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Reflections with
Camp & Retreat Ministries


Guiding Camp and Retreat Ministry

Our mission:
We are a people dedicated to creating sacred spaces
of Christian hospitality and learning

Our vision:
We look forward to a world filled with wonder, love, justice

Throughout these first months of 2023, we've been exploring the various aspects of our mission and vision statements. 

I would like to continue the journey by looking at the four values that the Board of Camp and Retreat Ministry has affirmed as essential to our work. They are: 

  • experience God’s love
  • engage with Creation
  • develop loving interdependence with each other and the Earth
  • act with justice in the world

The first three were easily embraced, but the fourth one about justice required more conversation and deliberation. We'll look at that one in a few weeks. But first: let's experience God's love!

At the heart of what we hope will be experienced by campers and guests is God’s love. We do all that we can to create an environment where this experience is possible. This begins with the hiring of staff, continues through the training of staff and volunteers, and is reinforced each and every week so that everyone knows that this is an essential element of our ministry. 

It is also up to the camper or guest to be open to the possibility of experiencing God’s love. When we are open and looking for it, there seems to be a better-than-average chance for us to be aware of the presence of God’s love. By being open, we have a greater chance to see God in the world and in others, and to experience that presence as love. 

Experience is a key element of what is typically called the Wesleyan Quadrilateral (this means that we form our theology through the four lenses of Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience).  In our Western, analytical approach to the world we tend to be suspicious of experience. And yet, at camp we understand the power of experiential learning and that God’s love is most fully comprehended through experience rather than by reading or talking about it.

How have you experienced God’s love at camp or in a retreat setting? Drop me a note and let me know at

On the road to wonder, love, and justice,

Rev. Todd Bartlett 
Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries

*PHOTO: All smiles at Camp Latgawa (Todd Bartlett).

Watch Your ABC's!

What questions do people want to Ask Bishop Cedrick? If you haven’t seen the ABC videos from our bishop, we recommend the series as a nice way to get to know a little about him and what he is learning about the three annual conferences (Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and the Pacific Northwest) that make up the Greater Northwest Area, for which he serves as bishop. We are eager for the opportunity to have Bishop Cedrick visit one of our camp or retreat sites here in Oregon-Idaho.

In last week's episode of Ask Bishop Cedrick, Julia Frisbie asks the bishop about long-distance bike riding and how he keeps going. Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth shares that bicycling with a purpose – AIDS/LifeCycle – makes a difference. He also shares another technique, which many of us may also embrace (think about how you get through a long hike with tired campers). Watch the video here.

And by the way, if you have a question for the bishop (maybe something about camping?), you can find out about submitting it by emailing Kristen Caldwell, Conference Communications Manager, at 

Blessings Report

  • New opportunities to grow
  • The arrival of spring flowers
  • Encouragement from other campers

 Please send your blessings to share in future issues of the e-news. 

Smiling Faces

Those smiling faces. If you ever wonder if our campers are really experiencing God's love at camp, all you need to do is look at their faces to see that love reflected. As a people of incarnational faith, we know that we often experience God's love through human relationships, and we specialize in that in camp and retreat ministries! Through relationships, we are able to both receive and offer God's love, in an unending cycle of blessing. All of us -- staff, volunteers, board members, and donors -- are working hard to make sure our ministry is focused on our mission, vision, and values. Is it working? Look at the smiling faces!

And by the way, if you're not yet donating money to help us in this ministry, please join us today by clicking on that green button.

Please donate today! 

*PHOTO: Experiencing God's love at Camp Latgawa (Todd Bartlett). 


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

1505 SW 18th Ave
Portland, OR 97201