M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Two young women talk to each other on a bench near a lake, with two other sets of people on the dock behind them. Pine trees are in the distance. This is from the Vision & Call 2022 Retreat.

At the Murdock Trust, we have the honor of collaborating with countless organizations and individuals in our region. These partners come from diverse cultural backgrounds. They serve a variety of sectors, representing faith-based and non-faith-based organizations, and all working for the common good of the Pacific Northwest. This group of collaborators is also intergenerational. It ranges from board leaders who have served their organizations for decades to recent college graduates just starting their career in nonprofit work. Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting nearly 200 of our youngest collaborators at our annual Vision & Call 2022 retreat.

Vision & Call is a Murdock Trust Enrichment program that helps Christian organizations create and sustain a transformative internship program. It is built on the belief that life’s longer lessons, the ideas that shape commitment and souls, are best learned through an apprenticeship experience and worked out through a community of mentors and peers. Internships are typically for young adults ages 20-25, a critical period for considering vocation. The Trust helps fund these internships and assists organizations in creating a fruitful apprenticeship program based on these Six Essentials

As part of this program, all interns, plus one advisor or mentor from each organization, gather for a weekend retreat every year. Surrounded by lakeside views and pine trees in Yelm, WA, participants from across the United States and British Columbia have a chance to connect, learn, worship, and reflect.

2022 Retreat

Four students have a conversation on a dock by a lake at the Vision & Call 2022 retreat.

This year, we heard from Reverend Dr. John Nunes, a Lutheran pastor, former President of Concordia College New York, and former President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief. John shared wisdom and encouragement from Scripture and his own life, based around a prayer of dedication to a life that follows where God leads.

We were also thrilled to be led in worship by Dr. Stephen Newby and his band. Stephen led us in impromptu choirs, responsive prayers, and new and familiar worship songs. Interns had opportunities to respond, interact, and reflect during worship and teaching sessions, as well as in small group and one-on-one settings.

In addition to these rich times of teaching and worship, there were many moments for connection and conversation. From canoeing on the lake and playing cornhole to sharing meals and enjoying coffee, interns got to exchange stories and encouragement. Several interns reflected that these new friendships were the most meaningful part of the retreat. After all, it’s not often that nearly 200 emerging nonprofit leaders, all motivated by a shared faith, get to gather for a weekend at camp.

Above all, this was an encouraging and inspiring weekend of commissioning these young adults in their work for the common good. These individuals are motivated, thoughtful, brave, and energized for the good work in front of them. We truly believe that these are the change-makers of the future.

The Trust is grateful to each of these interns, for their courageous work and willingness to serve; to advisors and mentors, for their faithful mentorship and commitment to lead; to Dr. Nunes and Dr. Newby and their families; and to Cascades Camp & Conference Center, for their outstanding hospitality throughout the weekend. And to each of our partners throughout our region, whether you are an intern at the start of your nonprofit career or an established leader in the sector, thank you for your tireless work. Our region is stronger because of it.

To learn more about creating an internship program in your own organization, visit our Vision & Call Program page. To learn about other Leadership & Capacity Building programs at the Murdock Trust, view our Enrichment Programs page.   

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