Rolling Ridge: 70 years of transforming lives

October 03, 2018

Rolling Ridge 70 Anniversary from New England Conference UMC on Vimeo.

On Sept. 30, 2018, Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center celebrated 70 years of ministry with an afternoon of activities, tours, a program, and dinner at the center in North Andover, MA. (Click the image above to see a short video).
From Executive Director the Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jay:
The restored steps around the Fletcher Steele fountain, the pool house converted into the new Center for Spirituality and Leadership, and the unveiling of sculptures by Mico Kaufman around the property were highlighted as some of the improvements made over the past few months. 

From left: Past directors Rev. David Grainger, Bonnie Marden, Rev. Jim Todd, Dr. Lawrence Jay (current director),
and Rev. Larry Peacock are photographed by Rosemary McNulty, Conference staffer. 

With nearly 150 in attendance, previous directors of the Ridge were recognized during the program:
1967-76 - The late Rev. Franklin Kooker, represented by his wife, Demaris
1976-87 - Rev. Jim Todd
1987-89 - Rev. David Grainger
1990-94 - Rev. Jeffrey Thomas
1994-2002 - Craig Garland
2003-5 - Bonnie Marden, interim
2005-16 - Rev. Larry Peacock
2017 to present - Rev. Dr. Lawrence Jay
Former Rolling Ridge Board Member Katherine Robinson was honored with the Loaves & Fishes Award for over 30 years of service; and camp alumna Bonnie Spicer shared about how the Ridge has blessed her life through the years.
To remember those who once considered the Ridge their spiritual home but who are now at rest in their heavenly home, Dick and Myrna Evans lit a candle of remembrance. 
Bishop Devadhar brought greetings and an invocation with Erica Robinson-Johnson providing blessing of the meal. 
To wrap up the program, I shared the new vision for the Ridge: Once known for its youth camping programming, Rolling Ridge now seeks to be known for its adult programming.  
With the Ridge now recognized as New England's premier Christian retreat and wellness center (thanks to Boston Magazine), the new Rolling Ridge vision is to be the premier Christian retreat center for training in spirituality and leadership, with an emphasis on Earth literacy, creation care, and eco-spirituality, connecting people with God, others, and creation to restore beauty and peace to our world. 
As new ministry streams flow into the ministry of the Ridge, the best is yet to come as we keep rolling, “rolling on the river.”