It is an exciting and humbling experience to serve as the next Executive Director of the Dubois Center. As I begin to learn about the camp and talk with people about their camp experiences, I am continually amazed by the passion and love folks have for the Dubois Center.
My own love and passion for camp began at a young age in my home state of North Carolina where I attended summer camp at Johns River Valley Camp, the camp associated with the Southern Conference of the UCC, located in the mountains of North Carolina. It is there that I first felt God's presence in the company of fellow campers and wild beings. This opportunity has served as a foundational experience to my being.
After graduating college with degrees in Math and Computer Science and working as a software developer, I decided that a life working in a cubicle was not for me. I moved to St. Louis to attended Eden Theological Seminary. While in seminary, I remembered my own camp experiences and became curious in the intersections of faith, Earth, and justice.
In the spring of 2020, I graduated from Eden Seminary in the early days of the pandemic and found jobs as a handyman and then at one of the residential mental health facilities at Human Support Services in Waterloo, Illinois, serving clients with mental illness.
While I am much appreciative of those experiences, I am filled with gratitude to be able to return to the work I am most passionate about. I am committed to creating an inclusive community where we all may grow together in our faith and realize we are known by God and connected to one another and all that is.
Does your congregation desire to be more prepared for disasters, both to protect yourselves and to extend love to your neighbors in time of crisis? Then Willing to Respond is for you!
Willing to Respond is a United Church of Christ collaboration with Disciples of Christ’s Week of Compassion. It’s simple to access and has an easy three-step process to register.
“Willing to Respond is not a one-size-fits-all program,” emphasized Lesli Remaly, United Church of Christ Minister for Disaster Response and Recovery. “The way you serve is up to your congregation, as God is leading you.
“In fact,” Remaly said, “Your congregation may already be serving disaster survivors by assembling CWS Kits and Emergency Clean-Up Buckets, contributing to UCC appeals, deploying work teams to disaster rebuilding sites or helping people in your community clean up after a flood or storm.
“Willing to Respond will help your congregation review its experience, available resources, and community context; discern your growing edges; and get ready to respond when disaster strikes,” she said. “The Willing to Respond network helps your congregation get connected to collaborate.”
For more information and assistance with registering your congregation or church group, please contact our Illinois South Conference, UCC Disaster Coordinator, Priscilla Self here or 618-318-0083.