The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has a beautiful camp in a wonderful mountain setting 35 miles north of Fairfield. We call it Sawtooth Camp. I spent some time there a few years ago and one of my many memories is the cross high on a ridge east of camp. I led some expeditions up to that cross. It was no small feat getting there, but the view from the top made it all worthwhile.
About a year ago a windstorm took that cross down. It had been standing for 60 years. For regulars at camp, it was now conspicuous by its absence. All last summer there was talk about replacing that cross. Nothing happened.
Nothing happened that is until the camping season was almost over. That’s when a group of women from Kuna’s 16th Ward (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) attended camp and asked if there were any service project they could do.
Dave Hargreaves, Camp Manager was reluctant the mention the cross. It was a big project. It was a hot day. It was something he figured some volunteers from one of our United Methodist churches would eventually tackle. But these women said to consider the job done. And it is now done. They did a great job. Maybe the new cross will be there for another 60 years!
I wanted to share this story with you for several reasons. One is I wanted to let you know about the camp, if you didn’t already know. Another is that it gives me an opportunity to thank those of you who contributed Sunday for scholarships to make it possible for two of our youth to attend church camp at Sawtooth this summer. (We are trying to raise $700 and $316 came in on Sunday.)
Finally, I love this story because it illustrates something so important, especially with all the divisions in our world today. Here is an example of “crossing the lines”. It’s a story that not only makes me feel good, it also gives me hope for the future. If LDS women can do something as generous as that for United Methodists, maybe it will be possible for people with a history of not getting along to work together to build a better world.