Rev. Carolyn Dugan – Associate Regional Minister of Outdoor Ministries

“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

– Isaiah 41:10, ESV

In my job as a Corporate Trainer, we do a lot of icebreakers and I think about the group I am working with to pick the best question. One question I tend to stay away from is “what are you afraid of?” Sometimes people stay at a high level and say things like spiders, the dark or heights. Sometimes people go a little deeper and will say things like interviewing for a new position, trying a new hobby or picking the wrong vacation destination. Then, there are people that go for it and share that they are afraid people won’t remember them after they die, or they are afraid of making a big life change that will affect their families. It is admirable that they are willing to be comfortable sharing their thoughts, but in this work situation, people don’t always know how to respond. In Isaiah, we have God declaring to the Israelites, to not be afraid. Don’t be afraid like the pagans in verses 5 and 6 – those who don’t know God and look to idols for their comfort.

This summer for our Camp Tamarack programming we are asking our Pastors to explore this idea that the Bible tells us to not be afraid 365 times in various ways – enough for every day of the year. (I know this is a leap year, but I think we can trust that God will still be there on that extra day too) Each of us has so many things coming at us that cause fear, worry and anxiety in this world. We want to explore how living as a Christian and sharing our fears may still be uncomfortable, but also healthy as we recognize the ways God is with us and upholding us.

Sometimes it is easier to hold on to the fears we know and are comfortable with versus letting God strengthen us and help us – by hearing a kind word, by finding something in scripture, connecting with a song, having a trusted group of friends and family that you can confide in, finding a professional that can support you in deeper ways and various ideas in between.

Every year as we get ready for camp registration, I am always afraid we aren’t going to have any campers, or leaders, or staff, or that something else may happen, but also every year, God is with me, and God is good.

Whatever your fear, your concern, your anxiety – may you be able to name it in a healthy way and find a path to not be afraid.

Posted in Camping, News, Staff Articles.