“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8 (NRSV)
May 11, 2020
Many of you have memorized this verse around the campfire at Red Willow Bible Camp. Love is at the heart of the gospel message. It is essential to the work we do at Red Willow and the mission we share. It is out of this deep abiding love for one another that we come to you with this message.
Love for our campers, who return summer after summer to make lifelong memories with us.
Love for our partner congregations who graciously support and pray for us, investing in our ministry on all levels.
Love for our donors who give generously to see that this work continues .
Love for our summer staff – young adults who are so dedicated as they give their summers to share themselves with young campers
Love for this place of grace in its 94th year of ministry
Love for the communities from which our campers all come.
Love for our world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is out of this love that we share this message.
The Red Willow Board of Directors met May 7 and unanimously voted to suspend all Summer and Day Camp programs.
This difficult decision was made with heavy hearts. Like many of you, our summer doesn’t feel complete without camp! We never envisioned this scenario. Still we know that God is love. We trust that when we take action out of love for others, Christ’s love flows through us. God has a guiding hand on the ministry at Red Willow and we have faith that we will come out stronger on the other side.
As soon as we can safely do so, Red Willow Bible Camp will reopen. The board’s decision leaves room for creative onsite options later in the summer, options that more easily support social distancing. We will continue to seek ways to support you and offer experiences to grow in faith. We hope to proceed with a busy fall calendar.
It’s okay to grieve the loss of Summer 2020 at Red Willow, We grieve with you. But, as Easter people, we look to the resurrected Christ. With that same hope, we live in a present ripe with new opportunities, and await a future that is brighter and more beautiful than anything we can imagine.
“Beloved, let us love one another.” The world needs us now more than ever. We can’t wait until that day when we can again worship around the campfire on Three Cross Hill at Red Willow!
Grace and Peace,
Carolyn and Jerry Fritsch Pastor Rick Hall, Chair
Co-Interim Executive Directors Board of Directors