← Back to News

Announcing the Yoking of Lutheranch and Luther Springs

May 23, 2024
Greetings Camp Friends,
We are delighted to share a new round of updates that continue to position the ministry for sustainability and growth. We want to begin by explaining how we got to our new decision. We shared in November of last year that Van Van Horne would be serving as the Executive Director for both Lutheridge and Lutherock. Since that shift, we have started referring to this as “yoking” the two camps together. Since that time, the ministry has benefited from our maintenance team at Lutheridge supporting Lutherock, from Nathan Boykin supporting high adventure maintenance and training at both sites and now, a shared summer staff orientation schedule.
Today, we are delighted to announce the formal and intentional yoking of Luther Springs and Lutheranch. While, regrettably, we were unable to host summer camp programming this year at Lutheranch, it has been a part of our plan and a recommendation of the Lutheranch Vision Taskforce to continue offering programming at Lutheranch. Specifically, we are making plans to offer family camps, youth retreats, and adult retreats. The McKanna-Sandrock Center at Lutheranch is ideal for these types of events. The site keeps groups together and offers swimming, archery, a GIC, a labyrinth, hikes, and more.
Beginning today, our very own Sarah Anderson and Deacon Sue Mendenhall, our current co-EDs at Luther Springs, will serve as the Co-Executive Directors for both Luther Springs and Lutheranch. We have been talking and planning for weeks, and we are truly excited about what this dynamic team will bring to the ministry. They have both played key roles in the successful growth of Luther Springs since its infancy, and they care deeply for the ministry overall. We’ve heard their leadership and passion shine in our conversations as they both honestly share their concerns and, in the next breath, solutions. Much of our time has been spent on operational conversations related to how we will ensure they can find the balance between the two sites. They have built a strong and trusted team at Luther Springs and we agree that rebuilding programming and hosted ministry at Lutheranch will happen with slow and steady care.
“Lutheranch is a beautiful site with much to offer the families, congregations, and ministries of the Southeastern Synod and beyond,” shared Sue. “I am excited to be a part of the next chapter of this ministry and to explore ways to continue the hard work of those who have lovingly served and cared for this very special place.”
“What an honor it is to continue the work of so many whose dreams, vision, and hard work have made Lutheranch the amazing place it is today,” shared Sarah. “I look forward to being a part of the continuous growth of the ministry.”
Our three primary goals after today include announcing a fall program at Lutheranch for families, increasing the number of churches and groups who rent the McKanna-Sandrock Center, and hiring a Hospitality and Lead Cook Coordinator. Sue and Sarah, along with Shane Dathe, our Property Manager, will provide a strong leadership team for the ministry. Together, working alongside the Lutheranch Vision Taskforce, we will outline the future direction of the ministry and live into what God is calling Lutheranch to be for those who spend time there.
Please join us in officially welcoming Sue and Sarah to Lutheranch. We invite your continued prayers and support as we work to yoke these two holy spaces.
With Gratitude,
Mike & Mitzie
Interim Co-CEOs