The transition between summer and fall is difficult for us all. Perhaps your pace and pattern of life changes a little bit as kids go back to school, sports startup, and Wednesday night Church activities are back in full swing. The transition up here at Covenant Pines is just as crazy. This fall has been a whirlwind of fun events already and we’ve only just begun! Here’s a look back at our September.
After hosting a very large youth camp from Colonial Church in Edina, called Camp Pryo, we had a grand total of 4 hours before First Covenant Church of St Paul came up for their family retreat. First Cov kicked off our season of hosting guest groups. For those of you who don’t know, Covenant Pines is owned by about 40 churches from all over the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro. On any given weekend in the non-summer months, at least one of those churches is probably up here at camp. Our churches use this beautiful place in McGregor, MN to retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life and come up North for a brief breath with God.
In just one month we’ve already hosted First Cov St. Paul, Roots Covenant Church, Brookdale Covenant Church, and Crosstown Covenant Church. We also had the privilege of hosting the annual CRIM Retreat (Covenanters Retired in Ministry). The group was blessed to sign hymns and hear Jay Phelan speak on his book Essential Eschatology.
In addition to hosting guest groups we also plan and run our own retreats. We call these our Program Retreats. This fall season is chalk full of them! We’ve already had our second annual Homeschool Retreat, Women’s Retreat, and Retired Adults Retreat! We put a great deal of energy and love into preparing for these events. Some of our best are coming up in the next few months!
MEA Fall Retreat is in Mid October. The Junior High retreat is the 15th – 17th and the High School retreat is the 17th – 19th. Students will have a chance to relax, play, worship, and grow closer to God. Kevin Farmer, the Head of Admissions and Family Ministry at Hope Academy, will be speaking to both age groups. He is passionate about seeing young people grow in their relationship with God. Click on either of those links above for more information and for registration. Check out this video to get a feel for what MEA is like
After our Youth Fall Retreat we have our wonderful Quilter’s Retreat. Women from all over Minnesota come with all of their Quilting supplies and creative passion. For 4 glorious days these women get to do something they often can’t; be messy. When quilting at home you have to worry about what’s going on in the rest of the house and the cleanup of your project when you’re done. At the Quilters Retreat, we take care of everything and you don’t need to cleanup until you go home at the end of day 4. So come and let your mess spread! The retreat is November 6th-9th. Register online.
The weekend after Quilters Retreat, November 14th-16th is Men’s Retreat – or Man Camp as some of the guys like to call it. This retreat is an opportunity to connect with other Men, worship together, and play in the great North Woods. It’s hard to find an extended period of time to simply relax and be vulnerable with other men. The core purpose of this retreat is to do just that. We’re excited to hear from the Pastor of Crossroads Church, Phil Print, and his son-in-law Sten Carlson. Sten is a Pastor at Cedarbrook Church in Menomonie, WI. When we’re not worshipping and listening to Phil and Sten, we’ll be trap shooting, hunting, grilling, reading, playing cards, climbing, playing basketball, and eating lots of bacon and steak. Seriously, the food is great. The more daring men have a tradition of going off our Rope Swing for a little polar plunge. Men’s Retreat is definitely one of the highlights of the fall. Sign up before October 15th to receive the earlybird discount. Register online!
In between all of our Guest Groups and Program Retreats, we’re finding ways to improve camp for all of the folks who come to experience the love of Christ with us. Believe it or not, we’re already planning for Summer 2015! We have a theme and a verse decided. Watch our Facebook page as we give clues about what the theme will be. The big reveal will be at the MEA Fall Retreat.