Rev. David Berkey
Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries and Operations
Business Office Manager
Core Values and Beliefs
At the heart of our camp and retreat ministries is the absolute belief that camping changes lives. We do not believe that this happens coincidentally, randomly, or by happenstance. There is, in fact, great intentionality and focus in all that we do.
We are guided by four value vectors that determine and define the direction of all of our camp and retreat ministry programming.
Like the popular contemporary Christian song “The True Heart of Worship” states, “it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus…” We, too, believe that it’s all about Jesus. Being true to our Wesleyan and Methodist heritage, we hold firmly to the value of knowing God through Christ. Our programming is not simply about recreation or “outdoor appreciation”. Our programming provides opportunities and spaces in which individuals, young and old, can safely encounter the living God and have their hearts and lives deeply impacted for the Kingdom. This ultimately means that we will see more and more camp and retreat programming that will reflect a deep and intentional effort in spiritual formation, disciple making, and leadership development. A Christ-centered ministry ultimately builds up the whole Body of Christ.
As the shift in our structuring of the Board of Camping, Outdoor and Retreat Ministries shows, we are placing a much larger emphasis on the programming side of our ministry. No doubt, we value our camp sites as “sacred” spaces, but we know that the sites serve only as tools with which the changing of lives through camp and retreat ministries is aided. Ultimately, camps (facilities) don’t change lives. Camping (programs) changes lives. This means that we need to be more intentional, creative, and proactive in developing new programs that meet the needs of the local church and its diverse constituency. We also need to carefully work on revitalizing existing programs so that what we do will be at its very best.
Whether it is networking with local churches, building bridges with donors, or establishing an effective and functioning team of Board members, volunteers, and professional staff, we believe that the basic building block is the relationship that exists on a one-on-one level. Our hope and vision is that we would build intentional and meaningful relationships with all those who are interested in and/or have passion for camping and retreat ministries, so that we can partner together for the greater cause of changing lives for the Kingdom. The Camp & Retreat Advocate will serve as a primary catalyst for this particular vector of our ministry.
The California-Pacific Annual Conference is a geographically large conference that represents many different ethnicities, cultures, and generations. As we become more and more multi-cultural and multi-generational, we will need to be increasingly sensitive to meet the needs of ethnic communities that have been for the most part underrepresented in camp and retreat ministries. Furthermore, we need to intentionally respond to the reality that camping and retreat ministries are not created “equal” for all generations and age groups.