Stone Ministry 18th Year

by Peter Seirup

Stone Ministry became part of the programming at Kingswood in the summer of 2005.  The vision was to provide campers a tangible way to permanently connect with our sacred space.    

Since then thousands of stones lovingly cemented into our evolving structure have become permanent anchors for countless campers and their friends. Each stone was inscribed with a special dedication, prayer or message before it became part of the community of stones. 

Every stone is a keystone because of its individuality, its special meaning and because without it the stone above it would not transfer weight to the stone below it. 

In a sense the building itself is a side effect of the program. Indeed there was a vision in the beginning of what the building might look like.  But that was subject to change as the Holy Spirit nudged with kernels of inspiration. 

From the beginning we built little alcoves and protruding shelves into the structure both for the purpose of someday supporting candles for candlelight worship. That day has finally come. 

Last summer Kingswood’s  Chaplin, pastor Maria Pia Seirup, instituted Friday night vespers at the Stone Ministry. This simple prayer service included a Bible verse, contemplative prayer, silence and some singing by the light of candles in the stone alcoves, and on the stone shelves, as campers sat in front of the fire in the Stone Ministry fireplace. 

Last year’s Friday night Vespers were well attended and we look forward to continuing this as a Kingswood program in the future. 

Besides campers adding hundreds of stones last summer to Stone Ministry’s evolving structure, the core group of Stone Ministry enthusiasts assembled another 9 feet of roof structure in October and then created another 1700 ft.² of sheathing lumber from six nearby hemlock trees in February.  

We look forward to another great summer season of campers adding to the community of stones one stone at a time.  But not all visits by campers are for cementing stones. Some just keep returning to gaze and taking the magic of what has happened, and is happening, in that corner of Kingswood’s sacred space. 

How cool is that?