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The National Parks

July 26, 2016

As regular readers of this blog well know the focus is almost entirely on books and resources related to general ministry,leadership, Biblical Studies, Theology or most specifically youth ministry. Today’s post featuring THE NATIONAL PARKS:America’s Best Idea a 12.5 hour documentary by the legendary Ken Burns seems not to fit the above categories but I believe it does even if it is in a bit of a round about way. The six part series is a wonderful series of beautiful photography combined with the compelling stories of how the national parks were created and what people and issues had to be overcome to create the parks. The series is both chronological and topical with a host of very interesting special features that feature majestic pictures, biographical information on key people and the broader cultural and historical context that places the people and events in the flow of American ¬†history. I found every minute fascinating and captivating none more than the story of the history of Yellowstone National Perk with its native american history, natural/geothermal history, pioneer and army history and even the transformation of park policy over the years. For any individual or family interested in knowing more about the parks they hope to visit or see pictures that will stir memories of past adventures this is must viewing. From a leadership perspective the stories of the development of the National Park Service and its administrators was fertile ground for reflection and application of transferable personal applications. Youth Workers will better understand the impact “nature” and “wilderness” can have on students of all ages as we plan camps, hikes and outdoor activities in ministry schedules. For ministry there were abundant sermon and teaching illustrations throughout the series as well as glorious quotations that I will use for years to come. View this series and I promise you that you will begin making plans to visit a national park as soon as you can and perhaps even make a series of local hikes as well!

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