Outdoor ministries

“The Mighty One, God, the Lord, has spoken, and summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth.”
Psalms 50:1, NRSV
“And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.”
Matthew 6:46, NRSV

The experience of God in the outdoors has long been an important aspect of Church of the Brethren ministries. Located throughout the United States, Brethren camps and other outdoor ministry facilities offer time for renewal and learning for children and adults in the nature and peace of God’s creation.

Brethren Press publishes curriculum for outdoor ministries.

For more camp information and a directory of all Church of the Brethren camps, go to the Outdoor Ministry Association website.

Church of the Brethren camps
Map of Church of the Brethren camps, courtesy of the Outdoor Ministry Association.

Outdoor ministry news

  • Webinars explore path to healing racism, eco-discipleship

    Upcoming webinars are by the Church of the Brethren Discipleship Ministries, Intercultural Ministry, Outdoor Ministry Association, and Office of Ministry. Topics include “Witness of Churches on the Path to Healing Racism: A Theological Exploration” and “Cultivating a Verdant Faith: Eco Discipleship Practices for the 21st Century Church.”

  • Financial support is encouraged for Outdoor Ministries Association camps

    By Linetta Ballew “Love is something if you give it away, give it away, give it away.Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more.It’s just like a magic penny, hold it tight, and you won’t have any.Lend it, spend it, and you’ll have so many, they’ll roll all over the

  • Denominational board amends BFIA grant guidelines to help churches and camps

    By Stan Dueck COVID-19 has created programming and financial stress on Church of the Brethren camps and congregations. Due to the coronavirus, the Mission and Ministry Board of the denomination made the following changes to the Brethren Faith in Action Fund guidelines. The amendments are in place through Dec. 31, 2020. First, Church of the

  • Workcamp locations for summer 2020 include Rwanda

    “We are so excited to bring you the locations for workcamps summer 2020!” said an announcement from the Church of the Brethren Workcamp Ministry. The announcement urged Brethren of all ages to “explore the possibilities of service.” “Voices for Peace” (Romans 15:1-6) is the theme. In a new venture, Rwanda is the location for an

  • Youth Peace Travel Team changes are underway

    The following statement is an announcement about the Youth Peace Travel Team from the cooperating sponsors including the Church of the Brethren’s Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, On Earth Peace, Bethany Theological Seminary, and the Outdoor Ministries Association: “See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I

  • Outdoor Ministries board members offer innovative 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.

  • Camp Swatara celebrates 75 years of ministry

    Camp Swatara (Bethel, Pa.) celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2018.

  • Fire misses Camp Peaceful Pines

    Donnell fire misses Camp Peaceful Pines.

  • MSS interns to serve at congregations, camps, Office of Public Witness

    Ministry Summer Service orientation began June 2, when the six interns to serve in MSS this summer arrived at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill. Their mentors arrived Monday, June 5, and the orientation ended Wednesday.

  • Spiritual direction Blooms at Shepherd’s Spring

    Since the beginning of operations at Shepherd’s Spring Outdoor Ministry and Retreat Center in Mid-Atlantic District, there has been a focus on hospitality and spirituality. A year ago, it was decided to take this a step further. Several spiritual directors, board members, and staff met to discuss ways we can open the facility to a deeper spiritual awareness.