On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a fest of rich food, a fest of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear. And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death forever.
I have always loved mountains, just like the little girl in the book, Heidi, (for whom I am named) loved the mountains surrounding her home. I moved to Denver immediately following college and found incredible joy skiing and hiking in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains. I hiked up Mount Sinai on a trip to Israel during seminary, with my (unbeknownst to me at the time) future husband. I hiked in the Andes Mountains of Peru to Machu Picchu and found that to be an incredibly spiritual experience.
I have also always been intrigued by the formations of intentional Christian community. Hearing about the first communities of Christians in the book of Acts in a college religion class, I was intrigued about wanting to experience something similar. So, I moved to Denver to join the Urban Servant Corps, an intentional Christian community of volunteers serving those in need in the inner city. Later I became a pastor, in part, to belong to and to help form Christian community in and through the congregations I serve.
Though I was never a camper or camp counselor myself, I knew when I began coming to Caroline Furnace that I had come home. I knew from hearing the stories of those who had been campers and counselors, that deep, abiding, passionate Christian community is created here. I knew from hiking to Kennedy Peak and seeing the beauty of the hills and mountains surrounding Fort Valley that the same awe and joy that I've felt about other mountains was also here.
I love the verses above from Isaiah because God makes a feast of rich food and wine for us on the mountain, and wipes away all sorrow and pain, and even death. What better combination could there be than the beloved community enjoying a feast while God brings new life in a mountaintop experience? That is what Caroline Furnace seeks to be and that is why I joyfully call it home.