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God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46.1)


Dear friends of Briarwood:


Briarwood Leadership Center is in close consultation with community partners, congregations, and NT-NL Synod leadership regarding summer programming. Although the situation remains fluid, we are still planning to move forward as scheduled. Decisions will be made regarding the shape and scope of summer programming by the middle of April. Should the situation require that summer programming be modified in significant ways (up to and including cancellation), you will be notified.


Briarwood staff are using this time to plan for the future while making significant improvements to our camp infrastructure. We intend to emerge from this crisis stronger and even better than before!


Disruptions in programming have already produced financial challenges. We therefore invite you to consider making a donation to Briarwood to ensure the sustainability of this ministry.In the meantime, Briarwood is committed to the practices of physical distancing and social solidarity. We invite you to join us as we do our part to #FlattenTheCurve. For reliable information, visit the CDC website.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach us by email at


Blessings,The Rev. Robert O. Smith, PhD

Director, Briarwood Leadership Center


MARCH 4, 2020


The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

— Psalm 27.1


Dear Friends of Briarwood,

Briarwood Leadership Center, a place of community gathering, takes seriously its responsibility to care for the safety and wellbeing of our guests. We are closely following the updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


As we anticipate further outbreaks of COVID-19 throughout our region, Briarwood is taking steps to ensure the safety of everyone who visits or works at our facility. As you have likely heard, effective handwashing is the most effective line of defense against COVID-19 and other illnesses. With that in mind, Briarwood

1) has placed hand sanitizing stations in common gathering spaces, including the Streng Center (our main meeting facility), the Shalom Center (our dining facility), and Quail Run Lodge, and

2) is developing clearer handwashing protocols for campers and counselors for the summer months.


We are enhancing our already excellent procedures for sanitizing our kitchen and work areas, ensuring cleanliness and health. All staff have met to discuss these procedures; all are taking actions within their areas of responsibility.


It is important to note that each of these are preemptive measures designed to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. We are taking steps before cases are confirmed within our region. As we seek to protect the safety and wellbeing of our guests, staff, and neighbors, we hope to be in conversation with you and other partners about how we can support each other during this potentially stressful time.


Should the situation change, we will continue to communicate with you regarding any additional precautions and/or modifications to Briarwood policies that may be necessary in order to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff.

In the meantime, I leave you with this prayer:


Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: comfort and relieve your servants, giving your power of healing so we may be strengthened in our weakness and made confident in your loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Rev. Robert O. Smith Director, Briarwood Leadership Center