7 Foundations of Camp & Retreat Ministry

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PROVIDE SACRED PLACES APART

This invitation to a place apart includes some often unexpected rhythms and understandings. All of us in United Methodist Camp and Retreat ministries encourage guests and participants to receive through letting go, to move closer by being still, to hear the Divine Word in silence, to advance through retreat, to act on God’s behalf by resting, to learn community from solitude and strangers, and to discover ways to be more present at home by taking time away. Jesus’ teaching invites people to let go of grasping to their customary patterns to find deeper dimensions of life. This is part of the meaning of his promise - “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.” The camp and retreat leader must grow comfortable with such dichotomies or he or she will be too restless and too anxious to guide others...MORE 

NURTURE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND DISCIPLESHIP

One unique gift of Christian camps and retreat centers that other types of programs and centers rarely highlight are specific opportunities to learn from and practice the Christian path taught by Jesus. The word disciple means someone who seeks and incorporates the guidance of a teacher. Christian discipleship, then, refers specifically to a growing trust in Christ while learning to integrate Christian faith teachings as a way of life...MORE 

TEACH CREATION CARE AND APPRECIATION

The waters nourishing modern camp and retreat ministry run deep within United Methodist heritage. They sprang forth unexpectedly in the 1730’s when John Wesley made a fundamental decision that would launch the Methodist movement into the mainstream of an historic “spiritual awakening” flowing from Europe into North America. With colleagues, he boldly chose to move preaching and faith formation into the “open air” where the people would have new access and new opportunities to hear and respond to the Good News...MORE 

PARTNER WITH UNITED METHODIST CHURCHES & AGENCIES

One of the most fruitful and vital dimensions of United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries is our participation in a tremendous covenant connection. United Methodists deliberately choose to link together and join forces in a common mission together. Our congregations and joint ministries sponsored by all the churches of a wider region, called a Conference, are viewed as a collective not as islands standing alone. We share leadership in many ways, and our clergy are even seen as members of the broader Conference rather than individual congregations. This covenant connection is a special, valued part of the United Methodist Church, its heritage, and its character...MORE 

EXTEND CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY AND COMMUNITY

Welcoming people and doing all we can to engender a true experience of community touches people profoundly. We live in a time when people long for connections, but often hesitate to reach out to form new relationships. Families move from place to place more often today than in previous generations, thus displacing them from tight knit family and friends. Individuals frequently do not even know their own neighbors. Even members of the same congregation may know each other only on superficial levels. Moving from discomfort and at times general suspicion of strangers to friendship is a precious blessing prioritized within Christian camp or retreat settings...MORE 

DEVELOP PRINCIPLED SPIRITUAL LEADERS

Leaders play a critical part in shaping the present and the future for good or for ill. The number of books and resources about the nature of leadership and how to lead are innumerable. Within the plethora of perspectives and possibilities, our United Methodist camp and retreat ministries help persons grow in a very specific type of leadership...MORE 

INSPIRE AND EQUIP LIVES FOR LOVE AND JUSTICE

Camp and Retreat experiences provide fruitful opportunities for people to gather and to live together for a time. These times of gathering at our centers dedicated to growth in love has great potential to inspire all guests and guests groups to embrace more life giving practices and to act more justly and lovingly...MORE 

© 2014 Camp and Retreat Ministries:

A partnership between The Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church
and The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon