Brian Frick is the Associate for Camp and Conferences Ministries with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He has been involved in camp and conference ministry since high school. For the past ten years, Brian has served as program director of Johnsonburg Center in New Jersey, Westminster Woods in California, and Heartland Center in Missouri.
Camp and conference ministry compliments and partners with other ministry aspects of our church to foster faith development and reflection. As our communities and our church changes, our ministries need to grow and adapt with creative and emergent programming and leadership to meet new realities.
These blogs entries, though varied, are intended to spur thought and conversation around the opportunities and challenges before us.
For the shrinking minority, this type of church experience satisfies them. They’re content with the status quo. But what about the growing majority of people who don’t regularly attend church services? Why don’t these same factors work for them? It seems that what attracts the church-inclined may actually repel or at least disinterest the majority. Let’s look at each factor again from their perspective.
“The goal is to send these younger people home, have them fired up and passionate about the scriptures and with strong prayer lives and a real sense of what they believe, so they can continue to do those kinds of things in the local setting,” says Tim McNeil.
In the redwoods of Northern California, a Presbyterian camp and conference center known primarily as a summer camp for kids has started a new worshiping community. Sheila Denton, executive director of Westminster Woods, didn’t necessarily set out to create a new worshipping community out of camp alumni and friends, but in • spire, a monthly Taizé-style prayer service, has grown organically out of this ministry in the redwood forest.