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A Reflection Following The UMC Special General Conference

28 Feb 2019 11:27 AM | Jen Burch (Administrator)

This has been a hard week for our beloved United Methodist Church. Barring a miracle, decisions made at the Special General Conference will fracture the church I’ve loved, for which I’ve worked my entire adult life, and that nurtured my faith from childhood.

Even so, this year over a million children, youth, and adults will visit our United Methodist camps and retreat centers. Faith will be birthed and formed in countless lives in our ministries across the country. The work to which we are called continues to have eternal value as we invest in disciples who will transform the world.

There is a quote we use in our leadership program, ELI, in North Georgia, to which I’ve become attached. It is attributed to French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Now, more than ever, the people called Methodists (and the world beyond) need to grow in our longing for the endless immensity of God’s love. We in Camp & Retreat Ministries are uniquely equipped for that work because the context of a temporary community helps us practice being the body of Christ for one another.  Campers and retreat participants leave longing for the immensity of God’s love and better equipped to build a church in which it may be made manifest.

It is time for us to do our best work! So as we wipe away tears, pray for one another, and clasp hands with all our beloved and gifted siblings in God’s family, please remember that UMCRM stands ready to offer resources, inspiration, and a network of colleagues in support of your ministry. Within our association are folks who have dealt with every challenge you might be facing, people who have your back. Let’s continue to be there for one another. The need is greater than ever for sacred places apart, fruitful partnerships in the church and community, and space to experience the endless immensity of God’s love.

May the Lord lift up God’s countenance upon you and give you peace,

Russell Davis

Chairperson, UMCRM Association

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