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Camps and Conference Centers
Thanks to a half-dozen gap year staff members, all recent high school graduates, and Patrick Alfieri, an intrepid emerging leading intern, more than 400 children and youth with ties to Johnsonburg Camp and Retreat Center in the northwest corner of New Jersey are celebrating Advent through Advent kits lovingly and thoughtfully prepared and distributed by the camp’s seven staffers.
Fittingly for 2020, here’s a complicated but feel-good Advent story about a Presbyterian camp and conference center in Ohio.
During the Gathering as One online conference of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA), leaders from around the United States and Canada explored how to enhance intergenerational connections in their outdoor ministries, where everyone — young participants, adults, families and entire church communities — could learn together through a shared faith experience.
During his Wednesday keynote for the “Gathering as One” online conference of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association, the Rev. Dr. Jason Brian Santos managed to compare two experiences that seem very different: a week-long immersion into the contemplative Taizé community and a week at one’s favorite Presbyterian church camp or conference center.
Montreat Conference Center has received a grant of $995,500 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help develop new initiatives to support local congregations.
Due to the ongoing financial impact of COVID-19, the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) is further reducing operations at Stony Point Center (SPC), which will serve as a small retreat center moving forward. In order to reduce expenses and allow time for transition, the small-group retreat model will utilize only the Gilmor Sloane and Allison houses. The main campus will be maintained but will not house guests as the PMA begins a period of prayerful discernment on SPC’s future and explores long-term viability, both missionally and financially.
The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour avant-garde film wasn’t well-received back in 1967. But its iconic status and concept proved stunningly successful in the middle of a 2020 pandemic.
This year’s global pandemic canceled conferences all across the globe, but the most creative and inventive groups figured out ways to turn those gatherings virtual.
In a normal year Crestfield Camp & Conference Center would be the summer home for more than 600 youth campers and nearly 3,000 conference and retreat attendees.
But 2020 has been anything but normal.
Monday’s final installment of “Awakening to Structural Racism” provided the more than 200 online participants with a tangible tool: a method for forming a concrete first step that individuals and congregations can take to dismantle systemic racism even as recent news reports indicate those first steps are sorely needed.