I have often written in this space about my experiences of walking. There have been stories of walking in the dark, encountering wildlife, and experiencing the need to change my course because of weather.
Next week, the day after Thanksgiving, I will be engaging in what has become a “tradition”: walking a marathon. Twice in two years makes it a tradition, right? This year I will be walking beside four other family members for 13.1 miles, and three of us will walk the entire 26.2 miles.
We've each been training in our own communities, notching longer walks as the marathon date approaches. In communication with one of the other walkers this week, some level of surprise was expressed at how much of the challenge is mental rather than physical! One would think that in a marathon, the greater challenge is physical, but the mental challenge can be more difficult. I think that there are two elements to this. The first is that modern life, for many of us, does not require the kind of physical activity that it did for our ancestors and still does today for many others around the world. Secondly, because we live more by our heads than our bodies, we aren’t sure that we can trust our bodies to hold up to a challenge that is beyond our normal physical routine.
We need both body and mind to work together to walk a marathon--and to walk through daily life. One of the things that I appreciate about this ministry is that our campers get to encounter experiences that are both physically and mentally challenging. We also build in time to reflect on those experiences so that we can learn to more deeply trust our bodies to do what they were designed to do. And we do these things in community, allowing us to push the limits so that our minds come to understand that with support, we have greater capacity than we dreamed.
We continue to have challenges ahead of us in our world: the pandemic, racism, and climate change are just a few. However, we have demonstrated resilience in the past, and we live in the hope that together, we can meet the challenges that we face. Thank you for being there for Camp and Retreat Ministries.
See you on the adventure ahead,
Rev. Todd Bartlett
Executive Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries
*PHOTO: This window sticker was given to Todd last year to mark the marathon he walked with his daughter; this year they'll add three more family members to the mind and body challenge (Todd Bartlett).
Last month's national United Methodist camp and retreat gathering in Pennsylvania used "In the Kitchen" for its theme. In conjunction with the event, the organization hosted a contest for Best Camp/Retreat Recipe, featuring favorites from United Methodist camps and retreat centers around the country. The competition was fierce, but all proceeds from contest voting went to the Legacy of Leadership Fund, which supports the development of camping and retreat leaders (our own Lisa Jean Hoefner received the Legacy of Leadership Award earlier this year).
Two winning camps were awarded Amazon gift cards and bragging rights. Click to view the winning recipes. Those who voted with $5 or more will receive a copy of the digital cookbook, but it's not too late to contribute $5 or more to the Legacy of Leadership Fund and receive a copy of the cookbook. Please note "cookbook" in the memo line of the online donation form.
Camp Latgawa entered a recipe in this contest (see the photo above). If you would like to get that recipe, all you need to do is make a contribution of $5 or more by using this link. Todd reports that all of the recipes looked delicious!
*PHOTO: Camp Latgawa's Lemon Ricotta Cake recipe is featured in the national camp & retreat ministry's new cookbook.
Giving Tuesday is November 30! Look for a social media campaign on that day from Camp and Retreat Ministries of Oregon-Idaho. More details will be shared here next week.
You know the story: Giving Tuesday is the counterweight to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both of which seek our allegiance to consumerism and overindulgence. Giving Tuesday reminds us that giving away our money actually restores balance--to our budgets, to our values, and to our mental health. So why do it only once a year? You can declare any day to be Giving Tuesday, simply by donating to organizations that change the world. Click that green button today to restore balance in your life and make an impact on the world. It's a win-win!