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Power the Future Summit: Recap and Next Steps

We will have further opportunities to comment through feedback forms and surveys in January. A committee will meet to consolidate data in the spring. 

The desired outcomes of the Power the Future Summit series are:

to find new forms of outreach and ways to share ministryto identify areas of potential growth, to include diversifying programs availableto explore ways to be more welcoming to groups and individuals, and to identify underrepresented groups and ways to reach themHere are a few key takeaways from the weekend:Networking is important. We should acknowledge where informal networks already exist and give space and resources to make those successful, whether for volunteers, new potential retreats, or extending new and existing forms of outreach. We'd like to become more connected with local communities, especially neighbors in Fort Valley and surrounding towns, nearby seminaries, and non-Lutheran churches in the area.How can we better support counselors in their faith formation, which in turn will better equip them in their work with campers? Discussion included faith development resources beyond staff training - time with summer camp chaplains, a crash-course in Lutheran beliefs, familiarity with Bible stories and storytelling, addition of a faith building component in Tuesday night staff check-in during summer camp, a question jar and answer board in the staff room, program director participation in camper Bible studies, regular "Coffee with Jesus" video calls scheduled throughout the year, and an emphasis that program and ministry come first.Participants shared interest in seeing the development of more educational components for both summer campers and retreat groups, and Caroline Furnace has great potential for sustainability, ecology, biology, geology, history, astronomy, and more. This also offers an opportunity to partner with local "subject experts" who may be interested in becoming more involved.What would it be like for us to be more diverse, inclusive, and accessible?It would look like Christ's community. Christ invited everyone to the table and even sought out and welcomed the unliked, oppressed, and marginalized.No barriers. A place where difference is normalized. Very diverse, with people from many different places. More opportunity to learn from one another. Every event provides multicultural education. Treat every counselor like an international counselor - have transportation available, provide space for them to share their culture/background/interests.Living in the growth zone (outside of the comfort zone): encouraging new perspectives and being okay with being uncomfortable. Expanding who "we" is. Identify what is working and build on it. Asking for help from a wide variety of sources. Being open to change, but not changing for the sake of change. Prayer. Radical hospitality. Following the trail.

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