Summer is here!
"Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of His name; give to him
glorious praise! Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds...come and see what God has done." Psalm 66
Soon enough, the grounds of Riverside will be full of shouts of praise and we can't wait! As we step into this summer, we celebrate and remember God's faithfulness to His camp for the last 80 years! I recently spoke with someone who was here as a camper when the Chapel was being built in 1950. You could say her camp experience here was greatly different than a camp experience today, but in many ways, it isn't. While much has changed in 80 years, so much has not. The Chapel is full of lights and sound system and a large screen--but the large cross reminds us that our attention and affection point towards are risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! While the cabins now have air conditioning and attached bathrooms-they're still housing campers who need to know they are seen and loved by our great God who loves them extravagantly. While the kitchen and food has changed (and is delicious by
the way), we not only feast on delicious food, but on God's Word and truth for our lives. So as we head into the summer and celebrate 80 years, may we be reminded and thankful that while many things may have changed in the physical atmosphere, our focus remains the same.
Here are a few other updates from around camp!
*It's been a full Spring here of our great year around team hosting several different retreat groups! We're so grateful for the partnership in ministry we have with several congregations from across the midwest that have been led to host their ministry retreats at Riverside! What a joy! (Did I mention our retreats that we host have increased over 300% since 2019?!)
*Our Office/Welcome Center remodel is now complete! We're thankful to generous estate
gifts that have been given over the past few years that have been designated for future capital improvements, giving us the opportunity to make this much needed remodel happen. Come by and check out this great new space (our office is the first building on your left as you enter camp).
*Staffing Update. On May 1, we prayed over Elly Mullen as she, and her family, have answered a new call from the Lord to serve on staff at Shepherd of the Ozarks, a Christian Camp ministry in Arkansas. We are so grateful for the gift it was to our team and to countless others to have Elly on our year around staff over the last 4 years. While she helped with so many improvements to facilities and enhancements to our retreat ministry, her passion for the Lord and friendship is what we'll miss around here most. Please join us in praying for Elly and her family in this time of transition.
*Chapel exterior updates. We are continuing to finish up the Chapel renovation project by now tending to the exterior siding, as well as insulation. We anticipate this project being
done by the beginning of summer camp!
*Prayers and volunteers. I invite you to join us in prayer for all the lives and communities that the Lord will touch through this year's summer camp experience. We anticipate welcoming over 1,700 campers and 70 staff! Pray that the Lord would move in powerful ways through the power of the Holy Spirit! I also invite you to consider volunteering this summer. With some staffing shortages, particularly in our kitchen staff, we are going to be in need of great people to joyfully serve in preparing all the meals for this summer. If you're interested in volunteering throughout the summer, please reach out to our office!
So grateful for your partnership in the Gospel and look forward to connecting with you soon!
God bless you,