Thursday, April 24, 2008


Hello everyone! This summer I am attending ACMNP (A Christian Ministry in the National Parks) and I have been asked to keep a blog of my experiences while I am gone. I decided to go ahead and write my first blog to let everyone that reads this know a little bit about this program and what I will be doing. I will be working at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone National Park while providing Christian ministry in areas which otherwise would not have one. ACMNP brings people from different denominational traditions together to provide a service of worship, which no one of the denominations can do alone.
ACMNP is held in several National Parks throughout the US every summer, some even provide ministry in the winter. All the parks try to provide a national structure through which participating denominations of the Christian church can cooperatively carry out their mission in the National Parks. We organize services of worship which will include a Biblical understanding of creation so that worshippers will both appreciate and care for God's created Earth. The mission statement for ACMNP is: To extend the ministry of Jesus Christ to the people who live, work, and vacation in our National Parks by providing opportunities for Christian worship, nurture and fellowship.
Each staff member that works in the parks this summer is also required to lead a worship service at some point. We are placed into groups and we are to provide scripture, sermons, music, prayer, creed, offering, and a benediction. Every Saturday, before the services, we are to go out into the parks and invite people to come to our service. This is called campground calling and it is the most successful means of publicizing the services of worship in areas where campgrounds are located. Our task is to always inform, not to proselytize. My Uncle Bill Young is the pastor of the church in Yellowstone so I am so excited to have him there with me this summer, as well as my Aunt Debby (who is my mom's older sister).
On our days off, when we don't have to work or have worship, we get to do activities around the park if we so choose to. Some of the activities we will get a chance to participate in are: camping trips, hiking trips, campfire gatherings, kayaking, rock climbing, biking, and tons more. We will be living in dorm rooms with a specified roommate. My roommate's name is Jacqueline and we have already met at the training conference in Ohio. We are also required to take a bear training class when we arrive in Yellowstone because of all the wildlife, especially bears, that are present in the park. It is suggested that we bring bear spray (the bear version of pepper spray). So everyone pray for me! :)
I hope that everyone has a better understanding of what I will be doing this summer. If you have any questions just leave me a comment and I will post the answer! I am so excited for what God has in store for me and all the fun stories I will have to tell when I arrive back home. I am flying out on May 14 and will be flying back home on August 12. I want to say thank you to everyone for their support and prayers!
"Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer." -Hebrews 10:24-25
"But the time is coming-it has, in fact, come- when what you're called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter." -John 4:23
My address for the summer:
Carrie McMillion
Yellowstone National Park: Mammoth Hot Springs
c/o General Delivery Xanterra
Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone NP, WY 82190
* I will post my phone number later.