My name is Andrew Camp and I am passionate about food (Claire, my wife, may say that my passion boarders on obsession, but that is a different story).
I graduated from Talbot Seminary (part of Biola University) in May 2010 with a Masters in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care where I was trained as a spiritual director, but also thought deeply about how Christians grow spiritually, both what helps the process (a la spiritual disciplines) but also what hinders the process (deep rooted sin habits, family of origin issues, the hidden heart, etc.).
I have always loved food. Whenever my family used to go out to eat, which was rare growing up, I would want to order a dish that I had never had before, while my sisters, for the most part, stuck with what was familiar. Also growing up, my mom used to bake fresh bread at least once a week. As I began to branch out on my own, I began to cook, and loved inviting people over to dine at my table. This love especially grew while I lived in China. When I moved back from China, I began to cook for my grandpa once a month or so where we would enjoy a fine meal and at least a bottle of wine and simply converse for hours about life. I slowly began to realize that my passion for food/cooking/table was more than just a weekend hobby, so I enrolled in the California School of Culinary Arts (part of the Le Cordon Bleu network) in August 2008. Around Christmas of that year, I received a full-time job at a top restaurant in Los Angeles and decided to drop out of culinary school.
After about four months of working at this restaurant, I decided that the pressure and long hours were not conducive to the life I wanted to live (I felt isolated from my community), so I took a job at Forest Home Christian Camp as a cook and worked there for three years until leaving in July 2012.
Claire and I moved to Park City, UT in July 2012, so that Claire could complete her internship in conjunction with her doctorate in clinical psychology. I started working at Silver Restaurant shortly after moving here. I began as a very nervous line cook, but slowly worked my way up to sous chef in the fall of 2014. Silver Restaurant unexpectedly closed in May 2015 (long story, but had nothing to do with the level of food). I had been wanting to get out of the restaurant industry, again because it was not conducive to the life Claire and I wanted.
To make a long story short, I began work as an unpaid intern at Mountain Life Church, where Claire and I had been living since we moved here. From the outset, the goal was for me to gain experience so that I could find a job elsewhere. I had been told time and time again that there was no possibility of a job for me at Mountain Life. But the Lord had other plans. And on March 1, 2016, I began my new role as the full-time Spiritual Growth Pastor. On June 24, 2016, Claire and I welcomed our first daughter into the world…Hazelle Grace Camp.
As I broke bread with dear people around my table, I began to get the sense that something more than just physical nourishment was taking place at the table; I was beginning to notice a very spiritual act taking place as we conversed for hours over a meal. Ideas began to formulate in my mind, and really clicked when I read Living the Resurrection by Eugene Peterson. In the book, he writes, “The Gospel writers are fond of telling stories of Jesus at meals. The meal was one of their favorite settings for showing Jesus as he revealed himself, talked, worked, and welcomed men and women to him” (p. 69).
I would love for Christians to develop a robust theology of food, one that involves more than just avoiding eating disorders (gluttony, anorexia and bulimia). A theology of food that thinks holistically about the bounty of God’s creation (have you ever noticed how many colors of heirloom tomatoes there are?) to the implications of the Passover, the Lord’s Supper and the Marriage Feast of the Lamb for our everyday eating habits, to the simple beauty of simply sharing wine and cheese with a loved one.
But this blog is more than just about food. It is about how we are all formed spiritually and the journey that unfolds as we live into a community nourished by the Table. I also want this blog to be a place to converse openly and honestly about what God is doing in and through His church during these changing times.
Just as a shared meal around a shared table creates conversation, my hope is that this blog can be a conversation among many wherever you may be. Please pull up a chair and join me at the table.
If you have any questions/comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.