I am going out to a United Methodist camp facility this week to direct for a junior and senior high group of youth…
… the camp is called Mt. Misery!
It’s true… I swear. Now, there is some legit history as to why it is named that… and it has nothing to do with ‘misery’. Sorry to poke a hole in all the Weird NJ hype, but the fact of the matter is it was named (loosely speaking) by Peter Bard, a French Huguenot in the 1700’s. It was named Mont Misericorde… which is french, I guess, for Mt. Mercy (Hiking NJ: A Guide to 50 of The Garden State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures. Paul DeCoste & Ronald J. Dupont Jr., 2009, Morris Book Publishing LLC.)
Anyway… my point is this. The church has got a major PR problem as it is… why make it worse with a camp for kids called ‘Mt. Misery’. OK… so they actually did change it to: ‘Pineland’s Center at Mt Misery’. But, the fact of the matter is, the church (and yes… even its camps and such) needs to show we are all about faith-based renewal, health, life, and growth. Too often we expect the world to take the church ‘as it is’… but really… who would want that?
If you are reading this and you are a church-going person… please begin letting people know what the church of Jesus Christ is really about.
If you are reading this and you are NOT a church-going person… please give the church a chance to put its best foot forward… it really can be a positive force in the life of every individual and family.
It is not ‘misery’ but ‘mercy’… and by mercy I mean a safe space to be ourselves and grow and change with God’s help.