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)