Camp & Retreat Ministries has released it’s Fall 2013 Newsletter “Xenia News”. To read the entire newsletter, you can download it HERE .
A note from the Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries:
As we admire the last of the fall foliage, I am reflecting back on another summer of ministry at our UNYAC camp and retreat sites. I was able to spend time at each of the sites throughout the summer, including a trip to each site to serve as a tour guide for Bishop Webb. What a joy it was to show our bishop each of the sites, their blessings and attributes, as well as the places where they can improve and grow. It was a blessing to share these sites with this faithful follower of Christ who is focused on our mission as a Conference and believes that camp and retreat ministries plays a key role in that mission.
We toured each site, talked about the history and shared some of the stories of the ministries that happen at camp and on retreats. We also shared with him that each of our facilities this year followed the summer camp curriculum called “All Things New.” The curriculum states that we are all in a constant state of creation and change, we are new every morning. Our sites are the same way. They have rich histories, but they are constantly in need of change and become new every morning. One of the verses that the children, youth, and adults who attended summer programs learned about was Isaiah 64:8, “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” They also read in Jeremiah 18 where the LORD spoke with Jeremiah about going to the potter’s house. Jeremiah watched as the potter marred the pot he was making, but didn’t simply throw away the clay. Instead, he made it into a new vessel. When a potter throws a pot on a pottery wheel, it is important to have the clay centered on that wheel before they start any forming or shaping of that pot. Just as we, as individuals, must center our lives on Jesus and our relationship with him before we can do any more meaningful shaping of our lives.
Each of our sites has been blessed with people who have centered their lives in Christ, and each site goes through constant shaping and reshaping to best meet the needs of the people they are serving. Each site strives to maintain its center on Christ while also allowing for God’s hands to be involved in changing it to fit God’s purposes. We are constantly trying to look at these sacred places with new eyes, looking for places or programs that need reshaping in order to fit God’s purposes.
In consultation with the committee on camp and retreat ministries, we have launched a comprehensive strategic planning process. This process will be led by a professional consultant team who specialize in camp and retreat ministry planning. The consultants will primarily collect data, listen to stories, assess current realities of program and facilities as well as lead the planning team in discerning what and how God is calling camp and retreat ministries to serve the world in accomplishing the mission of Christ and the Upper NY Annual Conference. This team made up of clergy, laity, staff, donors, volunteers, guests, young and seasoned leaders, will help to shape the future of this vital ministry. We have decided that a one year immediate plan is needed given the sizable changes and transitions related to the forming of our new conference. This plan will lead into the longer range 4-7 year plan that will guide our decisions moving forward. Only by the grace of God and hard work from those that desire to support through gifts of time, talent and resources, will our facilities and programs continue to serve as Holy Ground for generations to come.
I encourage you to contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 315-424-7878 Ext 309 for more information or to volunteer your gifts.
Director, Camp & Retreat Ministries