In 2005 my family took a literal step into the unknown. We relocated across the country, I started with a new camping ministry and we built a house. Each of these three events shaped the next decade of our family. We eventually became comfortable on the East Coast and my kids readily identify with New England as where they grew up. Through new experiences and challenges, I developed greatly as a leader and Executive Director. The new house we built transformed from concrete, 2×4’s and drywall to our “Home”. It became full of significant life memories (first steps, broken bones, shared holidays and much more) that define our family. It was bittersweet in 2015 to leave our home to start a new chapter of our life with Covenant Pines Ministries (CPM).
CPM is now poised to embark on a similar bittersweet period. At the April CPM Annual Meeting, I announced that we are moving forward on three building projects in the near future. While exciting and new, each project will bring a sense of loss for some. Change always does that. One of the stated values of CPM is to “Embrace Healthy Change.” This is what we are hoping to live into.
Beginning in the Fall of 2018, we are constructing a new Lakeside cabin at Silver Beach Family Camp. In recent years, we have been able to replace two of the original seasonal cabins with beautiful year-round cabins. These cabins have been funded primarily through memorial and estate gifts by individuals who have desired to see families impacted through camping ministry. This new cabin will continue this vision.
While maintaining its wilderness feel, Adventurous Christians is striving to serve campers better by creating isolation space where sick campers can rest and bathe. (The Cook County Health Inspector has also asked us to create such space). We have received an extremely generous gift that will fund the construction of a Health Center. We are also intending to add a second level to the building in order to expand available housing for staff members.
In July of 1955, Covenant Pines Bible Camp was dedicated “for worship in prayer and praise; for the ministry of the Word of God and the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.“ This ministry purpose has not changed over the years, but how we do ministry has changed. A large, seasonal building with straight rows, functioned wonderfully in our early years. But as we developed into a year-round ministry and the use of worship spaces changed, the Chapel remained the same. The Gospel, the lake views and maybe the smell have remained constant, but the building is functionally lacking. Looking towards the future, and needing to address structural issues, we have decided to build a new worship space. Beginning in the Fall of 2018, a building task force will be meeting to lead the construction process. A team is also being assembled to assist with the significant fundraising effort needed.
I recognize the bittersweetness of new buildings and the sense of loss that can accompany them. I feel them myself. I have sat with Ken Bosworth and listened to stories of the formative years at AC. I personally lived at Silver Beach and walked past the original cabins daily. I’ve sat in too many chapel services to remember and watched as counselors shared Jesus with campers in our beloved A-frame Chapel. At the same time, I’m excited to see what new reality we will live into. The vision of Covenant Pines Ministries is “to Change a Life.” While buildings don’t do this, they do provide the physical space where campers can meet God. I ask that you join me in praying for these three upcoming building projects. If you are interested in learning more about any of the projects, curious about volunteering to bring them to reality or want to contribute financially, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.