Amigo Centre and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference
December 10, 2017
Our mission is to facilitate the ministry of the church, encourage commitment to Jesus Christ and assist people of all ages to become the person God desires.
Amigo Centre is a retreat and recreation center for members of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference congregations, their friends and the wider community. Amigo provides a unique environment where we gather to listen and share, pray and worship, enjoy creation, and experience God’s presence.
In 1956, there was a vision for a camp that provided church camp facilities for congregations, families, youth groups and children; facilities for Bible conferences, mission meetings and inspirational services; and a suitable location for family cottages for rest and recreation in a Christian Setting.
“Some who had the vision for starting a camp were young men who had worked in the forests or other natural settings during their Civilian Public Service (CPS) days during World War II and had discovered first-hand the power of wild places to draw one closer to God. There was also a growing Bible Memory program that a number of churches had become involved in. In addition, the camp facilities of Mennonite Youth Village, near Union, MI had become too small for the number of campers, and supporters were looking for other options.”
Initially most of the programming and church groups who utilized the camp were members of IN-MI Mennonite Conference. Camping on the island at Amigo Park has been sustained over the past 60 years. A large part of the programming was partnering with the Bible Memory organization. Many of their campers came from conference congregations as well. Over the years an outdoor environmental education program, additional youth programming of Snow Camp and Know Jesus, Adult and family programming were added. During the late 80’s and early 90’s the vision of camp was widened to include new facilities. The addition of the retreat center, gymnasium and West Shore Lodge allowed a broader retreat experience in addition to a summer camp experience. Churches and families outside of the conference began to utilize the space more.
The central goal of Amigo Centre has not changed in the past 60 years. Being in harmony with God, others and Nature is central to our programming and operations. We believe that the ministry and mission of Amigo Centre allows the Holy Spirit to touch people and change lives.
IN-MI Conference youth participate in a variety of youth programs such as summer camp, winter youth retreats and Know Jesus. We are blessed to have a number of young adults from conference churches who volunteer their summers as counselors. We rely on feedback from conference pastors and members on our programs so we can continue to provide meaningful experiences. Volunteers for facility projects, kitchen, outdoor education, summer camp and adult programs are overwhelmingly members of conference congregations.
Amigo Centre relies on congregational giving for roughly 4% of our operating budget. This translates to roughly $26,000 in 2016. This has fallen from previous years. In 2012 for instance congregational giving was just under $42,000. Pass-through contributions continue to make up the largest portion of congregational giving. We do receive congregational contributions from churches outside of INMI conference and even outside of the Mennonite Church. Amigo is also the beneficiary of congregational programs that provide summer camp opportunities to their youth. Some provide scholarships to their youth some provide additional funds for kids who don’t have a congregation or who may not be able to afford otherwise.
How can Amigo Centre support the mission of IN-MI Mennonite Conference? Amigo Centre provides meaningful programming for people within the conference. We hope that our facilities can be used by congregations within conference to build relationships, provide an opportunity to learn together and experience God’s creation. We want to partner with conference in providing meaningful, life changing experiences for your youth, pastors, church leaders and members. We want to be a place of retreat, rest and connection.
How can IN-MI Mennonite Conference support the mission of Amigo Centre? Conference can encourage congregations to use Amigo Centre programming and facilities. One facet of Amigo Centre’s mission is to facilitate the work of the church and building relationships within and between congregations is an important part of that. Working with congregations to promote and spread information about programming and services Amigo offers are also important.
 Amigo Centre – In Harmony with God and Nature, p3