Every May, we welcome volunteers to help in a work bee to get the camp ready for summer use. This year was no exception as the camp has been used very little since March, 2020, except for an occasional outing or retreat. As a result, there was a lot of extra work to do to prepare for this summer’s activities.
For the last number of years, I have come up to the work bee and been given the opportunity to go into each of your cabins to install new batteries in smoke detectors as well as replacing defective ones. While it might not be the most exciting job, it does give me and my crew the opportunity to be out in God’s beautiful nature. This year was extra special since I had not seen many of the volunteers and workers for over a year and it was wonderful to reconnect. During lunch we talked of how thankful we were at how the buildings and the camp overall had come thru the pandemic in relatively good shape. It seemed to many of us like the year 2020 was a perfect storm; almost mind numbing with so many of our regular events and gatherings being postponed or canceled.
While things are not yet quite back to “normal,” I think we have the perfect camp meeting theme. We can all agree that “It’s Time” to once again press forward with our mission as a church and a people.
What a difficult year with many of us experiencing death and sickness within our circle of friends and family. In spite of the difficulties all around us, God has blessed this conference in a special way. Going into this pandemic there was a real fear great economic damage may be done to our local churches, schools and conference, so plans were put into place to protect our fragile financial condition.
With God’s many blessings and your faithfulness, we instead experienced a strengthening of our finances. While our reserves are still less than what North American Division policy calls for, we have made a big step in the right direction at a time that it was least expected. I have seen time and again where God’s blessings come in many ways we never dreamed of.
Not only did we receive financial blessings but we even experienced an increased enrollment in some of our smaller schools as we were able to offer in-classroom attendance instead of virtual. Praise the Lord!
I ask myself, “What is God preparing Wisconsin Conference for? What plans does He have for each one of us?” We face an ever changing and uncertain future.
I believe now more than ever that IT’S TIME for us to take our mission of spreading the gospel seriously. IT’S TIME to be faithful students of the Bible. IT’S TIME to reach out into our communities and be a blessing to our neighbors and friends in whatever way God asks us to. IT’S TIME that others know we are Christians by our love. Yes, IT’S TIME to be about our Father’s business. May God bless our time together at 2021 camp meeting as we seek to know His will for our lives.
Brian Stephan, Executive Secretary/Treasurer