First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua

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May 2014

Pastor Points: What is the future of Camp Brainerd?

The Camp Brainerd staff was delighted to receive our $675.00 contribution to its operating expenses, presented by our congregation. Veteran Brainerd camper Patrick Adams gave the check, on behalf of our Sunday School, at our worship service on March 16. This generous gift to the camp had been collected throughout the school year, in our “Joyful Noise” offerings.

The timing of that contribution was perfect. Just two weeks before, at the Lehigh Presbytery’s February meeting, its Lead Team (Trustees and Council) had recommended closing the Camp, located near Stroudsburg, after this summer. Their motion was narrowly defeated by commissioners at the meeting. What the future holds for Camp Brainerd is unclear.

A committee of six elders and six pastors from the Presbytery has been appointed to assess Camp Brainerd’s financial situation and look for alternative ways that it might continue. Reverend P. Douglas Cronce, pastor of the Catasauqua Presbyterian Church, is a member of that committee. These volunteers are meeting twice a month, and they will be bringing recommendations to the Lehigh Presbytery’s Stated Meeting at the Hope of Christ Presbyterian Church, Summit Hill, on September 23rd.

This summer, a full roster of programs is scheduled at Brainerd, and registration is underway. A list of program offerings can be found on the bulletin board in our church. Each child in our Sunday School was sent a camp brochure in the mail. The hope of many of our congregations is that camping ministry opportunities will continue in Lehigh Presbytery.

The camp is making improvements to its programs and physical plant. Director Jen Henshue and other Presbytery officials have been trying to “think outside the box” for ways to gain revenue. The camp has met quite a few of the goals established in its business plan. Last year, it began a popular preschool day care program. The staff has made progress to increase program offerings, gain camper numbers, and maintain a solid donor base. However, the camp is not yet self-sufficient. Because it has not raised enough funds to pay its expenses, the camp continues to rely on the Lehigh Presbytery mission budget.

How can we help? We can pray, and continue to support the camp both physically and financially. We can share stories about the power of camp in our own lives. Anyone who has business skills that might be helpful is asked to call the Lehigh Presbytery Office.

Pastor Joyce

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