Message of Affirmation
Camp Kintail affirms and celebrates all our campers, staff, alumni, and guests, including our 2SLGBTQIA+ campers, staff, alumni, and guests. We are learning, working, and committing to becoming a camp where all are welcome and where we actively work against homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and the harm they cause.
For some, Camp Kintail has been a place where they felt compelled to hide essential parts of their being. For others, Camp Kintail has been a safe(r) corner of the church, a place where questions and conversations were encouraged. Some have been hurt and some have found courage at Camp Kintail – both things are true throughout our long history.
Camp Kintail is a camp of The Presbyterian Church in Canada. The church has stated that being 2SLGBTQIA+ is not a sin and that each person is a beloved child of God. However, equal marriage and ordination of 2SLGBTQIA+ persons in committed relationships have not been allowed. Over the past five years, the denomination has been discerning the path forward. There are two remits (statements of theology and practice) coming before the General Assembly (annual gathering of Presbyterians that makes denominational decisions) that would allow for both marriage and ordination of 2SLGBTQIA+ Presbyterians. In addition, a Special Listening Committee (Rainbow Communion) will be reporting to the General Assembly on the experiences of LGBTQI Presbyterians in the church and bringing recommendations to address harm that is done and to ensure harm does not continue.
Camp Kintail has campers, staff, and guests from all sorts of church backgrounds, both within and outside the Presbyterian church, and those who represent a wonderful diversity of faith and spirituality. We recognize the gift of the theological spectrum that is found in every cabin and group at Kintail. Even in our differences, we pray we can all agree that ensuring the safety and well-being of every camper, and every person, from harm is essential.
As Pride month begins and General Assembly convenes, our prayer is for the flourishing of all Kintail’s 2SLGBTQIA+ campers, staff, alumni, and guests. We are proud of you. You are seen, you are loved, you are welcome, you are celebrated, you are a beautiful child of God.
When camp has been a place where campers and staff felt compelled to hide or ignore their whole selves, we are sorry.We pray that camp will be a place where campers and staff are celebrated and loved for being exactly who they are.
Where camp has been a place of gender and sexuality stereotypes, stifled imagination, and closed doors, we are sorry.We pray that camp will be a place of adventure, imagination, play, and fun.
Where camp has been a place of conversations that excluded, hurtful and harmful advice, and shame, we are sorry.We pray that camp will be a place of deep conversation, holy listening, vulnerability, and trust.
Where camp has been a place of barriers and gatekeeping, we are sorry. We pray that camp will be a place of friendship and easy community.
When camp has made campers and staff feel unsafe and scared, we are sorry. We pray that camp provides safe and brave space.
When camp has celebrated being a place for all, but that was not true, we are sorry. We pray that all find a place around the campfire and the table.
Where camp has been a blessing to many people in their physical, mental and spiritual growth we praise You, and acknowledge the many dedicated individuals who made this happen. We pray for the staff, volunteers, and board at Kintail as they work to make Kintail a space for all.
Loving God, as we seek forgiveness and a new way forward, may we continue to seek your will and the voice of the Spirit. In the holy name of Jesus, our friend and our healer, Amen.