by Hannah Geiling
My mom, Betty Geiling, was walking across the ball field at Silver Lake Conference Center. She ran into our Executive Director Ryan Gackenheimer who introduced her to the first deans of the conference Sing Praise. My mother immediately remembered seeing a traveling performance of their worship almost 40 years ago.
She happily recalled the conferees singing and dancing, "Moses Frogs," hopping all over the sanctuary at The New Milford First Congregational Church as they shared their account of the plagues of Egypt. She and her friends can still sing the song like this happened yesterday.
Betty Geiling, Val Tutson and Whendi Cook were immediately drawn to the experience and could not wait until they would be able to go to Silver Lake as conferees themselves, and be a part of a music conference. As soon as they were old enough, off they went to Silver Lake.
As college students, (1987) they were asked to revive Sing Praise. By this time, they had met a very dear camp friend, Tim Hughes. He agreed to take this leap of faith with them and try to run this conference. This began another era of Sing Praise, which then became their personal song of praise.
This is what the ministry of Silver Lake is about: moments, sacred moments in time where people are connected and commit to God's work. Sometimes at camp we attempt to figure out all the connections we have to each other. As we know, there are not many degrees of separation between people where Silver Lake is concerned!
I invite you to reflect on your Silver Lake story —your song of praise. How did you arrive here and what was the sacred moment that sealed the deal as far as your returning and joining this ministry? Perhaps, a more important question: how can we be the catalyst that leads others to their faith journey at Silver Lake?
It is my hope that these moments, these songs, and these connections continue to build the future of our beloved camp.
Hannah Geiling is the 2016 Summer Resource Coordinator at Silver Lake Conference Center.