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Camps Farthest Out/Journey Farthest Out

View from Zephyr Point Conference Center
Autumn JFO, Zephyr Point NV
View of Kennebunk from Fanciscian Retreat Center
CFO Acadia, Kennebunk ME

Hi Friends,

Here are two retreat camps occurring in September that offer an opportunity for anyone who seeks greater rhythm and flow of harmony and peace in their life through a daily program of Morning Meditation, Morning Singing, Morning Talk, Rhythms, Creatives, Horizontal Hour & Free Time, Prayer Groups, Evening Singing, Evening Talk, Peace Prayer and Afterglow.

JFO Autumn is at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center in Lake Tahoe Nevada. The following week CFO Acadia is at the Franciscan Guest House in Kennebunk, Maine. Each JFO/CFO camp is independent, but they both are related to the movement started in 1930 by Glenn Clark, a Christian mystic and spiritual author who drew quite a bit from New Thought teachings and incorporated many of the ideas we cherish in Unity into his program.

I found at these camps many things attractive to people in Unity, particularly the “Joy Songs”. Charles King, an ordained Unity minister, well-known to many in Unity, often led the music at these camps. And the guys who are leading the music in both camps are of the same cut as Charles King.

Another attractive aspect of the CFO/JFO experience is their afternoon prayer meetings. If anything defined Glenn Clark, it was his commitment to the idea that prayer changes our life. And the same may be said for the camps he founded. We all have differing views of prayer, what it is and how it works. All I can say is that I found the afternoon prayer meetings authentic expressions of committed people looking to God and to one another for inspiration and spiritual solutions to human problems.

The morning activities — Rhythms and Creatives — are playful. The morning and evening talks are primarily personal testimonies of spirit-filled lives, meant to inspire by example. The afternoon prayer meetings are, as I said, authentic expressions of committed people. Each day ends with the Peace Prayer, and the final words of the Peace Prayer — the final words of each day’s program — is “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” Afterglow is typically an ice cream social.

These camps are Unity friendly, and they have been so for a long time. Here is what the biographer of Rufus Moseley said about Glenn Clark and his camps:

In the early thirties Glenn Clark, an athletic coach and professor at Macalester Park College in St. Paul, Minnesota, started what later became an extensive movement, the Camps Farthest Out. The camps were primarily retreats in almost every state in the union as well as in some foreign countries where people might go for a week or two of rest, relaxation, and inspiration. Moseley, a close friend of Mr. Clark, was widely used as a speaker in these camps. It soon became known that people of all religious and nonreligious persuasions would be welcome at the camps. This occasioned some criticism of Mr. Clark from narrowly orthodox circles.

To the criticism that Clark’s policy of welcoming everyone was too liberal Rufus replied in essence, ‘Yes, Glenn not only lets in the Methodists, the Baptists, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians but also the Christian Scientists, the New Thoughters, followers of Unity, and other groups. If he opens the door much wider, maybe the Lord Jesus Himself will get in!”1

The reason I attended the CFO camp last Fall and attended a JFO camp this summer is: to relax. During my process of becoming an ordained Unity minister, I was lovingly but persistently reminded to pay more attention to self-care. These camps worked for me. I became much more relaxed, both in body as well as mind.

Also, because of the joyful singing, the playful mornings, the authentic prayer sessions and the testimonial talks, I also became much more present to the lives of others who are on their spiritual journey. And I’ll be attending both camps this coming September.

These camps are open to everyone. And I can assure you that the welcome people at these camps provide is genuine. We've all had a tough couple of years. If you’re burned out, and especially if you're a burned out minister, I invite you to give one of these camps a try. And if your minister appears to be stressed, consider offering to pay his or her expenses. If you do, you will be supporting the self-care of Unity ministers, something much needed these days.

Mark Hicks
Sunday, August 14, 2022

  1. Wayne McLain, A Resurrection Encounter: the Rufus Moseley story, Macalester Park Publishing Company, Minneapolis. p221

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