Sky Ranch Spotlight

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Katharine Ritzi (right)

As a current seminary student, I often find myself in discussions through my classes and peers that are centered on defining what ministry looks and feels like. This can be articulated in so many different ways, and because there is no defining answer, this discussion will only continue to happen. However, while I am beginning my second year of seminary as these discussions are continuously present, my thoughts are immediately taken back to this summer, as I learned to listen for the sounds of ministry echoing through the mountains at Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp.

This summer, I came to love the sound of the Christ Lodge door swinging open and shut. Being a member of the leadership staff, I spent a fair amount of time each day upstairs in the lodge office, preparing for evening worship or editing photos I had taken earlier in the day. But as I was in the office, away from the campers and counselors who I knew were living out God’s mission simply by being in relationship with one another, that screen door was the sound of another ministry happening, where every single person would be greeted as Christ simply for being who they were.

Many times this summer, that screen door was the sound of someone returning to Sky Ranch for the first time since they were a camper more than 20 years ago. A few times it was the sound of a traveler who was a little lost along the dirt road and was looking for directions. On Sundays, it was the sound of parents trusting this community to keep those they loved most safe, and it was the sound of these beloved campers trusting a new person to be their counselor. It was the sound of hikers beginning and ending a journey through creation, of meal times, game times, bathroom breaks, and water bottle refills. It was the sound of life. It was the sound of ministry.

Through Sky Ranch’s mission statement of encountering Christ on the mountaintop, the sound of this screen door became the sound of this exact encounter. In a community where values are centered in fostering faith and providing hospitality, that screen door became the vessel to allow every single person to be received as Christ. And as such, this sound, to me, became the hope of the Church at work in the world.

Katharine Ritzi
Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Each month we will highlight a story from a camper, staff, adult sponsor volunteer or guest on their experience at Sky Ranch. 

Past Sky Ranch Spotlights

Joe and Luke Rein

Haley Plucheck

Dave Kiel

Robin Lutjohann

Katharine Ritzi

Ben Fulton

Meagan Murphy

Kaari Von Bernuth

Doug Hill

Caitlin Almer