By the time you receive this, my husband and I will be at Templed Hills for Grandparent/Grandchild Camp with our four youngest grandchildren. My granddaughter Natalie and I went last year and had such a good time that we are going back with the whole crew this summer!
Like many children today, church isn’t a regular part of my grandchildren’s lives, so I find the days at church camp particularly precious. Scripture and worship are woven into the day along with hikes, swimming, and crafts. Camp is a way to nurture their spirits and provides natural opportunities for me to talk with them about my faith and share this essential part of my life.
Camp is a place where we can “unplug” literally and figuratively – set aside the phones, tablets, and other screens and focus on getting to know the other campers and experience nature. For many – and I’m definitely one – camp is a “thin place” where it is easier to feel God’s presence. That’s why I’m so glad that the Conference is focusing resources on improving and sustaining our outdoor ministry program.
The Conference has already set aside $1 million in an endowment fund to generate income to support outdoor ministries. We’ve also reinvested in significant renovations at Templed Hills. We are also in the midst of a search for a settled Executive Director for Outdoor Ministries. And last month we launched a campaign that will fund additional improvements.
The Hills are Alive! Campaign focuses on the needs of Templed Hills Camp over the coming two to three years as the camp continues to advance on its path to sustainability. Here are some of the ways campaign funds will be used:
· New HVAC heat pump system in Memorial Lodge which will be far more efficient and add air conditioning
· Installation of solar arrays to reduce our carbon footprint
· Accessible restrooms in Skipper Lodge
· Camp improvements including a large pavilion for worship
· Growing our Campership Fund · Practicing covenantal stewardship to the national UCC’s Shaping Our Future Campaign
Visit the Campaign website to learn more and to make a contribution to the campaign. We invite YOU to consider how you and your church can become partners in this great opportunity to cultivate sacred space for years to come!
Blessings and peace,