Findley News Archive for December, 2014

CRM Fall 2014 Newsletter Released

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

A letter from Mike Huber, Director, Camp & Retreat Ministries:

“The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won’t find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.”
- Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November

I came across this quote recently and it stirred me. It moved me in several ways as I contemplated my personal love of autumn as my favorite season of the year. This is a time of year that in our part of the world the earth is in such change and yet so beautiful. Our neighbor creatures are gathering in supplies and getting ready to hunker down in preparation for the season just around the corner. Like our neighbors, my family enjoys harvesting apples every fall and our bounty is used in many ways over the coming months, even as gifts to others. Last year my cousin Betsy, from Tennessee, came for a visit during fall for the first time since childhood. She must have taken no less than 2,000 photos of the autumn colors that week. She was astounded by the beauty and change of the landscape.

Tove Jansson’s quote also makes me think about our centers and how they have provided safety and security for so many people throughout the seasons of their life. The turbulent cold storms and darkness of our lives are made bearable because we may enter the sacred places apart and find peace, solitude, renewal and revival. A young child at summer camp as well as an adult on retreat carries burdens, questions, and anxieties on their heart that once one sits by the water experiencing the beauty of the Adirondacks, Western NY, the Finger Lakes or the Catskill Region while receiving the hospitality of Christian servants will be welcomed by the Holy Spirit.

I confess that I also considered the reality that it seems many camp and retreat centers, and for that matter many churches, have hunkered down and seem to have remained in that position unwilling to experience the fullness of changing seasons. Hiding from a storm does not mean that it is not there. We must not remain trapped in a place where we do not allow the Holy Spirit to move us and grow us. The Holy Ground of our centers are campfires
for the soul. Jesus told us to gather together to worship and praise and then to Go Out into the world. We must not sit gathered together sheltered from the world. What foresight our founding sisters and brothers had when they established our amazing sites. I don’t imagine that they intended them to be places trapped in time but rather places where we may gather together for a time and no matter what is happening in our lives we may come to the
water and be renewed in the knowledge that there is a God, God loves us and God wants a relationship with us. It is this reality that challenges us to then go and serve the world.

Contact info@campsandretreats.org for more information or to book a retreat.

Mike Huber
Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

Posted on December 1st by Mike Huber