Outdoor Ministry 2022

The Outdoor Ministry of the MN Conference UCC is excited to announce the 2022 season of events. Individuals and families of all ages, abilities, and stages of life will discover a retreat or camp experience that will provide spaces for rest, renewal, and reconnection. Our goal is to create opportunities for folks across the Conference to fall in love with God’s creation, encounter the sacred in the natural world, and experience the deep interconnectedness of nature, human community and one’s own soul.

Each camp or retreat will provide spaces that interrupt the routines of daily life and allow participants to enjoy a balance of rest, play, learning, reflection, connection and solitude.   Download the poster/flyer for the year’s offerings.

Youth 

Summer Rural Immersion
Middle School: July 11-13 | High School: July 22-24 | Shalom Hill Farm, Windom 

This is a unique opportunity for youth to experience rural farm life, explore justice issues from a rural perspective, and share stories unique to each of us. While there may be some farm work to do, this immersion is about learning and growing, not providing a service. 

Adults

Spiritual Immersion Through the Seasons 

  • June 24-26 | Summer | Camp Onomia, Onamia   | READ MORE
  • November 6-8 | Fall | Luther Crest, Alexandria  | READ MORE
  • January 20-22, 2023 | Winter | Clearwater Forest, Deerwood  | READ MORE

Each season you are invited to a new space in Minnesota, to rest and renew. Each event will encourage discussion around connections with the Sacred in each of nature’s seasons and our own lives. Using gentle hikes, bird watching, meditation, and discussion, participants are encouraged to leave their worries at home and find their soul rhythm in natural spaces and deep conversations. Come to find reconnection for your body, mind, and soul. Register now for one or more of these seasonal retreats. 

Men’s Wilderness Retreat  | September 9-11 | Camp Amnicon, WI
Spend the weekend hiking through acres of forest, marshland, and Lake Superior shoreline, along with paddling on the lake in a Montreal canoe (with at least 10 participants). Sleep in a bed inside a tent, enjoying the sounds of nature (and some snoring) and feeling the crispness of the air. With a hearty breakfast and morning prayer, the days are set for “nature bathing” and connecting with other participants during lunch and dinner with amazing gourmet food. End the day with meditation around the campfire and soaking in the amazing sky full of stars. READ MORE

Women’s Wilderness Retreat  | September 23-25 | Camp Amnicon, WI 
Join us for a weekend of hiking through wooded hills and marshes and exploring the amazing shore of Lake Superior. With enough participants, there is a chance to paddle on the lake in one of the Montreal canoes or take a leisurely paddle on the Amnicon River that spills into Lake Superior.  READ MORE

Family & Intergenerational 1-Day Events

1-Day Family Events
July 6 or July 7 | Twin Cities area (locations available soon) | hosted by Camp Amnicon 

Join us for a day canoeing on the Mississippi River in a Montreal canoe or on a beautiful, guided hike. The staff of Camp Amnicon will serve as hosts for these and other fun activities for all ages. No experience is necessary to paddle, as our guides will, well, guide us the whole way. Families and individuals are invited to engage their senses, whether on water or land, to experience the Holy that surrounds us in all of creation. Lunch will be served, along with time for conversation and reflection about the experiences together. Please only register for one date, as space is limited.

Spiritual and Sustainability Farm Initiative
July 9 | Green Island, Wadena
On the northern side of town, tucked behind a car dealership, is a sustainable oasis. Kent Scheer has spent most of his life integrating sustainable farming, forestry, spirituality, and the arts on his old family farm. Sculptures from local artists lead the ways on several well-maintained paths through the trees and gardens. There are places to sit and take in all that the environment has to share.  LEARN MORE

Additional Events

Alongside the new program offerings, the Conference will continue to sponsor many familiar camps and retreats in new places around our beautiful state. Here is a list of continuing programs:    

  • Women’s Retreat (September 9-11), Camp Onomia, Onamia, MN  
  • Fall Conference Youth Gathering (October 7-9), Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, Sandstone, MN  | LEARN MORE & REGISTER

Our sincere hope is that our local congregations and their members will find an opportunity to engage in our Outdoor Ministry programs during 2022 and beyond. The success of this important cooperative ministry depends on the support, creative collaboration, program leadership, and participation of the many volunteer leaders and participants who generously share their time, energy, and talents. 

If you have questions or comments regarding the 2022 season, please contact either Rev. Sheri Nelson, Outdoor Ministry Program Director, or Rev. Kevin Brown, Associate Conference Minister of Faith Formation for Children & Youth. We hope to see you during our 2020 season! 

© Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ | 2021