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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.

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Posts with tag: conference

July 2, 2013

Does your Ministry Transform Young Adults?

Coming "home" is as important a right of passage as being sent.  When our youth get "sent" out into the world, where are they coming "home" to?  This edition features 3 young adults who are coming 'home' to Stony Point after a transformative experience.

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March 26, 2013

Young Adult Eco-Stewards Program Applications Due

Is God calling you or someone you know to care for the environment?Now is the time to apply for the 2013 Eco-Stewards Program!

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January 30, 2013

Hospitality as Peacemaking and Non-violence

Hospitality is truly a form of non-violence and peacemaking.  Hosting storm victims has transformed their, and my understanding of what it is to have places of hospitality available.

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September 18, 2012

Learnings from Others Failures

Can we learn how to live and thrive by learning why others failed to start?

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September 12, 2012

A Growing Church is a Dying Church

Whenever a congregation goes looking for a new pastor, the first question on their minds when the committee interviews a new candidate is: Will this pastor grow our church?

I’m going to go ahead and answer that question right now: No, she will not.

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August 22, 2012

Allowing Ministries to Grow

Going into the future, we as a church are going to have to be starting and supporting ministries in whole new ways. 

Reading a current blog, Holy Soup I was reminded at what furtile "incubators" we have in camp and conference ministry.  I was also reminded as I attended a new church on Sunday and the pastor spoke about the impact of his being a counselor and the impact his counselor had on him when he was a camper (totally unprompted by me...honest!)

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June 26, 2012

Creatively Empowering Church Leaders

Hey, PC(USA): I have an idea.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the PC(USA) job market recently (surprise!). It’s pretty bleak out there, and the situation gets really personal for me: I have a ton – a ton – of incredibly talented friends who are (1) recent seminary grads, but (2) still looking for a callyears after graduation. We’re talking about vibrant, talented, energetic, brilliant people who keep getting close, but the numbers are stacked against them. In many cases, they’re struggling and frustrated, unsure of what to do.

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February 9, 2012

A Faith of Their Own

Helping Youth Have a Faith of Their Own

The fact that youth participate in church less as they get older and often are not present in church as young adults can lead church leaders to assume they lack religious interest. A new book growing out of the National Study of Youth and Religion challenges that assumption. Sociologists Lisa Pearce and Melinda Lundquist Denton found that older teens and young adults see great significance in religion though not always in institutional forms of religious life.

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January 3, 2012

Healthcare Reform Act

Be sure to read this information from the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.  There are several changes coming up that will impact your bottom line and help you provide or benefit from providing healthcare coverage.

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November 21, 2011

Quality Alternative to Internships

I have discovered the perfect summer job. In this job, I am part of an organization that gives me duties that are critical to its long- and short-term success. Supervisors give me responsibilities such as interacting directly with customers on a daily basis, and they fully integrate me into the professional hierarchy. To top it all off, I am learning legitimate skills that will help me develop professionally when I move into the workforce. This mystery job I speak of: camp counselor. These are only a few of the many potential benefits of being a camp counselor, and I offer them not only to praise the occupation, but also to offer a propositional alternative to the profession’s biggest competitor: internships.

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November 17, 2011


A return participant is worth its weight in gold.  It is far harder to find replacements for your program than to keep people coming.  What’s your “rewards program?”  How are you doing “friends development” as well as “funds development?”

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November 14, 2011

Do you know who you are?

Are you here for teaching/sharing peace and justice?  Evangelism?  Care of Creation?  Mission practices?  Youth leadership?  Or??

If you don’t know they don’t know.

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November 11, 2011

Job announcement! Anti-Hunger Empowerment Corps VISTA positions

Presbyterian Hunger Program (PCUSA) will host 3-4 full-time Anti-Hunger Empowerment Corps AmeriCorps*VISTA members for 12 months. They will be based in the national denominational offices in Louisville, Kentucky. Deadline for cover letter and applications is November 18. (See full post for details)

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October 4, 2011

1,001 New Worshiping Communities Initiative

Innovating ways for camp and conference ministry to support the 1,001 New Worshiping Communities initiative.

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September 27, 2011

If a Tree Falls in the Woods...

Does being green only matter if someone is there to see it?  If ourwater is dripping, we leave the lights on, and throw out recycling and no one sees it, does it matter?
Of course it does.

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July 28, 2011

Breaking Through

Honest conversations about the future are essential, but sometimes tough to start and changed with emotions.

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July 12, 2011

What Matters?

If you read my blog, you will find I am interested in a wide variety of subjects related to camp, conference and retreat ministry.  I like to look at the ministry facilities we have as "Centers for Mission and Ministry" because they are one of the most flexible resources we have in our church.  From facilities for education and retreat, to acres of God's creation, to skilled and multi-talented/flexible staff to help put any idea into action, to their reach into all aspects of church life, our centers are truly under-used and undervalued.

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June 30, 2011

Hope for Meeting the Challenge of Camp and Conference Ministry (Part three of three)

Robert Allen, long time PCUSA camp and conference director and PCCCA Consultant Network consultant, shares his insights on the challenges facing camp and conference ministry today.  He provides questions and suggestions along the way on a variety of issues.

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June 23, 2011

Eco-Steward Program 2011

The Eco-Stewards Program website has been updated to include the a multimedia presentation created by program participants and program leader and journalist, Becky W. Evans.  The 2011 program in Montana focused on "reconciliation and sustainability through agriculture, health and green building" in the context of the Crow Reservation and surrounding areas.  

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June 14, 2011

Hope for Meeting the Challenge of Camp and Conference Ministry, (Part One of three)

Robert Allen, long time PCUSA camp and conference director and PCCCA Consultant Network consultant, shares his insights on the challenges facing camp and conference ministry today. He provides questions and suggestions along the way on a variety of issues. No...

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June 2, 2011

Why? Community Building as THE Mission

Just had a wonderful conversation with Rev. David Ensign, (for those of you who knew Rev. John Ensign, long serving director of Camp Hanover, David is his nephew) exploring where the ministry of camp, conference and retreat is heading. It...

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May 31, 2011

Go to Church...It's good for your ministry!

When our camps first started, they were an outgrowth of the Christian education in our congregations. During the school year, children would go to Sunday School and in the summer they would be encouraged, or would all go together to...

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May 26, 2011

Welcoming the Other

Jesus tells us story after story about how we are to welcome the other even at cost to ourselves. Whether it’s the story of the persistent neighbor who knocks and knocks until he wakes his neighbor to help him provide...

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May 19, 2011

Another Sustainable Pathways event this fall!

Don't miss the Sustainable Pathways: Creation Care and Best Practices for Camp and Retreat Ministries being held September 19-23, 2011 at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center outside Little Rock, Arkasas. This looks to be a great event of learning from...

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May 10, 2011

Outsourcing….mentoring and vocation

I was able to experience the vast depth of talented young adults we have in our ministry this past week when I spent a weekend sailing. The young man who sailed us around in his yacht was so talented and...

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May 5, 2011

Success! (For a Time Such as This - Part 6)

How do we know when we are thriving and not just surviving? If we are not striving to be the best at what we do, we will miss opportunities. Focusing on surviving is not enough anymore. We remain relevant if...

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May 3, 2011

New Quarterly Emails

This year, the PC(USA) has begun to develop email “blasts” sharing highlights of ministry areas. You should be receiving an email from PC(USA) Camp and Conference Ministries office. The email will lift up resources specific to camp and conference ministry...

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April 28, 2011

The New New Normal (For a Time Such As This – Part 5)

Sorry. Had to go here. How do we create an organization that continues to adjust, to be adaptive, to recalibrate as change happens and still remain sustainable? As soon as we identify, accept, and assimilate a change, it seems everything...

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April 26, 2011

Baseball for our Ministry

Please excuse me if I have already talked about this - it is a topic that bears repeating. What gets you into the hall of fame in baseball for batting? Would you believe it's batting over .300 (as part of...

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April 21, 2011

Slow Down? Speed up? Defining Relevance (For a Time Such as This – Part 4)

Is the ‘new normal’ that things will continue to change more and more rapidly? Will we continue to feel out of breath running to stay in place? About 5 years ago, when my children were 3 and 6, they said...

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