You’re invited to a Celebration of Service
Please join the Pyoca Advisory Council for an open house honoring Rich Swartwood and his family for their 20 years of camp ministry.
March 1, 2014
From 2pm to 5pm
4:30pm – Closing Blessing
Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center Lodge
886 East County Rd 100 S
Brownstown, IN 47220
In honor of Rich’s twenty years of service, the Advisory Council will be collecting donations for the general scholarship fund. If you are unable to attend, cards are being collected by Mandy Ernest. Please send these to the address above. Checks can be made payable to Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center. Please add “Scholarship Fund” to the memo line.
There will be a memory book at the open house. We encourage you to bring a memory message or photo to add to the book. Again if you are unable to attend this event, but would like to add a memory or photo, you may email these to Mandy Ernest.
The last 20 years have been full of God’s grace at Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center. We have witnessed incredible changes to the camp and its ministries: new and improved facilities, expanded programming for all ages, and innumerable stories of lives transformed by the Holy Spirit through outdoor ministries.
None of this would have been possible without the energy, vision, and leadership of Rich Swartwood. Rich’s passion for outdoor ministry is evident in the quality of staff who work alongside him, an irrepressible desire to always look to what is next, and his deep belief that children and adults discover the triune God in nature and through the church’s ministry in places like Pyoca. Rich and his family have been a blessing to the Presbyteries of Ohio Valley and Whitewater Valley, and the Body of Christ has truly been strengthened in his faithful service as executive director at Pyoca these two decades.
But, as we know from Ecclesiastes, there is season for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven. For Pyoca and for Rich, a new season is about to begin. Rich has been called to serve as the Executive Director of Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Center in Deerwood, Minnesota. Rich’s last day at Pyoca will be March 7, 2014, and he will begin his work at Clearwater Forest the following week. The Pyoca Advisory Council met with Rich today, and has begun the process of planning for this transition. While we are saddened to have to say goodbye to someone we have grown to love and respect, we also know that we are in a healthy and strong position as we look to a future guided by God’s abiding presence.
There will be several opportunities over the coming weeks for you to celebrate Rich and his family’s ministry with Pyoca including an Open House on March 1st at Pyoca. We hope you can share with Rich and Caroline our gratitude to God for all they has done in our collective lives. We will keep you informed of not only plans related to this time of transition in leadership, but also the excellent spring and summer programs which will take place this year at Pyoca. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of us, as we are grateful for your ongoing support and prayers.
With a full and grateful heart,
Celebration of Rich’s Ministry
The Pyoca Advisory Council invites you to come and celebrate with Rich and his family at an Open House on Saturday, March 1 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Pyoca.
A Facebook event has been established for RSVP’s.
ALL members of POV churches, especially Deacons but also others, are invited to learn more about assisting with caring for those in your congregation.
The POV Academy’s January 17-18 class, “Sharing the Ministry of Care,” will help you:
- Gain comfort and competence with home, hospital/nursing home visits
- Practice ministry of Presence listening skills
- Reflect on boundaries, confidentiality, and legal responsibilities
- And much more!
Registration for this class, to be held at Camp Pyoca, closes on November 17.
The Presbytery of Ohio Valley invites you
to attend the ordination of
Martha Anne Lasher
to the ministry of Teaching Elder
in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
First Presbyterian Church,
417 N. Elm Street, Brownstown, IN 47220
on Sunday, October 20th at 4:00 p.m. (ET)
Reception immediately following.
All ministers are invited to vest and wear red stoles.
Saturday August 17th 3:00-8:00pm
At Camp Pyoca in Brownstown, IN
Middle School and High School Youth (and their leaders, friends and parents) are invited to a fun filled afternoon. Enjoy a giant slip-n-slide, other inflatables and more in the afternoon and then get ready for a live concert by THE GREAT ROMANCE .
Cost is $8 per student.
For more information contact:
Tami Gibson 502-931-8918
Rachel Pedersen 812-332-1514
Some of What Happened at Assembly on June 8, 2013
Commissioning—As our worship/work began, the Assembly celebrated and commissioned people to several special tasks:
Nearly a dozen young people who will serve PYOCA were commissioned to that special ministry. In addition many of the three dozen youth and leaders of the Presbytery’s delegation to the Youth Triennium were commissioned to this mission. Leaders from Madison, Seymour, Columbus First, Dale and Bloomington First were also present for this service.
Also, Rev. Rachel Pedersen was recognized for her recent certification as a Certified Christian Educator in the PC(USA). Rachel is the Assoc. Pastor at Bloomington First.
Presentation of a new campus ministry came through the presentation of IU Kirk. Bloomington United and First Church Bloomington have worked together to develop a new campus ministry. It is a more holistic concept of ministry than the traditional campus work many of us knew. Rev. Mihee Kim-Kort is the director of this ministry which seeks to serve all Presbyterian youth on IU Campus.
Retirement Recognition for Rev. Linda Peters. Linda has been the first and only pastor of Unity Church in Terre Haute. Linda celebrated communion at the close of the meeting. She was recognized and granted the status of Honorable Retirement at our meeting.
Smock Foundation Presentation Smock is a source of programmatic and financial support for ministry to the senior aged Presbyterians in the state of Indiana. Three people were present to promote a creative program which focuses on “Body, Brain and Belief”. A training is going to take place in October to assist people in implementing this type of ministry.
Necrology Report was offered and the work of dozens of Ruling Elders who died during this last year was remembered.
The Statistical Report was given by the Stated Clerk. The report focused on the very positive stories in our life together. We had a net loss in membership, but a small one. We took in more members than those who were lost to death or transfer. The big category of loss that we have not yet conquered is people who simply become inactive. The clerk suggested a focus on “closing the back door” by engaging all members in the ministry of our congregations.
Stewardship A new focus on Stewardship was offered by our preacher for the day, Michelle Bartel. Michelle propounded an understanding of Stewardship based in Joy, Abundance and passionate response to God’s gifts. Michelle is also, the new head of the Stewardship work group in the Presbytery.