Dear Friends,

Greetings! I hope all is well with you. I am doing well so far – I’ve been with my new lung for almost 14 months now. It would be great to see you again at the ECCC Visionary and Advocacy Council meeting!

As you know, we have occasionally had an informal time for some Council members and former directors of ECCC centers to enjoy more of the host center and natural and cultural features of the nearby areas following the Council meeting. I have volunteered to help the ECCC Board with this gathering and to invite all former directors to attend.

Join us for the ECCC Visionary and Advocacy Council meeting and/or the inaugural Former Directors gathering in October at Beckwith in Fairhope, Alabama.  You can attend part or all of both gatherings. Here are the options:

  1. Join the Visionary & Advocacy Council and attend the Council meeting, October 23-25.
  2. Attend the final evening and morning of the Council program as a guest, then stay on for the Former Directors gathering.
  3. Come for all or part of the Former Directors gathering, October 25-27.
  4. Attend all or part of both gatherings!

What’s the difference between these two groups?

  • ECCC's Visionary & Advocacy Council members are lay and ordained leaders who love camp, see the power and value of retreats, and help broaden the vision of the ECCC Board of Directors to ensure a sustainable future for Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers. Council members contribute significantly to the financial health of ECCC through annual donations or connections to grant resources or other donors. The Council gathers annually – each year at a different center.
  • The Former Directors is a new, informal group with no membership requirements. The gathering is to be a time of fellowship, when we can share with each other the happenings in our lives and experience the beauty and hospitality of another Episcopal conference/retreat center. All former directors of Episcopal camps, conference centers, and retreat centers are welcome to attend, as fits their schedules. There is no charge for the program – you only need to get yourself to Beckwith and pay for your meals and lodging, and any outings.  

What’s the difference between the two gatherings?

  • The Visionary & Advocacy Council will meet from Monday afternoon, October 23, through lunch on Wednesday, October 25, with a program focus on ‘People, Property, and Pennies,’ guided by Bishop Brian Prior from the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, and plenty of social time. There is no cost for lodging, meals, hospitality, or optional airport transportation to/from Beckwith, though Council members are responsible for their travel expenses.
  • Former Directors – along with ECCC staff and some Board and Council members – will gather on Wednesday afternoon, October 25, to enjoy the grounds and facilities at Beckwith, including an opportunity to kayak, canoe or paddleboard in the river or on the bay. We’ll have dinner at one of the outstanding seafood restaurants in nearby Gulf Shores. After breakfast on Thursday, choose to enjoy the sights and quaint shops of Gulf Shores, or to watch dolphins and catch redfish or speckled trout on a morning fishing charter in Mobile Bay. We’ll meet for lunch in Gulf Shores and then enjoy an afternoon sail on the 72’ wooden schooner, Joshua, before having dinner at another of the great restaurants in town. We’ll depart after breakfast on Friday. The cost for meals and lodging at Beckwith is $64 per person/night, double occupancy or $89/person/night, single, with breakfast included.

Both gatherings will take place at Beckwith, the retreat center of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Beckwith is located on 82 lush acres overlooking Week's Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, one hour and fifteen minutes from either the Mobile or Pensacola (Florida) airports. 

If you are interested in any of these options, please email me for more information and to reserve your choice of dates, events, and accommodations: We hope to see you in October!

Peter Bergstrom