It is with a sense of loss & sadness that we are officially cancelling the Imago Men’s Retreat for the Terra Network this September at Camp Gorham.
To those who responded to our survey last week: Thank you! Your responses and comments were very helpful in helping us make a decision.
We tried to make it work. We explored numerous options. Camp Gorham was flexible and worked through options alongside us.
We wanted to make it work. For those of us on the Planning Team, the annual retreat is a sacred event. It is an annual time and place where God moves in our lives–and we know there are many who feel the same.
However, over the past two weeks it has become apparent that the best decision was to cancel this year. The reasons include:
The atmosphere created by the restrictions we’d have to abide by: mask wearing whenever indoors, private bedrooms, unorganized carpooling, limited activities, medical screening, etc.
The risk of inclement weather, which would notably impact our ability to be outside unmasked.
The uncertainty around COVID impacting guys ability, or desire, to come. (Things like, “What if there is a resurgence?” “If my kids remain with remote learning, I’ll have to stay home.” “My job is not secure and I’m not sure I can get time off.” “I’ve lost time working this spring and need to work and make money this fall.”
Additionally, the survey results helped us see that it was unlikely we’d get enough men to make the retreat financially viable.
The final thing that helped our Planning Team make their decision was the generosity of Camp Gorham. In 2019 we made a $5k nonrefundable deposit for this year’s retreat. Last week, Camp Gorham allowed us to shift that deposit for a 2021 retreat. This means we won’t lose any money by cancelling this year’s retreat and have already secured next year’s dates: September 16-18 (so mark your calendars!). [Side thought: Camp Gorham remains open this fall for “Family Camps”. If you and your family would like a weekend getaway you can check out their program options and cabin rentals HERE]
One final thought the Planning Team wants to be clear with: The decision we made was to cancel a Terra Network retreat. We are not cancelling the Imago ministry at each local church this fall. In fact, this fall our men may need brotherhood and connection even more given all that is going on in 2020. Perhaps our retreat values of getting Distance from everyday life to seek Presence with God and brothers so we can return home with Purpose are even more desired by us at this time. So, while the network-wide retreat is cancelled, please keep reaching out to your brothers; pursue connections; fight isolation; bear each others’ burdens & encourage one another. Also, as you hear of Imago events at your local churches this fall, please take part. We may not be able to gather at Camp Gorham, but we remain brothers who need each other.
THANK YOU & QUESTIONS
Last thing, I’ve mentioned the Retreat Planning Team a few times. These 12 guys have put in a bunch of work, thought, and prayer for this retreat. I’m grateful for their love of Jesus and care for you. Allow to me to say thank you to them here and this also allows you to know who at your local church to reach out to with any questions.
TROY: Clark Fedor, Ed Marcelle, Eric Westervelt, Jason Gagnon, Nat Marshall, Rob Keparutis, Tory Arnesen
SARATOGA: Ben Hydock, Matt Schwartz, Paul Fekete
NORTH ADAMS: Austin Hill, Paul Gordon
I will miss the brotherhood of this retreat at Camp Gorham this September. Until September 16th, 2021, allow me to exhort you with the words of Barnabas in Acts 11: ‘remain faithful to the Lord Jesus with steadfast purpose.’