Cumberland Presbyterian Summer 2014

As of today (July 23, 2014), I have been back in my office at Bethel University for a week and a half. I had a busy summer working in various parts of Cumberland Presbyterian (CP) Christendom. I was blessed to travel safely to all of the church camps and General Assembly. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. I am excited to see what is in store for Bethel and the CP denominations. I was able to establish new relationships along the way and reconnect with old friends everywhere I went. These strong connections help me better serve Cumberland Presbyterian young people. I loved my experiences at Bethel when I was a student/Renaissance singer and I want to instill that love in others.


My summer started at Crystal Springs in Kelso, TN at Tennessee Synodic Senior High Camp. I had never been to Crystal Springs over the summer, or for more than a weekend. I really enjoyed being on staff and getting to know the guys in my cabin. I own Chacos and an ENO hammock, but I had never quite experienced the extreme that these CPs go to with their hammocking. We had hammocks all over small clusters of trees. I can't thank Kenneth Sullivan enough for letting me crash at his house for the weekend after Synodic.

My next stop was at Camp Chilhowee in Seymour, TN at Presbytery of East Tennessee's Senior High Camp. I had never been to this camp before. This was definitely the most challenging camp to find, but it had some of the most consistent cell phone service. We really enjoyed playing Human Foose Ball(pictured right) and other recreational games that I have never experienced before. The theme was different than any I had ever been a part of. It was fun to know that it was Christmas in June and the youth didn't even know it! I got to visit family in Greeneville, TN after this camp(Check out Everett's Endeavor 5K to end Dravet).

The third week of June is always General Assembly (GA). The 184th GA met in Chattanooga, TN at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and Convention Center and I enjoyed worshiping and fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America. I connected with Cumberland Presbyterians of all ages, working with our younger youth in Connect, but also getting to know some of the Youth Advisory Delegates. After this week I got to spend a night in my own bed (it was glorious!).

The last full week of June was spent at Bethel in McKenzie, TN for the Cumberland Presbyterian Youth Conference (CPYC). I got to be on staff for the first time as a small group leader. This was a great week, and I am especially proud that Bethel is the venue for such a great conference. I am hoping that it will continue to be a great way for students to see what Bethel has to offer for their future. We always love to have groups of high school students on Bethel's campus and I especially love to have CP young people!

The next week I was in and out of the office, traveling a couple of day to Camp Clark Williamson (CCW) in Three Way, TN for West Tennessee Presbytery's Senior High Camp. I was not on staff, but I really enjoyed getting to know some youth that I had already met, and some I had not. This is the presbytery where I went to camps in high school, but I am old enough that many of them do not know me from those days.

The following week I was on staff at Covenant Presbytery's Senior High Camp in Land Between the Lakes at Brandon Spring Camp. I got to know some of the adults and youth in the presbytery that I had not previously known/known very well. I had not been to much in Covenant Presbytery, and was glad to help out when I heard that they were needing some more adults on staff.

The newest event this summer was just last weekend. We had the Tennessee Children's Fest on July 19, 2014 for what I am sure will become an annual event. It was good to have such a great turnout of young CPs and accompanying adults on campus, especially for a first year event.

I was on staff at several camps this summer, but it is funny how the themes of the camps really seemed to be directed at me. It is amazing what curriculum can teach you when you are helping direct discussion and "lead" a group. I am not old, but it did make me feel old when some in my group were born after the year 2000. I also felt old when the phrase "bae" had to be explained to me. I just thought it was just short for "baby," but apparently it is an acronym for "before anyone else." All in all it was a great summer full of camps and Cumberland Presbyterianism.

I look forward to continuing to work with Cumberland Presbyterians here at Bethel and bringing more and more each year! If you ever have any leads on Cumberland Presbyterian students, please email me at brownm@bethelu.edu! I hope to see you on campus or at CP events soon.

Grace and Peace,

Mitchell Brown

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