It was my privilege to participate in the ground-breaking ceremony for the renovation and expansion of the Barnett Lodge at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp on September 27, 2011. We were grateful to have both the Willis and Barnett families represented at this ground-breaking. When it is finished by next June, we are going to have a wonderful main facility at the youth camp which will enable the Florida Conference to continue to build its magnificent summer youth camping program.
Other than Florida United Methodist Children's Home, I do not know of any other common ministry of the United Methodist Church in Florida which is more appreciated than the summer camping program for youth at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp. Thousands of youth from all over the state participate each summer. Many clergy and laity of the Florida Conference came to faith in Jesus Christ, made a personal connection to the Church, or answered a call to ordained ministry at camp. So many personal relationships were formed at camp which have either continued or been remembered as wholesome experiences of the past.
Each local church is being asked to participate in the capital campaign for the renovation and expansion of the Barnett Lodge. This campaign is called Together! For Kids and Camps. No local church is being given an apportionment, but every local church is being asked to give all of its members an opportunity to pledge to or contribute to this campaign.
I hope every United Methodist will contribute something. In a bad economy some of our members will not be able to give what they would like to give, but by giving something they can contribute to this ministry to youth and know that they are participating in this important work for the cause of Christ. Others will be glad to have an opportunity to give generously to this Church ministry since the Church does not present many special opportunities for giving for those whose calling from God is to give to causes which are worthwhile.
For information see www.fumf.org/together.
Let's do something great together for our kids!