About the United Church BC Conference and Camp Future Project
The United Church of Canada is the largest Protestant denomination in Canada with a ministry comprised of approximately 3 million people in over 3,500 congregations across the country. Inaugurated in 1925 in Toronto via the union of the Methodist Church of Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada, the majority of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, and the General Council of Union Churches in Western Canada, The United Church of Canada has a strong legacy of spiritual leadership in Canada.
The creation of The United Church of Canada was the first union of churches in the world to cross historical denominational lines and was internationally acclaimed. The creation of the Church arose out of a desire to better serve Canada's vast landscape and in the desire for a better overseas mission that builds on the legacy of these denominations.
The British Columbia Conference is responsible for organizational development and leadership support for the Church in BC. It is one of thirteen conferences across Canada.
The sale of Moorecroft Camp (among other camps) will help fund substantial renovations and upgrades to other existing United Church camps within the BC Conference. Camp Fircom and Camp Pringle have received major capital upgrading through what is called the Camp Future Project, a project with a goal to prepare a mission plan for the financially sustainable future of a quality camping ministry.
The Camp Future Project was established in March 2004; the final report was completed in the spring of 2006 and assessed the camping ministries and properties under the supervision of the BC Conference of The United Church of Canada.
The eventual plan would reflect four key values:
The camping ministry would be mission oriented and integrated with the goals of healthy congregations, effective leadership and faithful public awareness;
A focus on excellence, characterized by high quality programs, facilities and operations;
The camping ministry would be accessible, physically, financially and geographically; and,
Sustainable, relying on human and organizational capacity and financial support over the long term.
Over the course of this multi-year project, numerous stakeholders, congregations and communities have provided input, which continue to guide the outcomes. At this point, BC Conference has invested over $15 million in camping as per the Camp Future Project.
In the sale of these properties, the Executive of the BC Conference of The United Church of Canada seeks the goal of getting fair value balanced with the desire to protect environmental values and public access.
Vancouver Island is the largest island on the west coast of North America and is separated from the British Columbia Mainland by the Strait of Georgia. The climatic influence of the Pacific Ocean tempers the typical freezing Canadian winter temperatures. Winters are mild with significant precipitation and summers are warm and dry. While the maritime influence on the Island's climate provides for mild winters and warm summers, there are a variety of region-specific climates ranging from semi-mediterranean in the Southeast to temperate rainforest on the Northern and Western coasts.
Natural resources and service industries play a significant role in Vancouver Island's economy. Business services and the educational/knowledge-based sectors are dominant economic mainstays in Victoria and Nanaimo, the two largest cities on the Island. Furthermore, Victoria is the seat of British Columbia's provincial government and the Capital City of the province. As such, Victoria's economy is stable, comprising a significant proportion of government employees. As a result of the spectacular natural scenic beauty of the Region, tourism is also very important on the island, providing a growing component of economic and job growth.
Nanoose Peninsula and Nanoose Bay
The Nanoose Peninsula is located approximately 25 kilometres north of downtown Nanaimo via the Island Highway (Nanaimo is roughly an hour and a half from Vancouver via ferry service). Easily accessible and situated between Nanaimo and the popular resort town of Parksville, Nanoose Bay offers numerous amenities, including: kayaking, fishing, boating, hiking, golfing, swimming and mountain biking. The area boasts numerous world-class facilities, including the Fairwinds Golf Club, one of the premiere golf courses in western Canada, as well as the Schooner Cove and Beachcomber Marinas.
Nanoose Bay is named after the local First Nations: roughly translated, the name means 'pushing forward' and refers to the shape of Nanoose Bay, a six kilometer-long bay formed by the peninsula of the same name.
Varied habitats of mudflats, marine spits, salt marshes, swamps and wetlands can all be found in this small area of Vancouver Island. The area is home to numerous bald eagles and heron colonies, two of the larger endangered bird species in the province.