MATE Remembers Camp at the Eastward
March 2021
As MATE ends the program at Camp at the Eastward, we celebrate the wonderful mission, long history and much-loved ministry of CATE.
From a dream, a vision, there came a camp. Though some of the “old ones” from camp’s early days have passed - Carl Geores and Vivian Kennedy, Pat Tracy and Frankie Doster - there are still many to whom the thought of Camp at the Eastward brings a smile and so many good memories. Vivian’s weekly fried chicken dinners, Carl climbing trees with the campers, Scott Planting directing the Bantam week play, Jeff Scott leading a gang of kids who learned that hauling brush and clearing trails could be a lot of fun when it’s done with friends. And oh the music! Rowdy energizers that got every senior camper dancing and laughing and shook the dining hall, Boom Chicka Boom around the campfire, songs of faith that rang through the “mighty hemlocks” encircling our woodland Chapel, words of praise sung in Xhosa as teens who had been separated by an ocean, a culture, and apartheid stood in the dining hall, arms over each others’ shoulders and swayed together, as one. 
Camp planted the seeds of faith in countless young hearts and, in many cases, renewed the faith of the adults who were part of the camp family. MATE Youth Connection, the Eastward Players and Sparrow’s Song Youth Choir all grew from camp roots. The place became a second home for kids who grew up there; some spoke their marriage vows in the chapel, sent their own children, and retreated to camp when life got tough to let the peace of the place refresh and strengthen them. “Where do I go when I'm thirsty and dry?”
And everywhere you look at camp, there’s evidence of others who came “from away,” people from out of state churches who returned year after year to work at camp and in the community building ramps, replacing drafty windows, creating connections...being the Hands of God. For many summers, folks from Clinton (New Jersey) Presbyterian Church stayed at camp. The vacation Bible school they held drew up to 40 children and provided the only “church” many kids would know. Holy Spirit Church from Emmaus, Pennsylvania, have also been faithful friends, staying at camp and ministering to the community in countless ways through the years. Each year they invited the community to camp for a wonderful meal, an ‘unforgettable’ talent show and a beautiful hand sewn quilt. These, and so many other amazing groups who have stayed at camp continue to serve our communities behind the scenes, and are always in our hearts. We have been truly blessed.

So, what now? We’re all feeling this loss, feeling it deeply. But think about it. Camp is, has always been, more than a place. It’s the people we met, the connections we made that endure. It’s how our experiences in that place helped shape who we are. It’s what we learned and how we grew and where we saw the face of God in each other. The word mission translates from Greek as “a sending.” An apostle is “one who is sent to fulfill a special purpose.” I truly believe that our purpose, our mission, is to live in such a way that the spirit of camp - unconditional acceptance, service to others, and faith - shines through us and uplifts those around us. Even though we’re scattered around the country, and around the globe, we’re still Family, bound by our common past, and our love of a small piece of heaven in the western foothills of Maine.

Maria James, MATE Board of Directors
Stories from MATE
More memories, more blessings from CATE
Hello, my name is Kellie! I started going to CATE when I was nine years old in 2002. I remember being so nervous to go, but once I got there I loved it. It quickly became one of my favorite places on earth. My parents and family weren’t really religious, so it was really the only place to go and learn and talk about God. I also made friendships that I will always cherish from there. It truly saddened me hearing that CATE may not be reopening, but I will always be thankful for the memories there! 

Please watch your email later this spring for information about an event where we will celebrate the 60 years of Camp at the Eastward.

In the meantime, do you have a memory to share about Camp at the Eastward? What was your favorite part of Camp? What made CATE special? What experiences did you have that have influenced you? We are collecting thoughts and stories about CATE from Camp alumni, parents, staff, volunteers, community members, anyone. Please email them to MATE Matters editor and thank you.
Early days: Bill Burger and campers, tents
More recent facilities
MATE Housing Ministry
MATE needs you to repair houses in Maine this summer. Come by yourself, with a friend, with a team that's been coming for years, or start a tradition by organizing a new volunteer work team. Your team can come from a church, or it could be your family, neighbors or work colleagues. All ages, all denominations, all skill levels, all geographic locations, we need everyone.

MATE's housing ministry work is totally dependent on volunteer work teams who come to Maine to renovate housing for folks who need repairs and can't do the work themselves. Volunteering is fun; it builds camaraderie, friendships, and long-lasting memories.

For youth and adults, volunteering has so many wonderful outcomes:
It builds skills, offers opportunities to learn, boosts confidence, nurtures leaders, reduces stress, and inspires happiness. It gives a feeling of accomplishment and work well done. It provides a new outlook on life.
If you are interested in finding out more about MATE's housing ministry work, or you want to know more about bringing a team to MATE, email Executive Director Thea Kornelius at It's not too early to start planning for this summer or even 2022!
Giving Back to Celebrate the Abundant Blessings of Easter

Can You Help With Upcoming Needs for the Housing Ministry?
We would be egg-static this Easter, if you would help MHM by donating egg-sactly what we need to make this work season egg-citing and awesome, so we could offer egg-ceptional service to MATE’s clients! Go to our wish list/registry at (use link below for ease) to donate! Please make sure to put your name in “the gift is from” space & have it shipped to MATE.

Below are some of the needed items to inspire you.
Safety glasses
12-inch miter saw
LED work lights
Cleaning suppplies
Paint pan liners
Deckmate deck screws
Work broom & dustpan
Wermer work platform
Pump hand soap
Paint rollers
Paint brushes
Clorox wipes
GRK fasteners
Table saw
Shop vac
Just to make it fun, we have identified one item that, whoever donates it, will be the winner of an Easter box full of fun surprises! We thank you in advance for eggs-ercising your eggs-stravagent generosity by helping us start out the season in an eggs-traordinary way!

Jikani Continues Its Work in South Africa
From MATE's annual report: In 2000, MATE’s programming become international in scope with the creation of the South-African Partnership (SAP) with a relationship established with the Amathole Presbytery in South Africa. The focus of this project morphed into a home gardening ministry in the Tyhume valley. SAP was closed by MATE in 2019 but now exists under the Presbytery of Northern New England (PCUSA). In December of 2020, MATE gave the last of MATE's SAP funds to Jikani Mission in South Africa to support their good work.

A message to MATE from Norma Fivaz, Chair, Jikani Board

Summary of some activities the project has been involved in:

The Irish poet, musician and dancer, Kevin Mc Cormack wrote :
                   “If this time has taught me anything
                     it is that the tiny spec in the universe that we occupy
                     is both wonderful and wonderous
                     and if we allow it to,
                     the beauty around us can unlock the beauty within us …..”
The past year has been overshadowed with the pandemic and its challenges. Yet it was the hard times that created several opportunities to address dire needs in our community.
Businesses closed. People who thought they had secure jobs were sent home. The knock-on effect was that families food on the table, cold weather approaching and no suitable clothing. Many lost loved ones to death. No funerals were allowed, as large gatherings (as is the custom in Xhosa culture) were prohibited.
Warm blankets, winter coats, beanies for each child in this village, and a hot bowl of soup once a week, were some of the ways that Jikani could step in the gap and assist.

Included are photos to give a glimpse of how to put a smile on someone's face when the need is at its highest.
Jikani would love to express their appreciation to MATE, for donations received from time to time, to assist in supporting.
Blessings from South Africa!
Norma Fivaz
Chair: Jikani Board

Blanket drive
MATE Youth Connection (MYC)
A Little GLOW
Attention All Youth 12 and up!!! Check out the New England Glow- Middle & High School Youth Group. This is a group committed to providing fun and engaging opportunities for our older youth in New England. They have events that will allow youth all over the region to connect with other teens. Stay tuned for more information about in-person events that are being planned as well as weekly online opportunities for fun. Check out the new website and the public New England GLOW Facebook page.

MATE's Giving Partners - 2021

For all of your support and contributions, we are blessed! Thank you, All, for your generous gifts!

Mission Partner Grantors
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area/Leap Explosion Fund, ME
The Ruth Carnwith Trust

Mission Partner Churches
First Presbyterian Church of Springfield NJ
The Dover Church, UCC, MA
First Presbyterian Church of Dutch Neck, NJ
New Portland Community Church, MA
Fairbanks Church, MA
Fairbanks Union Church, ME
Church of the Covenant, Boston MA
First Congregational Church of North Anson, MA

Mission Partner Community Members
David Mackey, NH