I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I have accepted the position of Managing Director of Pilgrim Center. This acceptance is not an action that I have taken lightly or without significant discernment. In the spring of 2014 I made a decision to shift my ministry to the realm of outdoor ministry by accepting the position of Facilities Manager and Chaplain here at Pilgrim Center. Over the last four years I have witnessed a significant number of individuals obtain a greater sense of God’s presence in their lives through the outdoor ministry programing of Pilgrim Center and Moon Beach. I have seen children beam with joy as they conquer new challenges and explore who they might become as unique individuals. I have also walked with adults as they grapple with where life has taken them and where they might be going. It has always been my dream to be able to assist more individuals in increasing their awareness of God’s presence in their lives. I believe the unique setting of outdoor ministry gives us an opportunity to reach a population who are not currently being reached in our church pews and I believe we are currently barely scratching the potential of this opportunity.
As facilities manager and chaplain there existed a tension between my two roles as I attempted to balance the physical maintenance needs of the buildings and grounds while developing the chaplaincy presence. I was basically performing bi-vocational ministry, working two distinctive jobs within my employment at Pilgrim Center. It is my hope as Managing Director that my chaplaincy activities will become seamlessly integrated into my role as Director.
As Director, I follow in the footsteps of the strong leadership of those who have come before me. At the same time, I am journeying down a distinct path of my own. I will always strive to make my decisions based on what is best for our ministry and what is authentic to my being as an ordained pastor of the United Church of Christ. Loving God, one another, and the earth will be central to what we do each and every day. There are amazing opportunities laying in front of us as we explore new and improved ways of ministering to our guests. Your prayers of support are greatly appreciated as we open this new chapter of outdoor ministry.
~Rev. Nathan Athorp