2017 Ministerial Association Retreat format offers unique experience for pastors, church staff and spouses

About 100 pastors, chaplains, ministry staff and spouses gathered at Lake Beauty Bible Camp for the annual NWC Ministerial Association Retreat, Oct. 9-11. This year represented many changes to our regular format.

Being at the one of our camps brought back memories for many and a level of extravagant hospitality (thank you Brian Alnes and staff).

Speaking slots were filled by our colleagues who are serving in the trenches with us. Paul Knight, Lead Pastor of Hope Covenant in Grand Forks (ND), Jodi Moore, Rural Ministry Partner for our mission priority of Start and Strengthen Churches, Jim Murphy, Associate Pastor for NexGen Ministries at the Covenant Church in Bemidji (MN), and Jamie Staples, Church Planting Pastor at Renew Covenant church in Eau Claire (WI).

Free time activities included such unique things as mountain biking in 400 acres of fall colored woods, horseback riding, and the building of usable guitars from cigar boxes.

Glenn Kaiser from Jesus People USA served as our worship leader and concert musician. He partnered with the worship team from Hope Covenant in Grand Forks in leading worship. His concert Monday evening during dinner was performed with various cigar box guitars (even one made from a cookie tin), using a small copper pipe fitting as a slide for the strings. The simple and piercing quality of his redeemed instruments and prophetic lyrics gave us something more than food to chew on.

The combination of all of these differences led to a unique experience—an experience that while hard to repeat was easy to enjoy.

Next year’s retreat is scheduled for Oct. 8-10 in Duluth, MN, at Pier B Resort—a new resort on Lake Superior adjacent to Bayfront Park, the Great Lakes Aquarium and Canal Park.