The Lutheran Summer Gathering at Silver Bay
The Rev. Marie Jerge, dean/director of ministry
The Gathering is about spiritual renewal: During Vespers one evening, our Teen Leader, Bonny McCabe, invited us to ponder these words from Psalm 46:10, “Be Still and Know that I am God.” With the majestic mountains in the background, a bald eagle swooped down from the pine trees and glided across the shimmering lake. Later, while eating ice cream and sharing time with friends, we watched as the light of the full moon was reflected in the serene water. These were just two of the many "God moments" during the 87th Lutheran Summer Gathering at Silver Bay.
The Gathering is about learning: Here is a place for Christian educators, Sunday School teachers and other congregational leaders to learn and grow. We heard our theme, We Love to Share the Story, proclaimed in worship and taught in classes. Pastor Lee Miller II (Holy Trinity, Buffalo) challenged us to build a more inclusive church. Pastor Arden Strasser (St. Luke’s, NYC) explored rarely told Bible stories. Pastor Rip Hoffman (retired New England Synod) led discussions of key turning points in the church’s history. In addition, Dr. Susan Strasser updated us on the HIV/AIDS Pandemic, Gail and Scott Rohrbach taught us about Exoplanets, and Marilyn Hutfilz regaled us with songs and stories of our own history as a Gathering.
The Gathering is about fun: We sang silly songs and roasted s’mores around the campfire. Shared talents at the carnival and gathering show. Expressed our creativity in the craft shop or watercolor classes. On the lake we swam, sailed, canoed, kayaked and paddleboarded. We engaged in friendly competition with sandcastle and cannonball contests and with the EMPS (employees) of Silver Bay in kickball. We laughed at ourselves playing chair volleyball. We enjoyed rocking on the porch and an evening relaxing to music in the boathouse with friends new and old.
In 2019, we donated over $2000 to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. Financially, we managed to finish our program year in the black and are beginning to build our Fund for the Future to help us expand communication and outreach. We gave special thanks to God for Katie Bang completing 10 years as our Activities Director.
We Are Church Together
We are grateful for our two sponsoring synods, but delight that our participants come from several different faith groups and from all across the U.S. and beyond. We welcomed Laura Hill-Primiano to the Planning Team and as our Punkee (newsletter) Editor. We give thanks for the staff and planning team that make this week possible: Chad Volkert, Katie Bang, Karen Hoffman, Patti Garrison, Sue Hollar, Beth Smayda, Lynn Bettencourtand Pastors Jim Bresnahan and Marie Jerge. We continue to work on our social media presence, as well as person-to-person recruitment to extend our reach.
Photos and videos are available at www.facebook.com/LutheranSummerGathering/. We also have a new facebook page called Silver Bay Lutheran Summer Gathering Community to keep everyone up-to-date on our community and plans for next year. Our website is www.lutherans-silverbay.org. On Twitter and Instagram, we are @SBLutherans.
Save the dates: July 11-17
The fun and relaxing weeklong vacation, for spiritual and physical renewal on beautiful Lake George!