A big part of what Silver Lakers value about their time at the Lake is the community. The ability for folks to come together in a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is loved exactly as they are is intrinsic to the Silver Lake experience. Since we could not gather in-person this summer, creating that community atmosphere was one of our main priorities as we were creating the Silver Lake At Home Programs. While the majority of the programs were geared towards our conferees (grades 4-12), we knew we had an opportunity to provide tools, resources, and experiences to the wider Silver Lake community as well. From this realization, we developed the idea for the end of summer celebration.
Ally, Silver Lake Summer Staff Photographer and Videographer, recruited Silver Lake staff, volunteers, and alumni from across the country to help lead and participate in the campfire activities. The celebration started with a pre-recorded portion Ally compiled, reminiscent of the Praise Breakfast celebration that traditionally closes our in-person conferences every Saturday morning.
We were led in some favorite songs such as “Deep and Wide”, “Siyahamba (We Are Marching)”, and the “Silver Lake Quadrilogy”. We then moved into a time of worship with scripture readings, prayers, and additional singing. In addition, we shared highlights of the online components of Silver Lake At Home: Cabin Groups for grades 4-6, 7-9, and 9-12; and our 2 week-long high school conferences, JuST (Justice and Service Training) Camp and Reel to Real.
Jenn, Silver Lake Program Director, then took some time to publicly thank the volunteers for all their work, leadership, and support of all the Silver Lake At Home programs and activities. Jenn also shared some photos and videos from conferees and parents of participants expressing their thanks for all the wonderful camp fun!
Ryan, Silver Lake Executive Director, closed the celebration with additional thanks to the entire Silver Lake community for all the continued love and support of this life-changing ministry.
“And to the Silver Lake community, we want to say thank you. We want to say we love you, we miss you, and we are so grateful you’ve been a part of this incredibly unique summer at Silver Lake. As beautiful and as amazing as our location is, it is all of you that are Silver Lake. It is the people that make up this ministry, and we are so excited that you have chosen – whether just for today or for the entire month of July – to celebrate how much God loves you, how much we love our neighbors, taking an opportunity to love yourself and to love creation, and we give thanks for all that you do and we send our love from the Lake.
As I remind our campers at the end of each week, one of the most important parts about this ministry is not just what happens here at the Lake, but I want you to know that you are loved to the deepest core of your being – not because of anything you have ever done or because of anything you will ever do – but simply because you are, God loves you. Take that back to [your] homes, churches, and schools. Whether you’re doing school online, or going back to school, take that love with you and make your community more like Silver Lake each and every day. Thank you everyone. We miss you, we love you, and may God’s peace and love surround you always.”
If you missed it live, you can still watch (or re-watch!) the recording on our Facebook page.
Silver Lake Administrator and Registrar