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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Join me in the Manna in the Wilderness Campaign

    August 7, 2020 / By Rev. Sherrri Rood

    As you may know, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Aldersgate, Asbury, Casowasco, Sky Lake and Skye Farm to cancel an entire summer camp season as well as numerous church, family and group retreats and gatherings.  In addition to the loss of these life-changing ministry opportunities, these cancellations have resulted in over a million dollars in lost revenue.  Though each site has begun to reopen, the pandemic will continue to limit what is possible for many months to come. 

    These precious ministries have entered a “wilderness time” of uncertainty and scarcity.    In response to this challenge, our conference is making an emergency financial appeal, what we are calling the Manna in the Wilderness Campaign, to support our camp and retreat ministries in these unprecedented times.

    I am asking that you join me and many others across the Upper New York Conference in supporting these ministries by making a financial gift to the campaign.

    I remember the first time I went to camp. On my own, making new friends and enjoying the beauty of creation, I felt connected to God in a new, deeper way. 

    One of my first counselors, Joyce, showed me how to read the Bible with fresh eyes and see the love of Jesus all around me.  I learned songs that I remember to this day; yes, some of them were silly, but many have sustained me in times of doubt or sadness and have given me a way to praise God with heart and soul

    One night, standing out in a field, I was amazed at the beauty of the stars.  Growing up in the suburbs, I had never seen the Milky Way before.  I remember feeling very small, but also enveloped in God’s love as I thought of the words of the psalmist,

    “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?”                                    Psalm 8:3-4  NRSV

    Years later I explored my calling to ordained pastoral ministry at one of our retreat centers.  I have taught Lay Servant courses and led retreats at our camp and retreat sites, encouraging people to deepen their faith as they see the love of Jesus all around them. 

    All of this was possible because we had camps and retreat centers where we could gather, reflect, pray, learn, and grow.

    If you would like to join me in supporting these ministries, you can designate your gift to a site or Camp and Retreat Ministries: https://campsandretreats.org/donate/. You can also mail your support to Camp & Retreat Ministries, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd, Liverpool, NY 13088.

    TAGGED / Camp and Retreat Ministry (CRM)


    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."