Need – Gifts – Serve – Repeat

For those I am connected with on social media, you are aware that I spent a portion of my summer working in the kitchen at Camp Cross. Of specific interest to many folks was the fact that I spent a lot of time working in what is known as the ‘dish pit’. 


“You know you are a Bishop…and you’re going to wash dishes?!” 


“You ran this place for a number of years as the Executive Director, and now you spend your time here washing dishes?!” 


“Why would you spend your time and talent washing dishes?!” 


As noted in a previous blog, my time in the dish pit has been an incredible experience of observing human behavior, and self-reflection. 


Simply stated, the reasons I spent time in the dish pit were a deep recognition of: need, gifts, service. 


Need: The camp leadership found itself without leadership in the kitchen and asked if my bride and I would be willing to help. This camp transformed our lives, our children’s lives and countless other family and friends’ lives and, as such, we are committed to do anything we can to support its mission. Serving as Executive Director, leading worship, supporting programs, fixingor replacing toilets, throughout the years we’ve been doing whatever is needed to help create the container of transformation. 


Gifts: I have significant experience creating high functioning and efficient organizations. When you have close to 300 items coming through a window into a small room in less than five minutes it’s a sink or swim reality. Having the capacity to not only effectively manage that situation, but to do so with others in a fun, playful manner was exhilarating. 


Serve: At the core of the transformational experience that camp provided and continues to provide for me is that our gifts are to be used in service to others. Whether Camp Executive Director or kitchen help, Bishop or custodian, the call is to use our gifts wherever and however they are needed. One of my favorite moments this summer was when a young person who I was working with said, with great puzzlement, “I just heard you’re kinda a big deal?!” And I responded, “Well, I do hold the record for the fastest dishwasher!” 


“Give us pure hearts, that we may see you; Humble our hearts, that we may hear you; Hearts of love, that we may serve you, Hearts of faith, that we may abide in you.” – Hammarskjold (Sec Gen UN)

13 thoughts on “Need – Gifts – Serve – Repeat”

  1. Loved this one and a good chuckle about your record! I love that you did this all summer and I’m sure enjoyed every post meal cleanup! 👍🏻❤️😊

  2. What an example you and Staci are to all the kids attending and working there! Humility, step in a do what needs to get done. Work/serve with a cheerful heart etc. Really powerful!

  3. I’ve seen your unparalleled service in a variety of ways from a variety of different angles (including with YOU wearing a very similar apron!). You’re lookin good!! Proud to call you a friend <3 Always!

  4. Lynette VanDeSteeg

    No one should ever be too proud to wait tables or bus and do the dishes. You meet some good people in surprising places.

  5. Harriet (Burton) Linville

    A wonderful reflection of your summer at Camp Cross. Yes, ” a variety of gifts.” Your dishwashing ministry reminds me of a week-end years ago at Ascension School. Bp. Spofford had gathered the five candidates for Holy Orders to Cove for a week-end retreat. We stayed in the rectory, now Barton House, and Bill did the dishes. As the only women, I quickly volunteered. He said thanks, but this was part of his ministry. Well done, Brian!

  6. It is an honor and a blessing in my life to be with you and Staci serving at Camp Cross…and washing dishes. Thank you for continuing to see and share what is the holy work that we all need in our lives.

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