Kirk Camp: Family Vacation or Bible Camp?

Meet Denise and Jeremiah, Kirk Camp veterans and two people who know how to put a smile on your face. Denise is FPCB’s Children’s Ministries Coordinator, an excellent baker, and all around supermom. Jeremiah serves in Children’s Ministries and Youth Ministries, and is one rockin’ guitarist with the Oasis Collective Band.


HOW DID YOU CONNECT WITH FPC BETHLEHEM?

Denise: We first became connected to FPC when my oldest son, Hayden attended preschool here from 2007 to 2010.  That first summer, I enrolled him in Vacation Bible School, because so many of the other preschool parents said it was a great experience. It was also my first volunteer experience, handing out snacks during VBS. In the summer of 2011, my husband and I decided to start attending FPC. We both started volunteering more at the church: Sunday School and Contemporary Hospitality. I joined the VBS Leadership Team, and we both volunteered for the Alive Festival. I also started teaching Creative Movement at the preschool.

We took the Inquirers class and joined the church in September 2011.  During that class, we met the Ragazzo’s who told us we should try Kirk Camp the next summer. (Read Jen Ragazzo’s Blog about Time and Space with God HERE.) We were skeptical at first, but after listening to them, we decided to give it a try. 

WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT KIRK CAMP?

Denise: It was Kirk Camp that really made us feel like we were part of the church family.  Not only did we really grow in our faith, but we made some wonderful friends. The kids came to really know other kids in the church and feel truly at home in the congregation.  After attending Catholic school for most of my youth, I was very wary of spending a week at Bible camp, but we left Kirk Camp wishing we had spent more time in Bible Study while we were there and wanting to dive deeper into God’s Word as well as this amazing community of followers.  As an outward expression of this, our family—at the request of our two sons—moved from the back of the Kirk Center to the front row for Contemporary Service every week.

Jeremiah: Kirk Camp?? Bible Study…Bible Camp…I had no idea what to expect. The image I had was that of strict bible study for a solid week and people telling what I can and can’t do in God’s eyes. Not my idea of a vacation. I was so wrong. It was by far one of the best vacations we’ve taken as a family.

WHY DO YOU KEEP GOING BACK TO KIRK CAMP?

Denise: I can honestly say that Kirk Camp was one of the best vacations we have taken as a family.  Unlike most vacations, where you often need a vacation when you get home (whether it’s a vacation from the hectic schedule or from the family you vacationed with), we came back relaxed and rejuvenated, and excited to spend time with our new church family.

Jeremiah: FPC is the first church I’ve ever joined, I had so many questions about Christianity, God, Jesus, and the Bible that I didn’t know where to start or who to ask.  Kirk camp was that starting point, it took that proverbial drinking from a fire hydrant and turned it into a drinking from a fountain. It gave my family the opportunity to build relationships with other families in the church, access to spiritual leadership, and truly helped us set root here at FPC. Kirk camp provided my family—provided me—with a desire I never knew before: a desire to know God, to better myself, to be a better role model to my two boys, to be a better husband. It changed everything for me, it turned my world upside down. If you have similar thoughts or feelings, give Kirk Camp try, it’s a great place to start a journey.

Want to know more about Kirk Camp? CLICK HERE.


To get to know them Denise and Jeremiah better, READ their interview from 2013. If you want to know more about Kirk Camp or Children’s Ministries, contact Denise at dbalik@fpc-bethlehem.org.