"Dive In!"
Casey Perry, Rockfish Camp & Retreat Center, NC

Still new to the Camp Director role, Casey was searching for skill development and to make professional connections when he arrived at the 2023 National Gathering. He didn’t realize just how much he needed the spiritual offerings of the event until he was sitting and listening to the guest preacher, Rev. Dr. Joy Moore, on the first night. “The theme still resonates with me. I needed to dive in, all in.” Throughout the week, Casey discovered a community that supports and encourages one another with care and kindness. The Bible studies and worship drew him closer to the heart-driven purpose of his work in this ministry. The whole week culminated for him in one moment on the last day. During his morning run on the beach, Casey was reflecting on the words of Rev. Moore to “dump everything into the ocean, to dive in.” He enthusiastically followed God’s call and literally jumped into the water. “When I jumped in, I was able to release all of my worries into the salt water. And when I came up I felt the nutrients of the ocean wash over me. We are the salt and at that moment the literal salt of the earth allowed my brain to be engaged enough to say, ‘Thank you God for using my life to do your work.’” That was a moment that he will always remember.

Casey admits that he still has a lot to learn about being a Camp Director. Knowing he is supported by the resources and experiences available to him through UMCRM, he knows he is in the right place. “I am just beginning to see what all UMCRM has to offer, but I can already tell that this association will mean even more as we move into this next season together.”