By Kurt Kincanon
The school year is well under way, and we now have a few weeks of navigating the return to school under our belt. Last week, Indiana Governor Holcomb announced that he advanced the state of Indiana to Stage 5 of “Indiana Back on Track” through October 17th. Stage 5 does still require face coverings and social distancing for all indoor events. Click here for more information on Stage 5. As we have in the past, ECC will continue to monitor for changes and comply with the State of Indiana’s plan.
Last week our Children’s Ministries Director Kristin Mueller introduced our reopening of Children’s Ministries to begin this Sunday October 4th. If you missed any of her announcement, you can find the details here.
As we announced this past Sunday, ECC has now begun to implement strategies to safely and compassionately reopen our facilities for community members to use. We want to emphasize we are slowly opening up, and we will be considering building usage requests individually.
ECC’s commitment to any group using the building is that ECC will provide a room that has been sanitized prior to usage. Additionally, ECC will provide hand sanitizer for use as well as soap and disposable towels will be in the bathrooms for handwashing.
ECC is requiring all groups (internal or external) using a room to sign a COVID-19 Facility Use Agreement. This is an addendum to our standing Facility Use Agreement. Group Leaders must sign this agreement and ensure that group participants are informed of the agreement. Groups agree to good hygiene practices to be utilized including sanitizing of hands upon entering ECC building, wearing of face masks by all attendees, and practicing social distancing of 6 feet or more.
Group leaders must also agree to notify the Church immediately if a member of their group who used space at ECC in the previous 14 days tests positive for COVID-19. Names are not required, but it is with compassion and care that we will necessitate the closing of the relative portion of the building for sanitization and the notification of any groups or individuals that may have been exposed so they may take actions accordingly.
As we slowly reopen, prioritization of building usage will be given to internal ministries, such as studies and small groups, over external requests. We want to make sure that we can adequately sanitize rooms, entry areas, and rest rooms between usages. We are not at the point yet where we are hosting dinners, athletic events, or parties. Once we gain some more experience with the flow of ministry events, we will consider adding more to the activities calendar. Of course, any of this can change should direction change from the State of Indiana or the Tippecanoe County Health Department. For more questions or information on indoor room usage or our plan to safely reopen ECC for room use, please contact the church office.
By Kurt Kincanon
I want to thank the congregation for your participation in the Congregational Meeting last Sunday and your interest in our church’s stewardship of the resources God has given us. I can’t recall exactly when or where, but somewhere in either the live or online conversation Sunday, someone asked the question: “What are all these names of people in the financial statement?” To which someone replied, “Those are the missionaries.” I was delighted that the question was answered by another congregant!
Just like you and your household hopefully participate in God’s mission by giving a portion of your income for the mission of ECC, ECC gives a portion of all we receive to both the Evangelical Covenant Church and the Central Conference. A large part of what ECC and other churches give to the greater Covenant Denomination is for world mission, the “Serve Globally” mission priority. ECC of Lafayette, designates a portion of that gift to currently support 9 missionary families. These are some of the missionaries that we pray for every Sunday.
If you would like to be more informed on how to pray for our 9 Covenant Missionaries, as well as all of the Covenant Missionaries serving globally, I invite you to get a copy of the Serve Globally Prayer Calendar. If you would like a copy of the prayer calendar, please let the church office know at email@example.com or (765) 474 4842. Additionally, you can learn more about Missions and ECC’s Mission Commission at ecclife.net/missions. Click here to learn more about the Serve Globally Prayer Calendar.
By Pastor Kurt Kincanon
2020 will be a year none of us will forget. Many of the patterns and routines we are accustomed to in the rhythm of the year have been altered, and we have adjusted or pivoted according to the needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. ECC Lafayette’s fiscal year ended June 30th, 2020. Traditionally, our congregation would have held a congregational meeting in May where we approved our operating budgeted for the 2020-2021 fiscal year that begins July 1st. As you know, we chose to not have a congregational meeting in May. The Church Council has scheduled a congregational meeting for this coming Sunday September 20th at 11:45am following the worship service. The meeting will be held in person (with social distancing) and via Zoom and our private Facebook page.
Our Church Council made the decision last spring to extend the 2019-2020 operating budget “as is” through September 30, 2020. This coming Sunday, I will present another extension. We are still in a time of uncertainty, both from a church operating standpoint and financially, and it does not seem wise to try to project a nine month budget from October 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Many of the traditional operating activities and events have not resumed, and as we cautiously open things back up, we gradually add those costs back into operations. A four month period of time between now and the end of January is a more realistic time period to predict; therefore, after working with each staff member and ministry leader, I will be presenting an adjusted four month operating cash flow projection for congregational approval. Much of what I have read recently, as well as observed best practices of other non-profits and churches, points to an operating cash flow projection as the best short-term practice for the season ahead of us. It is the hope of the pastors and the Council, that we will have a clearer picture by January 2021 and we can bring an operating budget back to the congregation for approval at the January 2021 congregation meeting for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.
Additionally, I will give a summary report of the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year performance, the performance for the July 2020 through September 2020 budget extension period, and a snapshot of the current financial position of the church. In April of 2020, the Church Council approved application and receipt of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan for small businesses and non-profits. Many churches across the country including ECC Lafayette participated in the program, which was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. ECC was to obtain funds that supported over 9 weeks of payroll and utility costs through May and June. It is likely that the bulk of these loaned funds will be forgiven, and we will realize this as operating revenue some time later in the fiscal year. I will also give an update Sunday on the loan, the loan forgiveness process, and where ECC stands.
So, a lot has happened and is happening and there is much to cover. Please plan to join us either in person or through the Zoom link which will be provided later in the week or on our private Facebook page. We are currently not distributing paper documents for our worship services nor do we plan to do so for this congregational meeting. If you would like a digital version of the proposed Four Month Operating Cash Flow Projection that will be presented for vote or any of the other financial documents I would normally have available at the congregational meeting, please let the church office know at firstname.lastname@example.org or (765) 474–4842.
By Stacey Littlefield
This week, we begin a 10-week sermon series based in our first ECC Touchstone of Welcome—we are a place of hospitality, grace, and community for all people. The sermon series (and the book we are studying this fall) is entitled, Love Over Fear. Whether you’ve signed up for a study or not, I hope you will take time to read the book and engage in our sermon series as I think it is a very timely conversation.
Welcome is about hospitality. We desire to be hospitable because, first and foremost, that is the character of God. God loves foreigners and gives them food and clothing (Deuteronomy 10.18). Furthermore, God’s gracious and hospitable character is displayed in Jesus’ parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14.15-24), where those least likely to be invited are welcomed to the feast that represents the final and full coming of the Kingdom of God.
Likewise, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to “practice hospitality” (Romans 12.13), and the closing verses of Hebrews exhort us to “show hospitality to strangers” (13.2). In fact, the Greek word we translate as “hospitality” is literally two words put together meaning “love of strangers”. Furthermore, Paul exhorts us to “do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6.10).
In one of Jesus’ most provocative parables, he warned us, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14.12-14) And we dare not forget the account of the “sheep and the goats” in Matthew 25.31-46. There we are taught that to invite a stranger into our home is to invite Jesus. Is there any image more challenging concerning our calling to welcome others than the image of Jesus in what Mother Teresa called his “distressing disguise”?
In addition to welcoming the last, the least, and the lost, in Romans 15.7, Paul reminds us, “Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (ESV) There, more specifically, God speaks to those of us who know Christ welcoming one another, as sisters and brothers in Christ. We are to welcome those from outside of the community of faith as well as those who are already a part of our community.
Because God is hospitable and Jesus lifts hospitality up as a key virtue, we practice hospitality towards all people, wherever they may be on their journey of faith, and however they may find their way to our doors.
So much of the division that characterizes our nation these days has crept into the larger Church and damaged our mission and witness. Even so, we believe it is possible to become a community of people who are able to differ with one another while being gracious and loving toward one another, as well. And so we desire to be a place of hospitality, grace, and community for all people.
By Joel Hartman, ECC Council Chair
Would you ever imagine that more than three million vehicles pass through the intersection of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and 9th Street every year! Did you know Kate Cogswell, Director of Women’s Ministry & Spiritual Formation, created a webpage to aid in our spiritual transformation to Christoformity named Soul-Training? You can find it at ecclife.net, connect tab, soul-training tab…in case you too want to check out this amazing resource! These are only two of the incredible nuggets your church council has uncovered in the past few months.
ECC is on a pathway towards transformation and pursuit of God’s direction for our future. This has been a continuous discerning process started with the Vision Input Gathering, then the Vitality Pathway, followed by the Ministry Planning Team, and now council-lead ministry reviews. This latest effort began last fall by asking our staff and ministry directors to share their needs and dreams with us related to capital requests. This allowed us to approve $30K from the strategic ministry fund to address immediate needs to improve ministry functions and environment. We look forward to unveiling the facelift to the LCA auditorium once back in the building, which was part of this effort. Additionally, installing bottle fill fountains seems like divine providence now, based on current changes due to the pandemic.
This spring, we were amid capital visioning for a campus renovation and outreach needs when COVID-19 interrupted everything. Knowing that coming out of this time, how we deliver ministries and outreach along with facility utilization will be different. So, we pressed paused on renovation plans and shifted focus.
Council began a comprehensive ministry review process asking each ministry director and pastor to collaborate with us. This involved a ministry summary, SWOT analysis, and recommendations / dreams report. Council then met individually (on Zoom) with each staff member for about two and a half hours- walking through their report. Council was amazed, humbled, and proud of the tremendous work our staff is doing, some of which we did not even know was happening within our community. We completed these reviews at the end of June. Since then, we have been meeting weekly to pray, discerning and developing coming actions that we believe are God’s direction for how we minister in our church and community.
During this work, we were also pivoting because of the pandemic changes. The most pressing need was the purchase and installation of camera’s and production equipment needed for streaming services held within the sanctuary on the internet. We applied and received a grant from the Center for Congregations to assist with the costs associated with this install.
Another recently approved project is a new digital church sign. Through applying the SWOT analysis to the general church (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) we realized our location is a very large strength we have. We also learned we were not making the most of that strength. After doing some research and talking to some experts, this new sign was proposed. The new sign will allow us to share with the larger community the transformative work our church is doing, how they can be involved, and welcome them to join us.
These tools and equipment allow us to reach our community and share the gospel. Please join us in prayer as more decisions and action steps develop this fall. We are utilizing the information compiled over the multi-year pathway we have been on to aid us as we look at ministries, staffing, capital needs, and visioning for where God is positioning us to serve his kingdom. This year we are reminded of God’s steadfast love and provision for ECC as 2020 is our sesquicentennial. What a year to celebrate 150 years!
The continued engagement of the church body is vital to our next 150 years, so please consider how to use your spiritual gifts, tithes & offerings, and time to make ECC the healthy-missional body of Christ needed for this time.
By Kate Cogswell
“Come and see.” John 1:39 NLT
In reading John 1:35-42, we find John the Baptist’s disciples expressing their curiosity about Jesus. They followed after Him, and He responded to them with an invitation: Come and see.
Just as Jesus invites John the Baptist’s disciples to come and see, He welcomes us all to do the same today. As we follow Jesus and grow to know God, we too move along the pathway from curiosity to Christoformity like those first disciples. We become more like Jesus and, like John’s two disciples, we can in turn welcome others to join us on the journey.
Curiosity isn’t only the first step on our journey of transformation. While it initiates our move towards Jesus, it also propels us on the path to Christoformity.
What is God welcoming you to get curious about?
Some questions you might ask yourself and God:
What is God wanting to reveal to me about Himself? About myself?
What is God inviting me to explore with Him?
How does He want me to be in this world?
How does Jesus offer hope and peace in uncertain times?
Who does He want me to welcome on the journey?
What does it look like for me to follow Jesus?
What is the next step on my own path to Christ-likeness?
Part of our mission at ECC is to follow Jesus. We do this when we engage in the life-long pathway of transformation so that Christ is formed in us (Christoformity). Together we pursue this by intentionally engaging in spiritual formation.
But what IS spiritual formation you might ask?
For the Christian, spiritual formation is the process of participating with the Holy Spirit so that our inner world becomes formed like the inner being of Christ – for the glory of God, our own benefit, and for the sake of others.
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NLT
James Bryan Smith defines it as:
“Christian spiritual formation is the process
of being formed into the image of Christ,
through a relationship of intimacy with God,
by the action of the Holy Spirit,
in order to live a good and beautiful life
of faith, hope, love, joy, and peace –
a life that will be blessing to oneself, to others,
and to the world, and will glorify God
now and for all eternity.”
At ECC, we might say spiritual formation is the process in which we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to allow Him to transform us from curiosity to Christoformity. How can you embrace God’s invitation into a transformed life and actively participate in your own transformation?
God will use it all – the way He made us, the circumstances of our life, where we are on the path – He invites us to offer it all to Him and to allow Him to form us to be more like Him.
As we journey together on the pathway from curiosity to Christoformity, I invite you to join me in A Formation Prayer from Richard Foster’s book, Prayers from the Heart:
O Lord, my God. Form me more fully into your likeness.
Use the circumstances and interactions of this day to form your will in me.
From the frustrations of this day form peace.
From the joys of this day form strength.
From the struggles of this day form courage.
From the beauties of this day form love.
In the name of Jesus Christ who is all peace and strength and courage and love.
Transformation comes when we participate with the Holy Spirit through “training our souls”. We can cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit and train our souls by engaging in practices that create space for God to do His forming work in us.
Because sometimes it is hard to know where to start, ECC has created a couple of resources to help us invest in our own spiritual formation:
Connect with God through His word with resources on our Soul-Training page.
Connect with God in prayer with the guided prayer from the Ascension Day prayer vigil.
God promises transformation, and God wants your participation.
By Pastor Stacey Littlefield
In our conversations with people at ECC, we are keenly aware of a growing need for connection and community. We are also aware that we have to find a way to move forward with the mission of ECC, pandemic or not. The good news is: We have a plan. Beginning the week after Labor Day, we want to invite you to join us for a church-wide project that is both deeply connected to our ECC Touchstone of Welcome and very timely. Our nation is divided by so many things, as are our churches. And a lot of that has to do with how we treat our enemies.
The late philosopher and writer, Dallas Willard, once said that the litmus test for true Christian spiritual maturity is whether or not we are able to spontaneously love our enemies. I don’t know about you, but that one stopped me in my tracks.
This fall we will begin a churchwide project to teach us how to live as Jesus taught us—how to love our enemies. In addition to a 10-week sermon series on love of enemy, we will also read a book together. The book is Dan White, Jr.’s Love Over Fear: Facing Monsters, Befriending Enemies, and Healing Our Polarized World. It is a book for our time. You can find it at moodypublishers.com, amazon.com, or wherever you buy your books.
We know that in our nation and in our congregation, we are all over the map when it comes to how comfortable we feel meeting together or how much time we have to do so. For this reason, we have several levels of engagement available for you. For example, if the most you can do right now is what we do here on Sunday mornings, that’s fine. We will do everything we can to provide you with the resources you need to have the most fruitful experience possible. We want everyone to learn from this project in the way that is best for them. After that, there are options for community groups that will meet either in-person or on-line at a frequency that you decide. You can meet weekly, bi-weekly, or once a month.
Loving our enemies is hard. If it were easy, Jesus wouldn’t have needed to make it part of his greatest commandment. But there it is. And we need to grow in our ability to befriend our enemies and bring healing to our polarized world, so please prayerfully consider at what level you, your friends, or your small group can take part. Then, go to ecclife.net/LOF to explore the options and sign up for the option that best meets your needs. And then join me and others as we pray for God to do a powerful work in our lives, that we might become a community of people who truly know God, follow Jesus, and pursue God’s purposes in the world.
By Kristin Devine Mueller
As I look toward the start of a new school year, I was struck by the fact that our previous school year ended so abruptly. In fact, it never really ended. We just stopped. We stopped school, church, Kids Out Loud, nursery, Special Needs ministry, Kids Club – it all just stopped, and we never closed out the season in any of those areas. As we move into the fall, I’m realizing how hard it’s going to be to start as well. All the routines we have become accustomed to won’t exist this fall, and we’re all starting something that seems very precarious and uncertain. So what does it look like to continue on in ministry, but mark the beginning of something new?
The answer, put simply, is that things are not going to look the same. And that is ok.
As we move into the fall, we will hold our plans for Children’s Ministry loosely. We’ll put some dates on the calendar for some of the things we know and love. We hope to offer nursery care and preschool classes again, beginning sometime after Labor Day. We know it’s difficult to engage a 2, 3, or 4 year old in worship, so our first stage will be to open classrooms for those ages. Our hope is that this will open the door for families who are comfortable to return to worship together with their children who are kindergarten and older. We hold this plan loosely because we will need to adapt our plans if the number of cases in our community continues to rise, but we move into the fall with the hope and prayer that we can offer age-based experiences for our little ones this this fall.
As we move further into the fall, we’ll look at opening up our classes for elementary-age students at some point in October. We honestly don’t know what will happen as our children begin to meet in school classrooms again. Due to all the uncertainties, we in Children’s Ministry are choosing to sit back, wait, and follow the lead of the schools in our community. We value the collective wisdom of our school leaders in this area. We feel that this is a time to wait and proceed as we see effectiveness in the path that others have taken.
All that being said, we know there is a desperate need for connection in our world, our community, and our church right now. So we will move into the fall, not with a Rally Day or Kick-Off, but with some new ways to build community and relationships among our church families.
We know there is value in seeing each other, and so our plan is to orchestrate a way to have fun with each other each month. We’ll host one social gathering each month, working our best to be outside, maintain social distance, and protect the health of those in our community. This is a stressful month, so this month we’ll offer another “Parking Lot Playdate” on Sunday evening, August 16, at 7pm. We hosted a playdate in July, and we were able to open up a large portion of our parking lot for kids to run, bike, roller skate, scooter, and simply play. You are invited to come and play, or to simply sit outside in lawn chairs and enjoy time outside in the presence of others from our church community.
We know that being at home, all together as a family, can be both a wonderful experience and an incredibly frustrating and isolating experience, sometimes in the same afternoon! This fall, we will be working to pair each family up with one or two others from our church, so that you can offer each other support and encouragement. Each relationship will look a little different, but our hope is to create smaller groups of community among our church family so that you know you are not alone in this season.
Things won’t look the same this fall. It will be hard to let go of what we know and expect to happen. My hope and prayer is that you will see God at work in the new, and that we as a church will connect in ways that are stronger and richer than what we ever expected to happen.
By Ronda Ooms
It’s hard to believe that it’s August and time to think about school starting! This has been an unusual summer! I’m sure that it hasn’t looked anything like what you thought it would. Mine certainly hasn’t! BUT here we are at the end of summer and looking at what this new school year will look like.
Here at ECC, we have partnered with Miller Elementary School for the past 13 years. This year we will be entering our 14th year of ministry with them and part of my job as Community Outreach Director is to look at how to do ministry during this unusual time in the history of our nation. Back to School has always been a time of helping families purchase clothing that follows the dress code of the school, co-hosting a Back To School Carnival, and recruiting volunteers to help in the classrooms at Miller. This year we will be approaching these areas a bit differently.
Many families have taken a financial hit during this time with loss of jobs, increased child care needs, etc. Therefore, we are taking donations to help families with needs that they will have with the start of the school year. Those needs may be clothing, shoes, masks, supplies, or other things that may come up. Typically, the school staff will let us know about needs and we will follow up with the families. If you are interested in making a donation, above your tithe, please make your check out to ECC with Miller School in the memo portion. You can drop it off at the church office or place it in the offering box on Sunday morning when you attend the worship service.
We’ve been co-sponsoring a Back To School Carnival with Bauer at Miller for the past 8 years. This year, on Tuesday, August 18 from 5:30-6:30 PM, we will be having a “Car”nival. The families will stay in their cars and drive through a predetermined route set up through the parking lot and the front of the school. Our idea is to have some type of entertainment for the families as they make their way through the predetermined route. We hope to have clowns, a juggler, music, several games (played in or from their car) and at the end of the route each family member will be given a taco meal and snow cone. We will also have raffle prizes and the kids will have a chance to see members of the Miller staff get crazy things done to them (water poured over them, eggs on their head, pie in the face, etc!) It should be lots of fun!! Our goal is to have all the children, whether they have chosen e-learning or to attend classes in person, come to this event. We hope to help families feel cared for and loved and to know that we are here for them. We’re trying to do something “normal” in a unique way! If you have any contacts for possible entertainment or have ideas of what we could do, please email me at email@example.com or give me a call at the church office at 474-4842.
In order to make this “Car”nival a success we will need volunteers. Following are ways you can help: food prep, distributing food, helping with a non-contact game or helping where ever there is a need. Please sign up here. We will wear masks and social distance as much as possible. Please help us help make the start of this unusual school year a fun one for the children.
Part of the startup plan for the Lafayette School Corporation is to limit the number of outside people into the school during the first 9 weeks of classes. Because of this, we will not be recruiting classroom volunteers at this time. Our monthly family meals at Miller will also be put on hold until we are given the green light to start those once again. Our hope is that in November we may see things returned back to a more normal routine.
Over the last few weeks I have met with Deb Paterson, Miller’s principal, and Greg Louk, the assistant principal, and they, along with the rest of the Miller staff, are working hard to get things in order for the new school year. I know that they all would appreciate your prayers as they get things ready for the children and their families. I know that applies to all of our educators, no matter the age of the students they teach. It is an unusual and very stressful time.
Your continued prayers for our outreach ministry are greatly appreciated. We desire to walk alongside the families of Miller Elementary School and be a source of encouragement and care. We are so thankful for the ministry God has given to us. May we be His hands and feet as we care for our community.
By Kristin Devine-Mueller
In this unusual season of life, I have welcomed different activities that bring some sort of change from the normal routine, no matter how small that change may be. When I started reading about Covenant Harbor’s Family Getaway program, I caught a glimpse of how our family could change up the routine, take somewhat of a summer vacation in a relatively safe way, and bring about a change that would renew and refresh us all. We signed up for the Family Getaway from July 12-18, and we were blessed and delighted with our time away!
Camping ministry has been a part of my walk with Christ since I was in junior high, and it’s taken various forms over the different seasons of my life. I love taking kids to camp, and when I realized that I could spend a week at camp with my own kids, I knew this was a chance to create some sweet and special memories with my 3 & 7 year olds.
I find that the rhythm of life at camp is so different than home, which creates this sacred space for people to interact with each other and not worry about everything that has to be done in a day. I’m surrounded by God’s creation, so it’s impossible not to marvel at the works of God’s hands! Rather than drive from place to place, in a camp environment you get everywhere by walking. These frequent walks meant shared giggles with my son, listening to the voice of my daughter as she is learning to express herself more and more, and the holy silence of a quiet wooded area. At camp, I felt more present with my kids than I had in many of our moments at home simply because everything else drops away, and I marvel at these little people whom God has entrusted to my care.
My husband Glen wasn’t able to travel with us – we are thankful that he is now working full-time, but it also meant that he didn’t have any vacation time to join us. At first I was worried about traveling with the kids on my own, but when I realized that camp was going to take care of all our meals, I realized that this was a getaway I could handle! You do have to pay extra for meals each day, but breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available. Best of all, I didn’t have to wash a single dish!
Covenant Harbor is located right on the shore of Lake Geneva, in Wisconsin, and my family took advantage of the waterfront time each day. We swam in the lake every day, Sunday through Friday, and we also took two different boat rides during the week. Eric Anderson, the current Interim Executive Director of Covenant Harbor, and his wife Cherith took us out on the lake for a short tour and a chance to swim off the boat. They welcomed each family personally throughout the week, and they are making it their mission to get each family out on a boat tour during their Family Getaway stay.
The highlight of my son’s week was our second boat ride, where he rode on a banana boat for the first time! The banana boat is an inflatable tube that can seat up to 8 people and gets towed along behind a faster boat. Inevitably, it turns and hits a wave just right, and many of the riders are dumped into the lake (with life jackets on, of course). My son was terrified of going fast, so he kept giving the “thumbs down” signal for going slower. He had a blast riding at the slower pace, and was just as thrilled to join us in the motor boat and watch the others go fast and eventually get knocked into the water!
As part of the Family Getaway, we stayed in a cabin at Covenant Harbor from Sunday afternoon through Saturday morning. We were blessed to stay in one of the new Kishwauketoe cabins, or “Kish” for short. We had 12 bunks, our own private dorm-style bathroom, and a really fun loft where the kids could hang out and play. Families can stay in a cabin entirely on their own, but we chose to invite some friends along and were so glad that we did!
There is still availability for a Family Getaway time through August 13 at Covenant Harbor. While I know many won’t be able to make last minute plans and head to camp in the next week, I wanted to share our experience because it’s very possible that a program like the Family Getaway week will continue into the fall. Our Covenant camps weren’t able to host their traditional summer programs which directly impacts their financial situation. By participating in the Family Getaway program, we can help support our camps while also changing up the rhythm and routine for our own families.
We don’t know what the fall will bring. We don’t know if we will have further seasons of remote school and remote work ahead of us. If your family does end up in a situation where you can work from anywhere, as long as you have internet access, I encourage you to consider spending some time at Covenant Harbor. I’ll be sure to keep you informed if they add on some fall Family Getaway weeks! I’d love for you to have the opportunity to take a deep breath and enjoy God’s creation, just as we did.