France District holds family camp for first time since COVID-19

France District holds family camp for first time since COVID-19

by
Erin Ketchum for Eurasia Region Church of the Nazarene
| 12 Jun 2024
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France Family Camp

In the small town of Saint Prix, just 40 km north of Paris, the France District held its first family camp since the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 130 people gathered under the theme One Church, One Family and Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16. The camp focused on being called to unity amidst the diversity of the Body of Christ and all of its giftedness.

Months of preparation, teamwork, Zoom calls, and prayer went into this anticipated three-day event. The retreat center was fully booked, and there were participants of all ages, including 50 children and youth representing many of the churches in the district.

Pastor Todd Keller and Pastor Hannah Beers-Borger joined as guest speakers from College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, USA. In the opening service, Keller reminded the participants that all are part of the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ is one. He reflected on what it means to be a church body that is connected, capable, crucial, and courageous. These words weaved their way throughout the weekend, reinforcing the theme.

The days were full: meals together, various age-specific workshops, lively joint worship services, and evening games. A highlight was the last evening when Pastor Ben-Oni Valentin hosted a talent show for anyone who wanted to participate. Some shared in dance, three youths wrote and composed songs, a women’s choir group serenaded the participants with hymns in Creole, a saxophonist played a jazz solo, and even the kids participated with a riddle for the leaders to solve.

Brian Ketchum, a member of the planning team, explained the purpose of the talent show.

“We wanted the talent show to allow all those that didn’t feel like they had something to contribute to the life of the church to be allowed to share the gifts that God had given them and be celebrated for who they are, a beautiful and valued member of the church/family.”

District Superintendent Joseph Toguyera shared about the family camp, saying, “The setting, the atmosphere, the weather, the organization, the speakers, the children, the young people, and the adults all found their place in this family. Everything turned out as I had hoped...Praise be to God.”

It was indeed a blessed time together, and everyone left feeling restored and enthusiastic about God's plans for the Church of the Nazarene in France.

--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region

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