Worship weekly in nature with Fellowship Alliance Chapel

Fellowship Alliance Chapel member Christina Dutcher describes her church as “a friendly Christian community with a warm and welcome feel.”

Now she and the Medford-based church are inviting members of the public looking for a unique church service this summer to come experience that community during one of the church’s ongoing 12-week outdoor church services at Fellowship Alliance Camp in Evesham.

With rustic pews, a simple wooden cross and a view of the lake with a fountain spraying from the center, Dutcher said the service is a great way to be in touch with both nature and God.

“For summertime, it seems like a very relaxing way to enjoy a church service, being outdoors with the lake,” Dutcher said. “I like the rustic pews, the wooden cross. It’s very basic. It kind of reminds me of how to simplify religion to a comfortable essence.”

The outdoor church service is just one of FAC’s newest uses for the camp, formerly YMCA Camp Moore.

Volunteer members from the church, Dutcher included, started cleaning up and renovating the old camp several years ago when the individual who purchased the foreclosed camp donated it to FAC.

Now the church uses the camp for different outreach programs and youth ministry.

“We cleaned all the pine needles out of there, and the buildings were cleaned up and reroofed and resided, and the bathrooms were cleaned up, and we had a lot of donations,” Dutcher said. “People came in and painted the picnic tables. We installed two gaga pits this year. There were hundreds of volunteers that would come and rake and spray, and the lakes were cleaned up, and it’s really nice.”

Dutcher said the outdoor environment on Sundays also allows ministry leaders to incorporate the surroundings into their sermons.

“Each sermon lends itself to the character of various ministry leaders from our church,” Dutcher said. “One week, the sermon was about Jesus walking on the water, and they used a real rowboat for a prop.”

The outdoor aspect of the church has also led to some unexpected but welcome experiences for Dutcher.

“Last week, I was sitting there and a bird flew up and landed on the beach and started drinking water right as we were enjoying the services, and the week before there were two hawks around, and it just lets us know about the feeling that God is there,” Dutcher said.

All members of the public are welcome to the outdoor sermons, and the services are non-denominational, focusing on the Book of John.

Services take place every Sunday, 10 to 11 a.m., rain or shine, at the Fellowship Alliance Camp located at 110 Sycamore Ave. in Marlton. Those who attend are asked to meet at the north side entrance.

After the service, doughnuts and coffee are provided. Those looking for more information can call (609) 714–4035 or visit www.campfac.org.

“You really should go down there and see it,” Dutcher said. “If you see how beautiful it is down there, you realize how much work went into it.”

FAC