On any given weekend at Camp Allen, we could be hosting a number of different groups. This past weekend was pretty special. We were honored and delighted to look at our calendar and see that at one time, we were hosting multiple amazing ministries who all have an outward focus and a heart to serve. Here is a guest spotlight on 2 of those ministries, what they're about, and what their stay at Camp Allen entailed.
Invite, Welcome, and Connect is a ministry dedicated to helping churches train and encourage their congregation in inviting new people to church, welcoming them with a heart of hospitably, and enabling them to connect on a deeper level with the church and their faith. IWC was founded 6 years ago by Mary Parmer when Bishop Doyle saw a need for resources that congregations could use to create intentional newcomer ministries. The concrete tools and creative methods that IWC include have been used all over the nation with great success. Mary explains "invite" as the “process to help episcopal churches invite or evangelize," "welcome" as "the a ministry of hospitably," and "connect" as "helping people discern their giftedness." Overall, IWC is about "empowering laity for ministry and helping people in their journey of faith.” This past weekend, IWC held their second Summit Retreat at Camp Allen, where they offer seminars to review the basics of IWC and workshops facilitated by clergy who explain how they have successfully implemented the strategies of IWC . For more information on Invite, Welcome, Connect, visit invitewelcomeconnect.com.
Bo’s Place is a bereavement center offering grief support services to children, ages 3 to 18, and their families who have experienced the death of a child or an adult in their immediate family, as well as programs for grieving adults. They are located in Houston, Tx. and are founded on the belief that grieving children can experience healing when they are able to share their grief journeys with others who can relate to their struggles. Bo's Place offers not only grief counseling at the center in Houston, but also summer programming, family camps, mothers retreats, parents night out, outreach programs, art exhibits and adult programs. The most beautiful part? It's all free of charge. Bo's Place is maintained by grants, donations and fundraisers that keep the doors open to care for more people in need of healing. This past weekend, Bo's Place came to Camp Allen for the first time and brought 20 mothers who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Courtney Reynolds, Special Programs Manager at Bo's Place, booked the weekend in the Lakeside Cabins so that the group could be tucked away in a "safe and serene" place to "reflect and bond with other people who understand those horrible feelings... to know they're not alone." The women were able to experience healing by participating in team building, journal times, wood burning, yoga, and periods of reflection. Whatever they did during the weekend, the focus was the mission of Bo's Place: to #helphealhearts. For more information about Bo's Place, visit bosplace.org.