Reminders of Baptismal Waters Surround Us

Experiences of Fear, Grace, and Life

by Todd Bartlett, Executive Director

Waterfall at Latgawa

I am in the midst of sharing some reflections about important elements to our experiences at our camps and retreat center. This reflection on water is the second installment of a list that includes the physical elements of: land, water, sky and fire. This series will be followed by elements related to the human experience of being in Christian community in the setting of our camps and retreat center. 

In the Pacific Northwest water plays in important role in our lives.  We measure how much rain falls on two different calendars! Here, we keep an eye on water flow rates in the rivers and we look for water content in the snowpack in the mountains.  Humans can survive a lot longer without food than we can without water (3 days according to items that I have read).  The bottom line is that we know our very existence depends upon water.

Because we know that water is so vital to our survival, research shows that we are more at ease psychologically when we know that there is a water source nearby.  That is why I suspect that the human race has camped and formed communities beside water (ocean, lake, pond, rivers and creeks).
Personally, I have a love and fear of water.  I learned to swim at a young age, canoed with my family, worked as a waterfront director and pool manager, built a kayak, and led kayak camps. I love being around water and appreciate its life-giving nature. And I understand the destruction water can cause. This year we saw it in Houston, the rest of the Southeast, and across the Caribbean. Water can just as easily sustain life as it can take life, hence my fear.

This two-fold element of water is talked about in our baptismal ritual: through our baptism we die and rise with Christ. We are reminded that we can be transformed and sustained through water. Our baptismal waters remind us to whom we belong and that they are not lucky charms shielding us from pain and grief. So, we join communities of faith and participate in camps, retreats, worship, and other communal acts in order that we might take action and that we might experience the joy and courage of living out our baptism.

All of our sites have bodies of water nearby: ocean, lake, river, or creek. I invite you to come to these waters and “drink” of them that your soul may be restored, and to be reminded of the tremendous power of water in your life.  As you rest beside these waters may you be sustained and encouraged to live fully into your baptismal promises with grace.

See you by the water’s edge,

Job Announcements for Camp & Retreat Ministries

Camp and Retreat Ministries has had two announcements recently regarding staffing changes. First, Dave Hargreaves announced his plans for retirement from Sawtooth Camp in April, and then Todd Bartlett announced that Geneva Cook would be changing her role from camp registrar to camp accountant. We promised to send out job announcements and descriptions for both of those positions, and below you will find that information. Please pass this information on to anyone who may have the qualifications and interest!

Registrar for Camp and Retreat Ministries

Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries is hiring a registrar. The successful candidate for this position will support our mission of creating quality environments of Christian hospitality and learning, work cooperatively with the Executive Director, site directors, accountant, donor relations staff and volunteers. Essential skills include: communications – written and spoken, database management and other computer based programs. This job is currently 20 hours per week. You can find the job description here. Please submit your resume electronically to Application process is open until filled.

Director for Sawtooth Camp

Oregon-Idaho Camp and Retreat Ministries is hiring a director for Sawtooth Camp. The director is responsible for carrying out the mission of creating quality environments of Christian hospitality and learning at Camp Sawtooth.  This includes: daily operation of the site, hiring and oversight of staff, supporting conference programming, booking groups, and working with volunteers and the Camp and Retreat Ministries staff.  This is primarily a summer season camp (June through August) with some additional events in September and early October. Sawtooth is located north of Fairfield, ID in the Sawtooth Range. You can find the job description here. Please submit your resume electronically to Application process is open until filled.

Blessings Report

  • A beautiful day for a wedding at Sawtooth and other groups enjoying the camp before it closes down for the season
  • An upcoming day of Halloween fun at Camp Latgawa! 
  • The changing leaves, representing Creation's fireworks display.

Go Camping E-News is a publication of Camp and Retreat Ministries, a collaboration of the OR-ID Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon.

1505 SW 18th Ave
Portland, OR 97201