Outdoor Ministries board members offer innovative retreat

Cultivating a verdant faith outdoor ministry retreat

An innovative weekend retreat is offered this spring by board members of the Church of the Brethren Outdoor Ministries Association (OMA). Randall Westfall and Jonathan Stauffer are leading “Cultivating a Verdant Faith” at Camp Emmaus in Mount Morris, Ill., on March 8-10.

“The Christian faith has something to contribute to how we care for creation,” said a description of the retreat. “Instead of being distracted by the politics of the day, we need a metanoia moment (Greek for to turn around) and the church needs to lead with hope and faith. Not a passive hope–waiting for external agencies to bring about what we desire; rather active hope–partnering with God to bring about what God desires because none of this is ours, it’s on loan to us from the one who created it all.”

Stauffer and Westfall “have come to believe that living attuned with God’s creation is now essential to our discipleship with Jesus.”

Sessions will be held in a winter retreat lodge at Camp Emmaus. Each day will weave eco-practices into the fabric of discipleship and spiritual formation by exploring four directions of eco-discipleship along with Bible study, worship, and group discussions. Ages 18 and up are invited to “unplug and rediscover the eco-blueprint of faith that our Creator gave us.” Ministers who attend may earn .8 continuing education units. The registration fee of $75 includes six meals and two nights’ stay.

For more information, a brochure, or to register contact Jonathan Stauffer, staufferjp@gmail.com or 815-973-0247, or Randall Westfall, ancientpaths.os@gmail.com or 231-867-3618. For more about the Outdoor Ministries Association and Church of the Brethren camping go to www.brethren.org/camps .

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