Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brethren bits: Pastors' canoe trip, Great Green Congregations.
  • A "Spirituality Retreat for Pastors and Church Leaders" is being offered as part of the Camp Swatara Adult Ministries Program this year, according to an announcement from Atlantic Northeast District. Dennis and Marti Shaak, seasoned canoe trip leaders and guides, are offering an opportunity for pastors and others engaged in pastoral leadership to enter into a time of authentic spiritual retreat, combining times of guided reflection led by Oasis-certified spiritual director Vicki Kensinger, and canoe excursions or hikes in Algonquin Provincial Park. "Our aim is to revitalize both body and spirit and to allow for reconnection with the earth in one of the last remaining wilderness areas," the announcement said. Departure will be from Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa., on Sept. 5 after an overnight stay at the camp, with return on Sept. 11. Cost, based on a maximum group size of nine people, will be around $600. No prior experience camping or canoeing is necessary, although there are requirements for gear and a passport, and participants should be in good physical condition. Registration and payment are due by June 2. Contact Camp Swatara for registration materials, call 717-933-8510.

  • The National Council of Churches seeks stories from "Great Green Congregations." An announcement said, "Tell us what your church is doing for the earth, and the NCC will share your story to inspire others. We'll also select one congregation to receive a $500 prize to support its environmental work." The NCC is looking for congregations advocating for environmental justice at the local, state, and national levels; teaching about environmental justice and health in their churches and communities; hosting "Green Cleaning" fellowship activities; promoting wilderness protection through trips, education, and worship; supporting alternative transportation to worship; conserving energy and using green energy sources; reducing waste in all aspects of church life; and/or engaged in their own unique, location-specific eco-justice ministries. Go to www.nccecojustice.org/greencontest.html for submission guidelines. The deadline for sending congregational stories is April 30.

  • At a workshop on simple living held at Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, Ill., the presenter showed a 20-minute video called "The Story of Stuff." This fast-paced, animated piece explains the processes and stories behind the stuff consumers buy and throw away. Find the video, and more, at www.storyofstuff.com.
Source: 4/22/2008 Earth Day Newsline

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