2014 Summer Metaphysical Theme – from Nathan Bowen, Executive Director

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Every winter, the staff at Crystal Lake Camps work together to discover what our metaphysical theme will be for the year.


For me, the process of praying and thinking deeply about the program, our impact on our camp program participants, and the direction we feel God is pushing the program bears a lot of spiritual fruit.  It is undeniably wonderful to have and use the theme during the course of the year, but the selection process, as we uncover the kernel that God has for us, is one of my most favorite jobs to undertake all year.  I love it because it feeds a lot of the subsequent year’s prayers, gives direction and purpose to our decision-making, and charts a clear course for us as we develop and establish the events and programming specifics at camp.

For 2014, I’m pleased to share that a passage from our Leader’s textbook has been selected for our theme,

Man is God’s reflection, needing no cultivation, but ever beautiful and complete.  (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, page 527:4


This passage stood out to me for a variety of reasons, ones that I am eager to work on all year with our campers and staff, and I’m pleased to share these ideas with you here!

1. The promise of peace.

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I just love the underlying sense of being already complete.  Approaching our work at CLC not from an expectation of fixing something (or someone) that is broken, but instead to change our view so that we see the inherently complete idea already contained in each of us.  I know that when I have those moments of being exceptionally clear about my identity as a reflection of God, I feel deeply at peace.  Even when circumstances around me may appear chaotic, there is a deeply-abiding harmony and peacefulness that enables my thought to soar above the circumstances, and see the firm foundation of God as present and active.  It will be awesome to explore that with the campers this summer!


2. The understanding that our individual identity is a function of reflection, not a function of the body.


This is, in many ways, the great work we all are undertaking as Christian Scientists – to understand our identity more clearly as a reflected idea of God, instead of in a mortal and/or human construct.  Camp programs are designed to do just this – give everyone, campers and staff, opportunities and windows to see themselves as a reflected idea of God, and not simply just a mortal living out some random life on this earth.  That we have a larger role to play in the world, and as a child of God, our individual purpose and identity is not only safe and assured, but is necessary!  This idea – that we are necessary – is one I’m particularly excited to see in action at camp this year!


3. We are already beautiful!  Sometimes in our lives it can feel unavoidable that to look at ourselves with a superficial and critical view.  I find that often we feel that there is a beautiful version of ourselves buried deep down somewhere, but we don’t know how to access it and pull it to the front.  This, however, is strictly and vehemently opposed by Christian Science – and camp does a remarkable job in helping each of us to see our authentic, beautiful selves.  Continuing to build on this idea that we are beautiful, because we are (that we exist), and giving campers and staff the mental tools to make that beautiful reflected idea of God be front and center, is a powerful and transformative experience.  Seeing this in action at camp this summer will be, simply put, awesome.


So – I hope that as you read and think about these ideas with the entire CLC organization, you too will experience this promise of peace, and the transformative change that comes by understanding our identity as a beautiful child of God.  There can be no question that we will continue to change lives this summer – CLC’s 65th! – and we invite you into this experience from home or at camp, through your own prayer!  We look forward to hearing from you and how you’ve been impacted by deeply considering and praying with our metaphysical theme.  

With much love and gratitude to each and every one of you in the Crystal Lake Camps family,


Executive Director


Photo Credit: Elias Twitchell (Pics: 2, 3, 8, 9)

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6 Comments on “2014 Summer Metaphysical Theme – from Nathan Bowen, Executive Director”

  1. What a wonderful theme for the year! Man needs no refinement or purification because the true man is God’s creation, God’s reflection, His image and likeness. Most certainly, God’s likeness needs no improvement. Being infinite, divine Principle, Love, He creates only perfection. This passage will lead us all to many lovely, powerful, comforting, and healing thoughts to work with at camp this year. Thank you, Nathan!

  2. Thank you, Nathan! I am so glad to be a member of the CLC family, where this type of clear and inspiring thinking is going on. I know the campers, the staff – and through them the world – will be blessed this summer as the thought of all involved with CLC is turned toward a deeper contemplation of this single sentence from

    *Science and Health.*

    *- Dan Herr*

  3. Thanks for the prayerfully worked out theme. As we wade through a snowy and cold winter, waiting for spring’s rebirth, it’s good to focus on the fact that all that is going on in our lives – especially the CLC part – “is beautiful and complete” and not a laborious “cultivation.” Can’t wait to see what is revealed!

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