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inland northwest presbytery
For many years, the youth programs within the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest have taken a group of middle and high school students on a weekend retreat to Camp Spalding, north of Spokane, Washington.
The middle school retreat usually takes place in October while the high school retreat is the week before or after Thanksgiving. The middle school retreat has been consistent with its numbers, but over the past two years, the high school retreat has pushed the limits at Camp Spalding. Each ministry continues to grow within the churches that attend, and each year more and more high school students are eager to gather for a weekend of worship, community-building and faith-seeking.
Presbyterians Deliver Comfort in Response to a Night of Terror
The piercing sound of sirens filled the night sky that was bright with an eerie orange glow. Hot embers cooled and turned to ash as they floated through the air, covering the ground like snowflakes—a strange sight for mid-August 2015 in the town of Kamiah, Idaho, where a wildfire was encroaching on area homes. Responding to a frantic knock at the door, a pastor greeted a young couple with their two small boys and two large dogs in tow, a look of terror and worry etched on their faces. They had been ordered to evacuate their home. Wind gusts were spreading the fire, which had resulted from lightning strikes several days earlier. The couple did not know where to go or what to do, so they went to their church. Within minutes other church members began arriving with similar stories.
Kamiah was surrounded by fire. All roads in and out were closed except one. Luann Howard, longtime pastor of the Kamiah and Kooskia Presbyterian Churches, decided to get the dozen refugees to the church in the nearby town, setting it up as an emergency evacuation center.