Opportunities for Spiritual Enrichment at Kingswood
We are one of two camps owned and operated by the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. Many of our campers are Methodist, but many are people of other religions or of no religion at all. All are welcome. We offer many opportunities for those who are interested in deepening their relationship with God in our beautiful, quiet natural setting: Morning Watch, Sunday Morning Chapel Service, Prayer Trail, Labyrinth, Friday Night Vespers, Adult Spirituality Camps, and the Stone Ministry program on Friday and Saturday.
Greet the new day at Kingswood at Morning Watch. Soak up the sounds and sights and smells of nature as you begin the day in quiet prayer and praise. The cupboard at the outdoor chapel has devotional books, song books and Bibles for you to enjoy.
Vespers at Dusk at Stone Ministry
Every Friday evening
Vespers, or evening prayer, is an opportunity to wind down at the end of the day and prepare for a good night’s sleep. We will be joining in a long-standing tradition that many faith traditions have been practicing since ancient times.
We will gather together in the Stone Ministry chapel, rain or shine, for music, inspirational readings, and prayer followed by time for silent reflection.
Campers may walk-in or take the Hay Wagon shuttle from the farmhouse parking lot or at a stop by the Oasis. The Hay Wagon will bring make a return trip dropping campers off on the main road upon request and back at the farmhouse parking lot.
The actual time of program at dusk and Hay Wagon departure will be posted each week in the barn.
Led by Rev. Maria-Pia Seirup, Camp Kingswood Chaplain
Sunday Morning Chapel Service
Come explore the Spirit at work amid God’s beautiful creation at Sunday Worship. There will be music, singing, hands-on faith building experiences, children/youth conversation, and sharing communion with each other. Bring an instrument, bring your voices, bring your creativity! All Are Welcome – Talk to Pastor Maria-Pia, if you would like to lead a song, do a reading or help in some other way. We retreat to the craft pavilion in inclement weather.
You are invited to experience the Prayer Trail at Kingswood. Begin on the Red Trail, just past the swim area. There are five stations featuring suggestions for prayerful activities including rest, attentiveness, crafts and “building.” Also each station has a box containing a Bible and devotional book, and paper for journaling. Try our suggestions or simply meet with God in your own way. Child and adult friendly. Although the hike is easy and short, some rough, uneven terrain and raised boardwalks make this difficult for a person with mobility issues. Allow approximately 45 minutes to an hour minimum to try all the activities and enter into prayer.
Take your time, as there are many lovely places to stop and reflect. As you walk beside the beauty of the pond, you may see the beaver swimming or the great blue heron land on the opposite shore. We hope you will use the trail as often as you may need during your stay. Please know that we have prayed for each of you and your time here with the Lord.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:2
Have you discovered the labyrinth at Kingswood? It’s just up the hill from the Craft Area. Are you wondering what a labyrinth is? Read more about labyrinths here.
For a number of years Kingswood used a portable rope labyrinth created by Linda Mellor, set up near the Craft Area. Walking that labyrinth was great – until the grass grew and you couldn’t see the rope! When the new dam was built, part of that space by the Craft Area was lost, so we decided to construct a different kind of labyrinth in a new spot – in the field up the hill.
In the summer of 2013 Linda Mellor and Dale Meck, along with Holly Moore and Tracy Moore, laid out a seven-circuit path, patterned on the well-known Christian labyrinth design that was built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France more than 800 years ago. This involved using a huge compass that Dale’s father had invented, spray painting lines on the tall grass, and figuring out where the cross pieces should go. Once we had marked where to place the paths, Mike Weinlein mowed through the tall grass to the middle and then installed a large rock in the very center as a place to pause and meditate. Initially, the grass and flowers in the field were quite low, but by the end of the summer, labyrinth walkers were walking right among tall Goldenrod plants, Astors, Thistles, St. John’s Wort, Pearly Everlasting, Indian Paintbrush, and Yarrow.
We would love to have campers contribute to our labyrinth by bringing colorful perennials from home that would survive without much watering in a field in full sun. We’ve left a shovel and a bucket for watering near the entrance so you can plant the flowers that you’ve brought as soon as you arrive. Suggestions: Black-Eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s Lace, various Yarrow varieties, Cone Flowers (or Echinacea), Bee Balm, Shasta or Montauk Daisies, and Phlox. With your help, we can make our labyrinth walk a living garden, a spot where many people have planted a part of themselves, and a place where it feels like we walk with God. Franklyn Torres donated the lovely chair that sits at the entrance to the Labyrinth for walking preparation and reflection.
So how does one walk a labyrinth? Read here to find out.
“The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path.” 2 Samuel 22:33
Stone Ministry is a program that leads Kingswood campers to create a physical connection to the camp, its community, and God’s creation through stone masonry.
Campers first select stones that were rejected by the previous farmers of the camp land as not worthy for building. Next the campers scrub the stones free of their temporary soil stains and inscribe them with personal messages. Finally, the campers mix mortar and cement the stones into the timeless evolving Stone Ministry Structure.
The stone and its invisible message become permanent and integral parts of the structure and are therefore anchors for the camper into community harmony and God’s peace which are hallmarks of Kingswood Campsite.