Church Retreat to Warwick

On Apr 4th, a group of us gathered at the beautiful home of Cindy and Claude Betancourt in Doylestown, PA, in order to review our annual church retreat to our denominational retreat center in Warwick, NY. As you may know, the Warwick Center is a 465-acre hilltop estate 50 miles northwest of New York City.

Very early in our discussion at Claude and Cindy’s home, we realized that there is, really, no substitute for going to Warwick: it is a mainstay of our Reformed identity and a year without it would simply not be the same. We would miss the freedom of the unspoiled nature, the joy of casual fellowship, and the freedom of our annual open-air worship. We would also miss this linkage to our denomination and the people we meet in Warwick every year.

But not everybody among us is equally fond of camping, and the preparation of meals on propane stoves – if left to a small group – can also be tiresome. So there was enough need for us to change and try something new. Here is what we came up with: This year’s retreat will be one night shorter, from 10:00 a.m. Saturday, Aug 8th to Sunday, Aug 9th after morning worship. We will stay in the older East Lodge – a place not air-conditioned but quaint and comfortable, nonetheless. If someone wishes to stay in the more modern West Lodge, he or she will have to pay a higher price and stay a second night, but the choice is available. Together, we’ll take advantage of the meals prepared by the conference center, but most of our activities will still be outdoors, including our open-air worship service on Sunday morning.

Taking into account that 2009 has been declared the Year of Astronomy, we decided to place our retreat under the theme Heaven and Sky. We hope to have a hobby astronomer accompany us so that we might be introduced to the wonders of the nocturnal sky.

The cost of the retreat will be a little higher than previously. But don’t forget that we purchased our food in previous years prior to the retreat, and that the camping gear made it necessary for several of us to bring two cars. This year, we will not have this extra cost.

Here are the prices:

  • (Adult) triple $ 84.00
  • (Adult) double $111.00
  • (Adult) single $192.00
  • Youth (4-12) $61.00
  • Children (3 and younger) free

We have to reserve an exact number of rooms very shortly. If you, dear reader, wish to join us for this retreat, please notify our church office (732-545-1005) as early as possible.

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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