GRACE TO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD OUR FATHER AND THE LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. AMEN. It has been almost eleven years since the event that changed many lives in Nickel Mines, Penn. It was the day that Charles Roberts IV walked into a one room school house in an Amish community, ordered the men and boys to leave at gun point, tied up ten little girls, aged 6 to 13, killed five of them, injured the others, then killed himself. Charles’ parents thought they would have to move away, as so many times the parents take the blame for what their adult children do, and in many cases are driven out of their communities by those who would seek vengeance.
I don’t know about you, but I hate conflict. I go out of my way to avoid it. I know that is not always a good thing. Sometimes you have to confront things head on for the good of all concerned. The scripture readings today give us advice on how to handle conflict. The toughest conflict is that which happens within a family. I can tell you from experience of being a police chaplain, the calls that the cops dread the most are family disturbances. For some reason, conflict between close family members can turn violent very quickly, and the cops have to barge right into the middle of it, and try to diffuse it.
My time at Camp Crucis recently reminded me of my days as a Boy Scout. My old friend, Fr. Moseley, or Father Salt as I like to call him, was a fellow Scout, and we went on many camp-outs together. We learned many things about camping. We learned to prepare our gear, shop for food, prepare meals, and best of all we learned how to put up tents and set up camp. It was fun, too! Part of the fun was finding the best place to set up camp. We would hike for hours it seems to get a far away from civilization as possible. There were no distractions, no cell phone, no internet. Our idea of networking was putting our heads together to identify the flora and fauna. I love to still love to camp out, but my idea of roughing it has changed somewhat since the Scouting days. Now my idea of roughing it is a hotel room without a coffee maker.