How some PNW Churches are making a Place at the Table

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Campers do crafts around a table at Lazy F’s Explorers Camp during the Summer of 2016. Photo: Lazy F Camp.

By Dave Burfeind | Director, Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center

We are now into the next level of the campaign to raise funds for a new dining hall at Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center. The initial stages of talking with friends of the camp and groups using our facility was first. It was followed up with a series of very successful fundraising events this fall and spring (that netted $285,000!). The next stage is to connect with the churches within our Pacific Northwest Conference.

Fifteen churches have already been involved in a significant manner. These congregations have been involved in noteworthy ways including involvement through individual contributions, church sponsored activities or one of the fundraising events. The involvement of these congregations is an inspiration to me and hopefully to other churches in our conference; I would like to highlight two efforts.

Wesley United Methodist in Yakima has been involved from the beginning of our campaign. The first event we had was a dessert at Wesley UMC. The dozen people in attendance were patient with my efforts as I stumbled through the information and invitation to be involved.  Many of these folks pledged and gave over time. The church has given on five separate occasions, including a one-time gift of $10,000! In the fall we had a fundraising event in Yakima that was attended by about 140 people. The four people on the planning committee for that event were all from Wesley UMC and they worked hard to get a great representation from the church; about half of those in attendance were members of Wesley! To this point, members of Wesley UMC have pledged and given over $75,000 to the Place at the Table campaign

Cornerstone United Methodist in Covington is a church that was inspired to give by the love and respect of Linda Toycen, a member of their congregation who passed away from cancer several years ago. Linda was an active member of the church, helping in various areas and also coordinating the annual church family retreat at Lazy F. Linda was also a vital member of the Lazy F Site Advisory Team and coordinated the Seattle YMCA retreats at Lazy F. An incentive to name the new lounge in Linda’s honor was met with resounding results. Cornerstone conducted its own drive to honor Linda and many church members also attended the South Puget Sound event in May. Several members have given numerous times and the church has provided gifts from church funds frequently. Over the last several years, Cornerstone UMC and its members have pledged and given over $76,000!

Wesley and Cornerstone are just two of the fifteen churches who have made significant contributions to the Place at the Table campaign. Each church created its own style in making an effort that was right for its congregation. I challenge your church to consider how it may be involved in this campaign that will help in concrete ways to improve the ministry that is happening in our churches and in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference at Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center.  Contact our office at 509.962.2780 for more information.

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