The Rev. Dr. Pam Harris hired as Interim Executive Director of UNY CRM
For the past two-and-a-half years, the Rev, Bill Gottschalk-Fielding, Upper New York (UNY) Director of Connectional Ministries and Executive Assistant to the Bishop, has also served as acting director of the UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries (CRM).
Throughout this time and for many years prior, the Rev. Dr. Pam Harris, founder and director of Run River Enterprises, has resourced UNY CRM as well as the CRM in UNY’s predecessor Conferences. She was also the executive director of CRM in the North Central New York Conference in the 1990s.
While the CRM Committee explores the type of leadership UNY needs moving forward, Pam has been hired as the full-time Interim Executive Director of UNY CRM starting Sept. 12, 2022, and will serve in this position for 12-18 months.
Tim Barnes, the chair of UNY CRM said, “Pam is an excellent leader and has a vast amount of experience in CRM. She has been a great partner in growing the Conference’s CRM and we look forward to her leadership as she becomes more involved in our ministry.”
Pam is obviously passionate about CRM—she and her husband Garrie Stevens founded their CRM consulting business, Run River Enterprises, out of this passion. For over two decades, Run River Enterprises has served hundreds of faith-based camp and retreat centers in the United States and Canada.
Pam said, “The reason Garrie and I do this is because we can’t ‘Be the Church’ without CRM. Camp & Retreat ministries are essential, especially as we navigate the current challenges of the Church.
Pam describes CRM as the front door to the Church.
Whie CRM was initially formed for Sunday School children in the 1940s and 50s, it has shifted in recent decades with the drastic decline of Sunday School participation.
Pam said, “CRM is now the doorway to connect kids to the Church. I think we have an incredible opportunity to be good stewards of our CRM resources to reach out to our communities. We can be the front door of the Church.”
Pam is very familiar with the five Camp & Retreat Centers in UNY. When the UNY Conference formed, Pam was integral in combing the different CRM sites in the predecessor Conferences to become part of the UNY CRM.
For the next year to year-and-a-half, Pam will be helping the CRM sites in UNY:
- to continue to grow into long-term sustainability
- to make sure finances are in a good place
- to develop new and exciting programming
- to continue the effort of reaching out into the community
Pan said, “Each of our sites is unique and offers different character strengths. I think it is important to help each site to continue living into their character strengths.”