The Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo Jr. to keynote conference focusing on ecumenical partnerships in outdoor ministry
October 28, 2023
“Building Bridges-Connecting Communities” is the theme for this year’s Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association and Campfire Collective Annual Conference to take place at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas from Nov. 12–17.
Registration is now open. The conference fee for individuals is $199 with additional costs for lodging and meals.
The Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo Jr., the 11th president of Columbia Theological Seminary, will be the keynote speaker. Aloyo will lead two sessions: one on ecumenical partnership for outdoor ministry and another on bridge-building with historically marginalized communities and across racial/ethnic divides.
Aloyo’s love for camp ministry began at the age of 12, when he attended a weeklong camp for youth and young adults from 26 Hispanic congregations in the New York City region. This summer tradition and his 40-year involvement with the camp were formative in Aloyo’s faith journey. He has served on the board of Holmes Camp and Retreat Center in New York and of Camp El Guacio in Puerto Rico.
Presentations, worship services and some workshops focus on what an ecumenical future may look like for our camps, conferences and centers. Longtime professionals in camp and conference center ministry from the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church of the United States, along with experts in nonprofit fundraising, cyber security, risk management and land conservation anchor the week’s schedule of workshops, with more topics and speakers to come.
Along with the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Outdoor Ministries Institute of the United Church of Canada is a co-sponsor for the event, and the Outdoor Ministries Association of the United Church of Christ and Association of Disciples in Outdoor Ministries are endorsers.
The week’s worship will delve into the fourth chapter of John’s gospel, mining the insights of the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman for ways in which encounters across cultural boundaries offer shared healing and truth-telling.
“I am excited about this conference and its theme because our camp and conference ministries have an ecumenical future,” said Joel Winchip, executive director of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association and the Campfire Collective. “This event is going to bring together participants and speakers from a variety of denominations. It will be wonderful to have all of these folks learning from each other at the conference.”
The Presbyterian Mission Agency is in partnership with the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Center Association through the Office of Christian Formation.
Beth Waltemath, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association conference
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Loving god, you call us to health and wholeness. Remind us that your transforming power is available and help us to be your hands and feet to those in need so others may find your light in the darkness. In Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.