This year marks the 30th year that Kiah Ridge Christian Conference Centre has been a ministry activity of the Baptist Association of NSW/ACT. Located in Tahmoor NSW, Kiah Ridge is our Association camp and conference facility. One of the primary reasons they exist is to support the local Church in the experience of getting away together – to spend time in community, have shared experiences, and have opportunities for conversation to go deeper. It’s often in this unique setting that many experience Jesus for the first time, or are refreshed in their faith. When Covid-19 restrictions hit, the space was not able to host gatherings for months. During this time, the team said (on their Facebook page): “It’s really hard for our team to see this place empty…We’re missing the Youth Camp we have hosted for many years. We miss their enthusiasm, creativeness, noise, energy, activity, music, and teaching.” Just before Covid-19 shut everything down, Kiah Ridge spent February/March hosting camps for Burwood Baptists, Seaforth Baptists, Cabramatta Baptist and Narwee Baptist churches.
Brett Hookham, Associate Pastor at Narwee Baptist, says: “For years now we’ve chosen Kiah Ridge as our preferred location for Young Adults (YA) Camp, and there are many reasons for that. The team at Kiah Ridge are incredibly accommodating…with no fuss and lots of support. Having the consistency in relationship and location is a massive win, and we also love that it is Baptist owned and run. The accommodation means we can have families room together, or have seperate locations for guys and girls. There is also enough room to have spaces set up for kids. The auditorium is well maintained and we only ever have to bring our own instruments, given the sound equipment and set up. This year we discovered a new conference room that we will definitely use for a break-out session or workshop next year. One of the things that always impresses us is the food and ease of meal times; it means we enjoy food together with no stress and plenty of space. We also particularly enjoy using the outdoor facilities…there is plenty of space when we want to run or explore.”
Their well-timed weekend at Kiah Ridge was a great time to learn together. Brett says, “One of the great positives of YA Camp is the opportunity to spend intentional time as a community in God’s word. People often comment on how diving in deeper helps them develop their desire for Jesus, and they come back longing to know and love him more. Because we have a full weekend, we can focus on one topic (this year was ‘The Holy Spirit’) and that helps people engage – sometimes at depth for the first time – with a key teaching.” It was also a weekend of fellowship over good coffee, games, trivia, ice cream bars and bonfires. “Camp is a perfect time and place to welcome newcomers and solidify relationships; one-to-one, in Home Groups, and for those entering into the community having just joined or been in Youth the year before,” Brett explains. “As a YA community, the opportunity to sing, pray, and share together at the beginning of the year sets us up for a year of ministry. We are so very thankful to have Kiah Ridge.”
Photos from Narwee Baptist’s 2020 YA Camp over 6th-8th March:
In light of Covid-19 restrictions, Steve Dixon (Associate Director of Youth & Young Adults, as part of Gen 1K Leadership), says: “The young adult network at Narwee Baptist is still very strong, because they had strong relationships pre-dating Covid – whereas the churches that haven’t emphasised relationship…are starting to wane when it comes to young adults.” With so many benefits of camping evident, the Kiah Ridge team is excited to announce that, after weeks of developing Covid-Safe practices, they have recently reopened for private, small bookings! Site Director, Kevern Bawden, says, “Going away together is an opportunity to build new relationships, strengthen existing friendships and networks, and overall create stronger and healthier communities…We encourage you to join us in choosing to move forward, and come away together at Kiah Ridge!” If you’re interested, contact email@example.com
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
– Hebrews 10:24-25
PRAY // Please pray for a revival in church camping programs as social-distancing restrictions ease, as people will need these times of gathering and connection now more than ever before!