Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:2 The 2019 Bible study and Outdoor Ministry theme from Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) calls us to examine ourselves and take action - to transform community. To begin this journey we are examining ourselves by truly understanding our past and the legacy that has gone before us. This week I was blessed to hear stories from friends that were involved with us as early as the 1950s. One was a camper when we camped at Powell's Fort Camp (prior to the purchase of this property in 1957). His family camped at Massanetta Springs when he was a young child, then he went to summer camp with Dr. Virgil Moyer, 44 other kids, and 15 volunteer summer staff for many years until he joined the Army in 1956. I also got to hear stories from a counselor who was here in 1959 during the first summer camp in the newly built Hogan Village. She remembers having a Hogan full of seven year old girls and celebrating Christmas in July! There was even a summer snow miracle one evening during that week of camp. The wilderness experience that first summer impacted children, young adults, pastors, and older volunteers. They established the culture and the legacy that thrives and grows in so many hearts and souls today...they were transformed indeed! What a blessing that we have so many good and pleasing stories that reflect the perfect will of God. As we enjoy the beautiful fall weather and leaves falling around us I am reminded of renewal and how the hardwood trees are renewed every year and transformed with new growth in the Spring. Let us continue to be renewed as we reflect on our past and discern why we are connected to this place. What are the actions that God is calling us to do to TRANSFORM our COMMUNITY here at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center? Can we be like the trees and do this every year? How can we connect to the world around us while remaining a place set apart? Can we find renewal in our simple human minds through observing nature, the changes of the seasons, and find the will of God in it? These are only a few of the questions we will examine as we enter the year 2019, and I invite all of you to take action and join us in this year long journey as we write the next chapter of stories at Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center.