By Deanna Beckner
Eighteen workcamps blazed with holiness this summer as about 320 workcampers and 30 directors and guest coordinators gathered together to serve in the name of Christ, sharing their time and talents. “Blazing with Holiness” (1 Peter 1:13-16) was the theme for the Church of the Brethren workcamps in 2016.
The workcamps provided opportunities to serve in a variety of settings from camps to food banks to homeless shelters. New workcamp locations in 2016 included Brethren Woods in Keezletown, Va.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Camp Mardela in Denton, Md.; and Portland, Ore.
Portland workcampers partnered with Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) projects at Human Solutions and SnowCap, where they were able to witness some of the impact that BVS has had on the community, as well as work on some needed projects.
The Knoxville workcamp materialized from a workcamp coordinator’s service experience with Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM) at the 2012 National Young Adult Conference. KARM was visited along with three other sites, and provided a place of work for the Knoxville workcampers this year.
Brethren Woods and Camp Mardela became workcamp sites through a continued partnership with Church of the Brethren outdoor ministries, allowing workcampers to visit beautiful spaces for worship and fun. Some workcampers took advantage of the new family pricing for the Intergenerational Workcamp at Camp Mardela and brought along multiple members of the family to serve together.
The workcamp staff wishes to say “thank you” to all who participated with workcamps in one way or another. Workcamps break down barriers and allow all to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world, and your dedication to this important ministry is appreciated. The workcamp staff hopes to see all of you again soon.
-- Deanna Beckner is a Brethren Volunteer Service worker and assistant coordinator for the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry. Find out more and view the 2016 workcamp photo albums at www.brethren.org/workcamps .