Why would God want to use me? Have you ever felt that God can’t use you? Have you made bad choices, or do you have flaws that make you feel worthless? Do you feel like a nobody in a world of somebodies? Do you wonder if God could ever use you to do great things?
The question really needs to change from “Why us?” to “Why not us?” as we marvel at Hadassah serving as Queen Esther and as we marvel at God’s love for us and God’s work through us.
Professor Aaron Robinson is one year in to his call to teach English and serve as the cultural diversity coordinator at Martin Luther College.
Previously he helped establish Sure Foundation Lutheran Church in New York City, then taught and coached at St. Croix Lutheran Academy and Wisconsin Lutheran High School, and served as pastor at Fairview, Milwaukee.
Aaron and his wife, Elisabeth, have been blessed with five children, ranging from teens to early 20s. “Christians are to be salt in the world,” he adds, “and I put salt on everything.
Our Spanish program will be lead by Pastor Chad Walta who serves Christ Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterana Cristo of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He has been privileged to serve churches and schools in Minnesota, Colorado, and Wisconsin and makes his home in Milwaukee with his 3 children; Carlos, 18, Juliette, 14, and Opal, 4 and his wife of 19 years, Julia.
He enjoys running, baseball, in addition to preaching, teaching, and singing God’s Word.
Along with the fantastic facilities at our location, we’re pleased to offer you the same low rates and great values for the Retreat this year. Bring your friends and enjoy the fun together – the more, the merrier!
In order to secure choice group cabins, early registrants will be given preference. We will make every effort to honor special requests, but cannot make any guarantees. To lock in on the best deal and your choice of cabin, it’s fastest to register and pay online! Your reservation will not be final until your payment is received in full.
We have a few premium locations for an extra fee, first-come, first-served:
There are eleven individual cabins with private bathrooms suitable for a married couple or small family; each contains a double bed and adequate room for two or three children on air mattresses (bring your own).
We will offer a 15% discount for new attendees and for early registration (up until July 31). We will ask for checks instead of Paypal for those.
Single room with share bath (infirmary): $30 Single room with private bath (infirmary): $45 Private Cabin (counselor cabin): $60Day rate: Single $25 Couple $35 Family $50
A very limited number of single rooms with either shared or private bathroom is available and may be arranged as availability permits:
If you wish to be placed on a waiting list for these other premium spaces, please indicate on your registration. You will not be charged the premium fee until you are confirmed to have one of these spaces assigned to you.
If you have already registered and would like to use PayPal, please do so right away!
The Labor Day Retreat began in 1972 with a group of about 70 people from Faith Lutheran Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
They met together for the weekend at Camp Half-Moon in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. There was one session of Bible study for adults with 2 separate classes for the children, an indoor church service overlooking the lake, an evening hymn sing for everyone, Sunday afternoon recreation, and potluck meals. In 1973 the group decided to open it up to its closest two WELS sister congregations (in Connecticut and New York).
At some point a campfire with a sing-a-long and s’mores was added. In the early years square dancing was held one of the evenings under the expert guidance of a couple from Faith. A women’s craft time has been held on Sunday afternoons.
Sports activities including ball games and hikes have provided more active recreation for adults and children. Swimming and boating have been enjoyed for years too.
Fast forward to today. Camps have changed several times over the years with the current camp being Camp Danbee in Hinsdale, Massachusetts. Over the summer, before we arrive, the location is a girl’s summer camp which is quite a nice place to have the description: camp. Please check out our pictures.
Western Massachusetts has remained the location of all of the camps due to its central location. Now attendees come from all the New England states, New York, some of the mid-Atlantic states, the Midwest, and Canada. Bible study is still a central part of the retreat. Children still have their own Bible study times too. Church services still overlook the lake. The evening hymn sing remains, as does the Sunday afternoon recreation time.
Meals are now prepared in the camp kitchen by a volunteer group made up of camp attendees and served buffet style. The campfire is still a favorite. The sports activities still go on with friendly competition between friends who might only see each other once a year at the retreat.
One of the biggest change started a few years ago when we added bilingual classes and worship and fellowship with the addition of the Spanish-speaking group from Sure Foundation Lutheran Church in New York City.
The Berkshires have wonderful weather with the elevation makes it a bit cooler. We have plenty of indoor spaces, but we are blessed to be able to enjoy the outdoors so much of the time.
People who are new to the camp quickly become regulars. Regular retreat attendees don’t see the retreat as one last weekend getaway in the mountains before the fall schedule and school begin again. It is so much more.
WELS is very spread out in the Northeast. One or two churches per state. More than an hour’s drive between your church and your closest sister church. The retreat brings people from all of these churches together and helps us realize that we are part of a much bigger group of people. But the retreat brings us face to face with people who have the same faith.
We can hang out together, comfort each other, encourage each other, teach each other, learn from each other, laugh and cry together. Not just for a couple of hours. For a whole weekend. We can pick up longtime friendships right where we left off the previous year, plus we can make new friends too. We can study the Bible in depth and worship together–growing in our faith together.
My mom once referred to the retreat as a “mountaintop experience”. Yes, we’re in the Berkshire Mountains. But she meant so much more than that. The disciples had their “mountaintop experience” with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Time spent alone with Him as a group to learn more about Him and grow closer to Him. The Labor Day Retreat provides us with the same thing, thanks to many years of God’s grace and blessing.
Jan Rodrigue Member at King of Kings Lutheran Church, Clifton Park, NY
PLEASE NOTE: It can be cool at night in the Berkshires. Please be sure to bring blankets, bedding and clothes for cool weather. We’ve had temperatures down to low 50’s high 40’s, of course there has been weather that has had temperature highs as well, so it’s best to prepare for both extremes (layers!). Check the weather report here before you go!