During this past year we have been provided the opportunity to see a greater story than the one we had been imagining. In the past we were prepared to address the loss of one or two sites during a summer season because of wildfire or some other concern. I had not considered the nightmare of the loss of an entire year of operations to a pandemic—but we experienced exactly that, and now we are on the cusp of opening doors and serving people in a somewhat typical manner.
While much focus was on navigating the challenges that were presented to us in the moment, the Board has also chosen to work on elements that will help us navigate beyond these difficult waters toward where we long to be.
Three of those elements that are in process are a review of our mission, a clarified vision, and the development of practices that operationalize the mission and vision we express. The mission that we continue to support is this: Creating sacred spaces for Christian hospitality and learning. This is what we do at our sites in partnership with those who come to learn (for we cannot make another person learn, but we can create space where it is possible where learning is encouraged and supported).
Beyond mission, we are looking to clarify what it is that we believe we are hoping for as an outcome of this work. What will the world look like because we embody this mission? The Board and directors have had some conversation around this, and we are in the process of finding the words that will make it clear to us and to the world what that vision is.
Speaking of short-term and long-term, the board has adopted a plan to use the resources from the sale of the McCall property. Once the money ($957,000) was received, we did transfer it to an investment account to grow the value of this resource in order to make more money available for the projects that we intend to support with these funds.
The Board placed $250,000 in the Operating Reserve Fund. By policy, this fund is calculated at 9% of the budget and is there to help us through moderately challenging seasons (not enough for a pandemic!). If necessary, $200,000 is available for 2021 operational expenses and about $64,000 for next year. For longer term we have set aside 15% of the net of this sale ($143,000) for ministry with persons of color. While we do not yet know exactly how this money will be used, we are formulating plans by consulting with leaders of color to help us explore how we might do the most good with this fund. And for long-term sustainability we have set aside $300,000 to support development (fundraising). We are in the process of submitting at least one grant application to help us provide at least five years of funding for a development director.
I am looking forward to seeing how we use the financial resources as well as the vision and practices that will help us live out our mission and provide calmer days ahead. I am grateful to the Camp and Retreat Ministries community – campers, retreatants, parents, donors, volunteers, staff, leadership team, the Board and its divisions for understanding the power of this ministry to change lives, and the commitment to sustain it for the long term.
See you on the adventure ahead,
Rev. Todd Bartlett
Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries
*PHOTO: Fiddleheads unfurl new life at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center (Todd Bartlett).
We received a note from a subscriber who found our E-news in their spam filter. You can avoid this problem by putting our email server on your “good list." While this looks like a working email address (todd.gnw @ brtapp.com), it is not. If you want to email me, you need to send an email to: Todd@gocamping.org or Todd@umoi.org.
Come join the fun and volunteer a day, a week, a month or all summer at
Wallowa Lake United Methodist Camp!
84522 Church Lane, Joseph, OR
Who: Adults (youth with guardians) are invited to apply!
Applicants will be interviewed, trained & scheduled.
Why volunteer at Wallowa Lake Camp? You will get to:
**stay in beautiful Henderson Volunteer Center
(motel style rooms w/private bathrooms, shared full kitchen, living, dining rooms, patio)
or bring your own RV & have full hook ups!
**Enjoy delicious meals (when we are cooking for a group)
**Stay healthy & fit physically & emotionally!
**have fun & have plenty of free time to play in the Wallowas
**make new friends
**share your skills & learn new ones
**grow spiritually, socially & professionally while making the world a better place!
Volunteers are asked to work 5-6 hours a day, variable shifts/positions serving in a variety of ways that sound fun to you…. dishwashing, cleaning, building, painting, planting, weeding, washing windows, administrative, sewing….or you can even volunteer from home for some positions!
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Contact Peggy Lovegren
*PHOTO: Just one of the many beautiful vistas awaiting you at Wallowa Lake Camp (Todd Bartlett).
Most of us are involved in camp and retreat ministries because we love to experience God's natural creation, and we are committed to the transformation that occurs at camp or on retreat. But if you read Todd's letter above, you know that an important part of our work is to wisely manage our financial resources so that we have what is needed to support this ministry today and into the future. In the course of that financial stewardship, we often pause to give thanks to the many individuals and organizations who have donated money that we gratefully manage. If you haven't yet participated in this gratitude loop, you can do so right now by clicking on the green button.