Former campers, employees, camp counselors, board members, and supporters gathered on the grounds of Pictured Rocks United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center for the Deconsecrating Service held on August 25, 2019.
Speaking about the history of Pictured Rocks, Camp Director Gabe Dorrell said, “The reality came to fruition in 1961 when the first campers enjoyed camp here in this sacred space. History goes with us. When we leave this place, the relationships that have been built, that have been established with each other, that have been established with God, go with us. This is a sacred space. This is a special space.”
The 74-acre Pictured Rocks Camp finished out the 2019 summer season and has been sold to Camp Courageous, a neighboring camping and retreat center for individuals with special needs for a total of $1.5 million.
Rev. Sarah Rohret, a member of the Board of Camps shared the message during the service preaching from Genesis 28:10-17 and Luke 11. Both scriptures mention “a certain place.” Neither place is described in the bible other than it is “a certain place.”
Pictured Rocks UM Camp and Retreat Center Deconsecration Service Highlights Video [51:02 minutes]
View the Flickr Gallery images from the service
“We need to be in certain places where we feel God’s presence…where our hearts say to us, ‘surely the Lord is in the place. How awesome is this place?’” said Rev. Rohert. “Pictured Rocks has been able to be a certain place...it was a certain place for Native Americans, settlers, anyone wanting to worship in the trees, see a brook or find a cool cave.”
The microphone was opened up for a time of sharing from the community, friends, campers, counselors, and employees. Stories of faith, love, struggles, and relationships were shared. Laughter and tears and many hugs reminded all that Pictured Rocks was truly a special place and will continue to be special for Camp Courageous and generations to come.
The Kindling Club Program supports the operational expenses of the Iowa United Methodist Camps to ensure that camping ministry will continue for years. Join the Kindling Club online or Download the Kindling Club Form.
You can also help children and youth who cannot afford to go camping by giving to the Campership Fund. Make a one-time gift to Iowa United Methodist Camps & Retreats. If you have any questions, please email or call Iowa United Methodist Camps at 515-974-8913.