, was participating in confirmation camp for the first time, without any students. He had leadership responsibilities and led one of the discipleship groups like everyone else. One of the most impactful moments I witnessed at camp was when he connected with a student who had to go home early due to health reasons. Pastor Woodruff, like all the leaders, was at camp to serve all kids.

With over sixteen congregations involved in confirmation camp, this was a picture of church. The focus was on the collective community, not a congregation or cabin group. Commitments, connections, and a call to be church together were but the tip of the iceberg of the benefits of this collaborative confirmation ministry.

The impact confirmation camp had in the lives of the students, leaders, congregations, and camp would not be known for some time. But meaningful ministry moments occurred every day of camp – in worship and cabin devotions, in “planned” activities and random encounters, while canoeing and tie-dying. Moments included interactions between students, between students and leaders, and between leaders. Confirmation camp had a way of creating an environment were people believe God’s present, open themselves to other people and learning about faith, and lean into the pattern of living camp that offers. It was intentional, focused on relationships, explored the Christian narrative, and helped everyone live a life in light of what Jesus did for them on the cross. Confirmation camp gathered for the sake of helping young followers of Jesus grow in their faith, but young people were not the only ones impacted.

In many ways confirmation camp was similar to a morning at Good Shepherd Lutheran, a community centered on discovering the promise of abundant life in Christ committed to welcoming and guiding others along life’s road. Confirmation camp is one-way Cross Roads lives out its mission of creating intersections between the cross of Christ and the roadways of our life, and one way the congregations in New Jersey are church together.


While there are many things ministry leaders can learn from these ministries, I will highlight three overall ideas and two lessons from confirmation camp.

Three overall ideas:

    1. Shared Calling – It is better being church together – A consistent theme from all ministries was: it is better being church together. The New Jersey synod is small geographically and large in number of congregations. With 170 congregations, confirmation camp is one way the synod supports area congregations and connects with their camping ministry. But confirmation camp is more than a good idea; it is a calling all these ministries share. And coming together around this shared calling multiples the ministry each of the communities does alone. Confirmation camp requires time, energy, and attention from each ministry, as it helps them more fully be who they are called to be. This is an “added value” for congregations, synod, and camp, as well as for confirmation ministry. And it is an “added value” for the ministry leaders, as confirmation camp helps them fulfill their leadership responsibilities while supporting and encouraging them personally. For example, Pastor Solano looks forward to this week each year as she feels supported by colleagues, enjoys personal Sabbath, and is rejuvenated for ministry. In this way it is a tangible picture of the church as bigger than one location or ministry.14 Students see that. Pastors see that. Volunteer leaders see that. Camp staff see that. One of the leaders said, “What if our churches looked like this?”[19 Lay leader, focus group, led by Terri Elton, notes, August 2015.] And that picture, is not only a beautiful thing, it is critical understanding of what it means to be church today.
    2. Leadership matters – Systems matter. In order for this type of collaborative ministry to be vibrant, leadership is critical. As Jason Reed shared the history of confirmation camp and Pastor Solano talked about her years at Good Shepherd, the theme of leadership surfaced again and again; leadership that creates community, understands mission, risks, and brings others into leadership. This type of leadership is intentional, relational, incarnational, and sees potential where others cannot. Sure it is messy, just ask Jason about confirmation camp in the years when Cross Roads was in leadership transition, but God works in messiness just as God works in times when things are smooth. Neither El Buen Pastor nor confirmation camp were robust their first year. But having a clear purpose being dedicated to seeing it through, and creating a way forward lets ministries expand and grow over time. What started out as one or two leaders now includes a larger system. Leadership is a critical element in making confirmation ministry vibrant today, as are the systems that surround the leaders.
    3. Assembling a cross collaged with images of brokenness

      Assembling a cross collaged with images of brokenness

      Experiential learning bridges many diverse experiences – Confirmation is often packaged in churchy language with churchy activities in a churchy box. True, one goal of confirmation is to expose students to the language of faith and understand aspects of church in order to help students make faith their own. (And in fact that is one of Good Shepherd’s goals.) Yet this goal is usually framed from the insider, with insider language and practices (some of which are tied more to tradition than theology). Confirmation ministry set within a discipleship trajectory has something larger in mind. If the focus of confirmation is more about living a life of faith than knowing about the Christian faith, then how one goes about confirmation is as important as what one teaches in confirmation. Confirmation camp has an eye toward integrating faith into life, not passing on churchy language. This same desire influences the teaching and learning strategies Pastor Solano uses. Both confirmation camp and El Buen Pastor approach confirmation with an experiential learning pedagogy by engaging the whole person in the teaching and learning process.

      For congregations less homogeneous and for campers coming from diverse locations, experiential learning does not “teach to a test,” rather it honors questions and wondering and offers many entry points. Service activities, craft projects, singing and skits, and prayer practices engage different learning styles and stretch learners. Done in a safe and encouraging environment experiential learning has the possibility of drawing a wide array of participants into learning, and discovering different aspects of faith along the way.

Two lessons from confirmation camp

    1.  Learning to create community – One significant contribution camp makes to discipling young people is it teaches them how to create community. Many students know one congregation and their “code of conduct” or way of being Christian community. Some of the code is influenced by denominational patterns, others are particular to their region or congregation. For students, camp interrupts their “code of conduct” and what it means to be a person of faith. Of course, camp has its own “code of conduct” but since camp is a fluid community and has an allotted timeframe, its “code of conduct” must be articulated, taught, and modeled if community is to be created. Sometimes it happens, and other times it does not, but students, having to participate in this process of creating community, reflect on Christian community and learn skills for creating community.In addition, the very act of being away disrupts; being away from one’s primary congregation, family, friends, and pattern of daily life messes with people on various levels. In this process, being away also opens participants to see and experience things differently. Add faith to the disruption camp brings to our lives and camp makes it possible to authentically engage in questions of meaning, purpose, community, and personhood in ways that staying at home often never get to.15
    2. Putting the pieces together into a cohesive whole – Students recognized it and leaders appreciated it – confirmation camp allows smaller pieces to be connected into a greater whole. The main whole is drawing students into a life of faith. The main way of doing this is through understanding the Christian narrative. While content is not king of confirmation, learning about the Bible and putting its stories together is central to these ministries. Students want to understand more fully the story of God’s people and leaders appreciate the opportunity to express the Christian story in various and meaningful ways.Confirmation camp in the New Jersey synod is on a two-year cycle. One year is the exodus story and one year is the story of Jesus. All aspects of camp weave in and out of a theme, all work to communicate some part of the larger story. Some students have a rich understanding of the “episodes” of the Bible. Others have little or no knowledge of the characters, plot, or settings. The combination of participants at camp make discussions lively. Many of the activities, like looking through newspapers and magazines for words or images of brokenness, draw students into the biblical narrative in ways different than Sunday school or Sunday sermons. Small talk around picnic table as students search for words and Mod Podged them onto a cross is powerful – not only to
      watch, but also to participate in. Offered the opportunity to write on a piece of paper some part of their life that was broken provided another layer of learning. And later in the evening, during prayer station rotations, students prayed for each other’s brokenness, something they took very seriously. This series of “activities” drew together Jesus death, the world’s suffering, and their own lives in a powerful way.Putting the pieces together is about connecting individual stories of the Bible into a metanarrative that students can understand and hold on it. But it is also about connecting pieces of their own stories and their congregation’s story into this metanarrative. This process is not only something confirmands long for, it is also something many adults long for as well. In fact, during the Mod Podge activity I conversed with one of the pastors about how God had intervened in a broken area of my life. He did the same and there in the midst of a picnic shelter next to the soccer field were two ministry leaders once again attaching their stories to God’s.

As I left camp and made my return trip through the windy country roads and concrete city freeways, I realized a piece my heart was left at Cross Roads. I, a fifty- something church leader, had participated in a robust express of church. While my spirit was melancholy, I was also full of joy and wonder. What lies ahead for students, camp staff, and congregational leaders? Only God knows, but I hope and pray these days at Cross Roads left their mark.

Discovering abundant life in Christ is a lifelong endeavor that needs a guide as well as the support and encouragement of Christian community. Amazed and confused by Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Cross Roads Camp and Retreat Center, and the New Jersey synod are accompanying each other on this journey of discovering abundant life. And confirmation camp is but one meaningful aspect and way of doing this.

  1. Good Shepherd uses a liturgy they have crafted over time.
  2. A visit to Zillow notes the contrasts in houses in Weehawken and Union City. In Weehawken homes were built in the early 1900s and sell for $1-2 million. In Union City homes were built later (anywhere from 1920- 1950) and sell in the range of $200,000-350,000 or are in foreclosure. Members of the congregation recognize this divide and noticed the amount of redevelopment taking place. For example, many Union City properties have been bought by development companies and are being replaced with condominiums.
  3. And the other half of the congregation is a mixture of Caucasian, African-American, and other. ELCA Trend Report 2014.
  4., accessed July 30, 2015.
  5. Good Shepherd Lutheran handout, Ministry with Children and Youth, 2014-15.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Anonymous, notecard, August 2015.
  8. Ibid.
  9. There were four students attending confirmation camp, two students attending Sr High camp, and two adults – the pastor and one volunteer.
  10. All of the names of students and lay leaders have been changed.
  11. Kayla, conversation with Terri Elton, August 2015.
  12. Eve, conversation with Terri Elton, August 2015.
  13. Anthony Briggs, conversation with Terri Elton, August 2015.
  14. Some examples are seeing Pastor Stoner lead First Word each morning with his passion and wisdom, a true gift. His confirmation students reap the benefits of his leadership and teaching, but offering this gift to camp allows other students to benefit as well. Pastor Cook, the service coordinator and dedicated confirmation camp leader, is enthusiastic and dedicated to having service be part of this experience. It is clear she understands her call is to the larger church, even as she serves a local congregation.
  15. Summary of Pastor Woodruff’s reflections. Ibid.
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