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  • "Upon this Rock the Spirit is Building" - The Phoebe Needles Center launched a capital funds campaign to complete the master plan for the Center. Learn more...

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      Announcements and Special Programs

Center for Lifelong Learning"The Archeology of Cemeteries" October 13th, 2015 @ 10 AM

Tom Klatka of the Virginia Department of Historic Preservation will be the presenter for the program. All of us know there are numerous family cemeteries in and around Franklin County. But how many of us know that family cemeteries established on private land are only found in the Southeastern United States? How many of us realize that family cemeteries were consciously designed in a special manner that is now tradition?

Take the opportunity to visit a family cemetery or two and give careful thought to how that piece of land has been transformed into a spiritual landscape. We will try to “lift the shroud of history” by taking a close look at cemeteries and talking about the meanings that underlie and give reason to all the special qualities that give a cemetery its “proper appearance.” While recognizing that cemeteries are burial places, we will consider cemeteries as important spiritual landscapes that reflect not only sacred systems of religious belief, but also the cultural heritage of our nation.

Our knowledge of family cemeteries has always depended on local memory because the histories of these places were preserved by families and verbally passed from one generation to another. Understanding the functional and symbolic meaning of a cemetery helps us to consider cemeteries as special places rooted deeply in our beliefs and histories, and as places most worthy of our protection. Preserving the verbal, written and visual knowledge of cemeteries is a vital way to ensure the continuation of local memory.




Center for Lifelong Learning"Rev. M.E.N. Lindsay and the Bund Camps" November 10th, 2015 @ 10 AM

Lois Brown and Carol Hagy will be the presenters for a little known story in American history intimately connected to their family. In 1937, the town of Southbury was a small rural farming community of about 1,000 people. No one took notice of the purchase of land by a Stamford man in September of that year. They certainly did not suspect the involvement of the German American Bund, a growing force of pro-Nazi activists intent on spreading Hitler’s philosophy in America. When Bundists tried to persuade Rev. Lindsay of the benefits of a Bund camp in Southbury, Lindsay asked for more information to share with his colleagues. In a short time, Lindsay and the town learned of the connection between the Bund and the Nazi movement, and the true intent of the proposed camp.

The presentation features two documentaries including interviews with Lois Lindsay Brown, Joan Lindsay Redford, and Carol Lindsay Hagy, who were present at the premiere. These three sisters are the daughters of the Rev. M.E.N. Lindsay, pastor of the South Britain Congregational Church in 1937, and a key figure in the events of the story.



Saturdays @ Phoebe Needles"Are You a Wizard? The Everyday Magic of Harry Potter" October 3rd, 2015

While much of the Harry Potter series concerns Harry’s extraordinary magical abilities and his uniqueness as “the Chosen One,” his
creator, J. K. Rowling, makes very clear that Harry’s truly remarkable abilities involve choices and decisions available to all of us: how
we treat our friends and family, how we manage human differences,
how we deal with fear, and how we confront our own mortality
and the mortality of those closest to us. As the wise mentor Albus
Dumbledore reminds The Boy Who Lived, “It is our choices, Harry,
that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Through
examination of what the Sorting Hat would do with us and how we
would cope in the Hogwarts environment, participants will explore our own wizardry.

Lana A. Whited is editor of The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon (Missouri, 2002) and co-editor, with M. Katherine Grimes, of Critical Insights: Harry Potter (Salem Press, 2015). She is currently working on a Critical Insights volume on the Hunger Games series. Dr. Whited is professor of English and director of the Boone Honors Program at Ferrum College in Virginia (USA). She earned degrees at Emory & Henry College (B.A.), The College of William & Mary (M.A.), Hollins College (M.A.), and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Ph.D.).




Saturdays @ Phoebe Needles"Hymns are for Everyone" November 7th, 2015

Our faith is a singing faith: we SING what we BELIEVE. The roots of our faith-singing go all the way back at least to when Moses and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. Generations after generations have been singing their own praise, thanksgiving, prayers, and commitment to God in their own languages out of their own experiences, and so are we in our day. It is a special Christian practice to sing together and to share our heritage of faith-singing across the years and across our differing denominations. Our hymns belong to all of us.

Edith Patton, a native of SW Virginia, was born in Pulaski, graduated from King College in Bristol and earned a MS degree in Adult Education from VA Tech. She is the mother of 5 and the grandmother of
9. As a Presbyterian, she served as Presbytery Executive staff member for the Presbytery of the Peaks, 2 presbyteries in Ohio and then the Synod of the Covenant, retiring in 2002. The Hymns of the Church have been her life-long interest and passion, and for many years she has led workshops, retreats, and worship services, and has taught classes, small and large groups about our heritage in congregational song. Edith is an active member of The Hymn Society in the US and Canada.




The Phoebe Needles Center offers lodging, dining and recreational facilities for summer camps, retreats, conferences, workshops, quiet days and meetings to church, government, school, youth, college and private groups.

Our 85 acre facility is located near Roanoke, Virginia, and in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We are minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

SUMMER CAMP programs run during June, July, and August. Camps are open to all rising fifth through twelfth graders. Programs include backpacking, canoeing, climbing, rappelling, arts and crafts, swimming, hiking, environmental activities and more.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION conferences and retreats are scheduled at least quarterly. Topics have ranged from “Christianity and Islam” to “A Journey Through the Old Testament.” Most retreats are held on weekends, and allow time for walking, journalism and meditation. Outside speakers facilitate the programs.

CENTER FOR LIFELONG LEARNING @ PHOEBE NEEDLES is a series of educational seminars for senior adults. Programs are scheduled in the morning followed by lunch at noon. This year round series is a great opportunity for learning and fellowship in a beautiful setting.

Diocese of Southwestern Virginia   American Camp Association Accredited   Camp Gives Kids a World of Good