Over 300 people – our ministry leaders and their families – gathered at Forest Lakes near Ōtaki during the recent school holidays for two days of teaching, workshops and fellowship at our annual Ministry Leaders’ Family Camp. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude not only to those who came, but to those who sent them – keeping the home fires burning for a few days while your leaders were able to travel to Camp; and of course to those who served so willingly so others could be refreshed.
The Camp began what will be a year-long focus at diocesan events on the evangelistic part of our mission: caring for the last, the lost and the least. Romans 10:15 says “and how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!'” and to this end, our theme for Camp was “Being Sent.” In one way or another, we are all sent – but in this case, our ministry leaders and their families were sent by each and every one of you to this Camp, in order that they might connect and grow together in our diocesan family.
The Camp was a successful one, with many attendees sharing their thanks via feedback forms for the variety of content on offer, but also for the balance of content against time for reflection, friendship and simply being together. Many of the children and young people there had a great time, and many memories and friendships were created which will no doubt be rekindled from event to event. It was this connection to each other that Bishop Justin reiterated as the thing that ties us all together as Anglican family. Undoubtedly, the vibrant sense of family life at Camp will continue through our next diocesan gatherings, with Synod, Team Training Day and our Diocesan Hui and Ordination in the near future.