Family weeks are times of inter-generational vacationing. With the mission of Camp Arcadia as a guide, the entire experience of a family week has been developed to renew the whole person in fellowship with other Christians. Worshiping, playing, learning, resting and eating are all important parts of this community experience.
During a family week you might square dance, play basketball, shuffleboard, softball, tennis or soccer, create a craft, participate in a talent show, compete in family relays or shoot archery. You will be engaged spiritually through the daily adult morning Bible study, presentations and worship.
Each of our family weeks is unique in that different speakers bring their knowledge and style to the program. While adults are in their program, children (age three through college) are engaged in their own Bible study or activities led by our program staff. A nursery for those under three is also available. Daily programming also features activities (athletic, craft and nature) for children and adults to do on their own or in family groups. Volleyball is played each evening after dinner and is followed by another family participation event.
You will find places at Arcadia to be by yourself, have intimate conversations with others, and be with small and large groups of people. At Arcadia, you will find the time to experience each of these types of community.
- View a sample schedule for Family Weeks 1 – 7 at Arcadia (seven day retreats).
- View a sample schedule for Family Weeks 8 & 9 at Arcadia (six day retreats).
Learn more about each of the family weeks by viewing the 2017 Camp Arcadia schedule.
Speakers: Fred Niedner & Kristin Lewis
Living the Life Eternal among the Communion of Saints
We read books about heaven by people who claim to have visited, and we enjoy jokes and cartoons about hell’s latest arrivals, but what does the Bible teach about what lies beyond the bounds of space and time? What is “the life eternal” that Jesus promises his followers? Where, when, and with whom do we live it?
Rev. Dr. Fred Niedner taught biblical studies in Valparaiso University’s Department of Theology for 40 years. As a “Senior Research Professor” since 2014, he assists with Valpo’s new faculty orientation and the Institute of Liturgical Studies. He writes regularly on religion and culture for the Christian Century and the Chicago Tribune’s Northwest Indiana edition. Fred and his family have come to Arcadia frequently since 1994.
Called to Community
The scriptures are full of stories of God calling people together to live in community. We will journey together as a community through some of these holy stories; exploring where God meets us, transforms us, and how God is calling each of us to live in community.
Deaconess Kristin Lewis is Co-Director of Education & Formation for the Lutheran Deaconess Association (LDA) in Valparaiso, IN. She also serves as an adjunct faculty at Valparaiso University in the Theology Department. Prior to coming to the LDA, Kristin served as a parish deaconess for five years at Trinity Lutheran Church in Valparaiso, IN. She also worked to start Dayspring Women’s Center which serves women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Kristin is married to Jeff Lewis. They have a son, Parker (7), and twin girls (3), Atley and Elyn, who keep life busy.
Speakers: Scott Christenson & Heather Choate Davis
The genesis of Genesis
Few portions of the Bible have caused as much controversy and debate as the early chapters of Genesis. Every day, people leave behind their faith because they cannot reconcile it with the teachings of modern science. But new scholarship is showing we may have been misreading Genesis all along and that science and religion may not conflict nearly as much as we have often thought.
Rev. Scott Christenson is the Senior Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Schools in Orange, California. He and his wife, Linda are raising two wonderful sons. Listen to sermons by Pastor Christenson at his church’s website church.stpaulsorange.org/
Faith in Words
Heather was already a writer when Christ called her to faith at 33. Throughout the week, she’ll trace the timeline of her creative life, share the thinking behind each work, and invite all to join her in “removing obstacles and creating entry points” for those who live outside His love.
Heather Choate Davis is an author, speaker, theologian, liturgist, creator of The Renaissance Service, creative director for LINC L.A., and co-founder of icktank. In 1994, she came to faith at a Lutheran church where her son had just started Kindergarten: her conversion story is told in the book Baptism by Fire. In 2013, she received her MA in Theology from Concordia University Irvine. She speaks on a wide range of topics that serve the Church: on Man Turned in On Himself; on freeing Loaded Words from their baggage (based on the co-authored book); on losing the gift of vocation to a transcript-driven world (Elijah & the SAT); on Psalm 1 as a vehicle for discussing the voices we listen to (happy are those); and on Resurrecting the Priesthood of all Believers. Heather is on the Board of Directors of the PSW District of the LCMS, the Great Commission Institute, and the Alumni Board of CUI. Learn more about her at heatherchoatedavis.com
Speakers: Ron Glusenkamp & Peter Mayer
The Fine Line Between Saturday NIght and Sunday Morning
Study and Conversation regarding the role of Culture, Art, Music and Catechism in the 500th Year of the Reformation.
Rev Ron Glusenkamp is the Director of the Campaign for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and previously served as senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado. Pastor Glusenkamp wrote Signs For These Times (Concordia Publishing House) and with Peter Mayer they authored The God Standard or the Gold Standard? a Bible Study of the Book of Proverbs (Augsburg Fortress Publishing House).
Peter Mayer is a singer, songwriter, musician who has toured for years with his own band and also as lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett. Those years of playing have taken him to many stages, countries, churches, and living rooms. Peter was born in India where his father was a missionary. He is presently a member of First Lutheran Church in Nashville. He studied music for 2 years at Webster University in St. Louis before he began a career of performing and touring. He currently lives with his wife Patricia in Nashville TN. Peter has released 13 CD’s including 2 that are solely songs of faith; Stirrin’ Up The Water and Still In One Peace.
Learn more about Peter and his music go to www.petermayer.com/
Speakers: Scott Seidler & Johnson Rethinasamy
Talking UP the Faith: 5 Steps for Successfully Talking about God All the Time
In this presentation, Pastor Scott Seidler will provide Arcadians with a five-part framework for faith-based, God-centered, Christ-honoring conversations. Believe it or not (and at this stage you probably and understandably don’t) you can comfortably and capably insert faith into any conversation. Come prepared to be prepared to bring God into the everyday life you lead in ways you never thought possible. Really.
Rev. Dr. Scott Seidler serves as the Senior Pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, MO. Scott’s primary work is focused on preaching, leadership development and accountability, and implementing Concordia’s ministry vision. Pastor Seidler earned his Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, with a focus on preaching and congregational identity. He wrote 5 Things You Can do for a Stronger Family (Concordia Publishing House 2013) and his sermons can be found at http://www.ckhome.org/media/audio/
Walking BY the Faith
In this presentation, Pastor Johnson Rethinasamy will take the Arcadians for a global mission trip faith walking right at the camp! Five must know stories of forgotten Lutheran missionaries and their contribution to the society-at-large. And, a walk-by-faith bonus story of learning, un-learning and re-learning of an immigrant pastor’s missionary journey to North America! These stories are an encouragement tool to engage boldly in faith conversation and faith applications in the complex heterogenous American mosaic.
Rev. Dr. Johnson Rethinasamy is the Mission Executive for the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and pastors a multicultural/multiethnic church – Immanuel Lutheran Church in Whitestone, New York. His congregation worships in five different languages. He grew up in India. Bethania Mission Stories – A bi-lingual (English and Tamil) biography of an unknown Deaconess worker in India will be published in the winter of 2016
Speakers: John Nunes & Anthony Bradley
Jesus as Leader in Mark’s Gospel
Whether it is our political climate, business culture or even in church circles, a decline of trust in institutions and public speech is commonly experienced. Jesus’ urgency of mission and power of communication in Mark’s Gospel provides a sometimes edgy, but refreshing model of savingly credible rhetoric.
The Rev. John Arthur Nunes, Ph.D. is the president of Concordia College—New York. Previously he served at Valparaiso University and as CEO of Lutheran World Relief. Known to recite poetry randomly without being asked, John is married to Monique, a Lutheran school administrator in Queens, NY. They are the parents of six grown children and an expanding entourage of grandchildren.
Recovering Christian Personalism: Christianity Beyond The DNC and GOP
Drawing on cultural observations and Christian social thought this session explores the current state of public policy discourse and its tendency to reduce people to a set of beliefs and categorize them into binary categories of “right” vs. “wrong” – a mentality that has infiltrated Christianity with harmful consequences. The way forward is to recover the idea of individuals as persons created in the image of God.
Dr. Anthony Bradley is associate professor of religious studies at The King’s College in New York City and a research fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine.
Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared on Al Jazeera, C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, Fox News, and Court TV Radio, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race, overcriminalization, political economy, ecology, sustainable architecture and design, Abraham Kuyper, education policy, welfare policy, marriage and family, African American studies, youth culture, and Reformed theology.
His books include: Liberating Black Theology (2010), Black and Tired (2011), The Political Economy of Liberation (2012), Keep Your Head Up (2012), Aliens In The Promised Land (2013), John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement (2014), Black Scholars In White Space (2015), and Something Seems Strange (2016). http://blog.acton.org/archives/author/anthony_bradley
Speakers: Gabe Kasper, Heath Carter & Paul Maier, evening lecturer
Impossible Christianity: Faith Amidst a Cultural Storm
The Christian Faith in the 21st Century seems increasingly irrelevant and absurd. What if that’s ok? What if Christianity has always been, in a sense, impossible? During our time each day we’ll explore how the obscure claims of Christianity might be our greatest hope in the midst of a cultural storm. As the ancient church father, Tertullian, stated, “it is certain, because it is impossible.”
Rev. Gabe Kasper is Pastor of ACTS Church Leander, TX. He is a church planter and mentor with the ACTS Church Network in Austin, Texas. He is a regular contributor to thebeggarsblog.com and co-host of Pint Glass Preachers Podcast.
Who Do You Say That I Am? Jesus in the USA
While Jesus is in one sense the most timeless of historical figures, the reality is that Americans have imagined him quite differently down through the ages. During our time together we will explore some of these different understandings of Jesus. We will consider how they have informed the history of both church and nation, and how they continue to shape our faith today.
Dr. Heath W. Carter is an assistant professor of history at Valparaiso University. During the 2016-2017 academic year Dr. Carter is the William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow at Vanderbilt University. He is also the chair of the Valparaiso Human Relations Council and the co-editor (with Mark Noll) of William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company’s Library of Religious Biography series.He is author of Union Made: Working People and the Rise of Social Christianity in Chicago (Oxford, 2015), as well as the co-editor of both The Pew and the Picket Line: Christianity and the American Working Class (Univ of Illinois Press, 2016) and Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 2017).
Speakers: Scott Bruzek & Arthur Just with Kevin Hildebrand, Cantor
Reintroducing Luther: The Reformation 500 Years Later
Luther once complained that some of his opponents treated Scripture like a wax nose, turning the text into whatever they wanted. Over the last 500 years, many have done the same to Luther himself. On this anniversary of the 95 Theses, let’s read a bit of Luther together and see what he offers to our age that points to Christ, justification, Law and Gospel, the Word, the Sacraments, and our holy life together.
Rev. Dr. Scott Bruzek is Senior Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Wheaton, IL. To listen to Pastor Bruzek’s sermons and Bible studies go to his church’s website stjohnwheaton.org
Dr. Arthur A. Just, Jr. is Professor and Chairman of Exegetical Theology and Director of Spanish-Speaking Pastoral and Diakonal Formation at Concordia Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN. He is the author of a commentary on Luke, and a book on the liturgy of the church entitled Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service.
Kevin Hildebrand is Cantor at Concordia Seminary and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN.
Speakers: Matt Popovits & Ken Chitwood
You may think you have Christianity figured out. But chances are a good bit of what you believe is more cultural than scriptural, more inherited from others than inspired by God. For many their faith is actually a “junk-drawer” of philosophical fads, religious-sounding superstitions, and yes, some actual Christian doctrine, all wound up and tangled together. In these lectures we will examine your major misunderstandings about Christianity and replace them with something better: Jesus.
Rev. Matt Popovits serves as Lead Pastor of Our Saviour New York (OSNY), a family of neighborhood parishes working together to love and serve the city of New York. Matt is also the host of The Spiritual Howcast on iTunes and the author of Tough Call: A Little Book on Making Big Decisions. To learn more about Matt go to mattpopovits.com and oursaviournewyork.com
What’s the deal with Islam?
What is Islam? Do Muslims hate us? Should Christians befriend Muslims or be afraid of them? Let’s talk about, and answer, the tough questions about Islam and Muslim communities around the world, right down the street, and living next door. Looking to Jesus’ example and considering the reality of religious ritual and belief, we will explore what it means to develop meaningful relationships with our Muslim neighbors.
Rev. Ken Chitwood is a religion scholar & PhD student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL studying Religion in the Americas and Global Islam (with the Center for Global Islamic Studies). Ken is a freelance religion journalist and news analyst who serves on the board of the Religion News Association and has published multiple pieces and made presentations on the topics of Islam in the Americas, Puerto Rican Islam, Latina/o Islam, glocalization, translocal religion, intersections of religion & culture, Christian-Muslim relations, global Christianity, Islamic minorities, and theories of religion, & ethnographic methods in a global and digital age. He is also fascinated by the interplay between religion & popular culture and writes & speaks on this topic as both an academic and an award-winning journalist covering ‘the god beat’ with publications in The Washington Post, Newsweek, Sojourners Magazine and work in books from Zondervan, Barna Group, Wipf & Stock, Read the Spirit, Brill Publications, Harvard University Press, and more.To learn more about Ken go to http://www.kenchitwood.com/
Speakers: Bill Cwirla & Yohannes Mengsteab
Genesis to Revelation – A Five-Day Tour
You’re familiar with the stories and you know some verses, but what about the big picture of the Bible? How do these sixty-six books collected and written over 1500 years hang together? What’s the point of it all? This series is a “20,000 foot” high-altitude view of the Bible. You will come away with a grand view of God’s work in Christ from the Beginning to the End.
Rev. Bill Cwirla resides in Hacienda Heights with his wife Karen in a very, very fine house with two cats in the yard. He has a background in both science (chemistry) and theology. Rev. Cwirla is a frequent conference and retreat speaker on a variety of topics including worship, apologetics, science and faith, Scripture, and doctrine. He is a regular columnist for Higher Things magazine, writing on the catechism. He also enjoys artisanal bread making, woodworking, gardening, and all things pertaining to the first-article gifts of food and drink. Recent articles include: “In the Way of the Law and the Gospel – Classroom Reminiscences” in Dona Gratis Donata: Essays in Honor of Norman Nagel on the Occasion of His Ninetieth Birthday (2015),
“On Being Simul: Scriptural Elucidations and Pastoral Applications” to be published in Logia (Reformation 2016), and “Promise – God is for Us” in Lutheran Spirituality – Life as God’s Child. (CPH, 2010) To listen to Pastor Cwirla’s sermons go to his church’s website http://htlcms.org
The Christian Vocation in the 21st Century
What does it mean to be a Christian in a non-Christian context? The Christian vocation is lived out in the community where the Christian finds herself/himself in. The challenge in this Post Christian world is that the Christian lives in a context where the cultural norms are daily challenging her/his values. Will the Christian have a well-balanced, impactful and evangelistic life as did the Christians in the Apostolic church? Will the Christian in the 21st century North American context give in to cultural pressures and meld in? Or will he live in the culture and be the leaven that ferments the dough?
Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab is a Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Area B, Texas District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). Dr. Mengsteab has held a number of positions that are of importance in the last 20 years: Missionary-at-large for African Immigrant Ministry that started the African Immigrant Ministry of both the LCMS and the ELCA – 1995-2001; Founder and the first director of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology – a distance theological education that leads to ordination for ethnic immigrants, which also became the impetus for the start of the Specific Ministry Pastor theological education that leads to ordination for main stream ministries; Director of Urban and Specialty Ministries – LCMS World Mission – 2002-2004 that championed the strengthening and beginning of urban strategies, such as Lutheran Inner City Coalition; director of New Mission fields Development (Church Planting) – 2004-2010, that strengthened the strategy of congregations planting congregations; and finally as the Director of Ministry Programs of The Lutheran Foundation of Northeast Indiana. Dr. Mengsteab’s life story is told in a book written by Christine Schulden called: The Resilient Missionary: The Life Story of Yohannes Mengsteab, a Missionary to America.