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Reflections with Camp & Retreat Ministries

Being Still

 Ps. 46:10-11
“Be still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
 The God of Jacob is our refuge.
On a recent walk I noticed a heron standing at the edge of the creek, scanning the water for food. I stood and watched this patient bird. In its stillness I found the words of the Psalmist pouring forth from my heart and soul. In that moment there was a clear connection for me with the space around me. I also know that to remain as still as the heron is unlikely for me to be able to accomplish and yet there is the need in my life to remain still.

The goal for me often in the practice of meditation, either moving or sitting still, is to be fully in the present. To let go of the replaying of yesterday’s events or projecting outcomes for my work later in the day. It is in those moments of being present that I most likely experience wonder, awe, amazement, and my strongest connection with God. For me this is comparable to the experiences that we provide for children, youth, and adults at our camps and retreat center.

These experiences of being present in the moment are part of what our sites and programming provide to groups and individuals throughout the year. These experiences are important for well-being because they connect people to something greater than themselves. Something which is real rather than vicarious or artificial.

In the busy-ness of these past few months as the directors have sought paths toward operating, I have been inspired by their faith in these efforts and as they deal with the disappointment of not being able to operate. Each of them has found a stillness in which to reside and to more fully understand the Psalmist’s trust and faith that “The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
Covid related updates
Beginning on July 1st the site directors will be placed on furlough. What this means is that they will remain on site, utilities will be provided, and we will continue to provide health insurance. The directors are allotted up to 10 hours per week to attend to administrative tasks. Most other site staff have not been hired or will also enter into a furloughed status. Holly Dolan, Registrar and Donor Relations and Tanner Morton, communications associate, will also be placed on furlough.

Geneva Cook, the Camp and Retreat Accountant and Todd Bartlett will remain working to cover the tasks that the directors cannot cover during their limited hours.

The Bishop has reluctantly moved the needle from Phase 1 to Phase 2, which means that there is some loosening of the parameters of operation for local churches and for our sites. The only significant change between these phases is it allows for groups up to 10 people. Masks, hygiene, physical distancing all remain in place.  All of our directors have been engaged in working with the Reimaging Life Together to allow for the eventually opening to small groups and or volunteers.  If you have questions about a specific site please email our Executive Director, Todd Bartlett:

See you around the campfire soon,

Rev. Todd Bartlett

Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries 

Blessings Report

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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