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The Atonement Chapel Rises

*Funded from a previous campaign.

Out of two closings comes one glorious rising!  And the rising is coming while much of the world remains closed.  The Atonement Chapel and Meeting Room at Luther Springs Camp is rising.  Construction crews from Denhard Construction Group, LLC of Orlando are hard at work while the camp has been empty due to COVID-19.

Following guidelines of the Florida governor, Luther Springs, as well as all the NovusWay Ministry sites, closed to guests and volunteers for safety.  Chad Denhard offered his crew the opportunity to work in place while Luther Springs and most of Florida were closed.  Happy to have work, skilled laborers have been on site throughout the “stay-at-home” order.  Social distancing is not a problem when there are few people around.  “The safety and well-being of everyone is our main concern,” reports Luther Springs’ Site Manager, “Miss Sarah” Anderson.  “That being said it’s great to see the Chapel finally coming up!”

After 61 years of ministry, Atonement Lutheran Church, Orlando, closed on Reformation Sunday 2015.  The Spirit-led decision came as the congregation prepared to close.  From the sale of the congregation’s property came a legacy gift for Luther Springs.  “While our ministry here is ending,” Atonement Pastor Jeff Cox told the congregation at the Closing Service, “Atonement is being re-formed for ministry at Luther Springs. Through the years more people will be touched by worship there than we had an opportunity here.”  From the sale of the property, Atonement made a named legacy gift of $200,347 to Mission Possible Campaign chapel project.

Faith Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, closed in 2017.  In early 2019 the congregation sold their property to a community ministry, Inspire to Rise.  Mr. Fred Luethy, Treasurer of Faith’s Transition Team, said the congregation wanted to make a legacy gift to Luther Springs of $100,000 to aid ministry with children.   Faith designated half of the gift to assist with increased cost of construction of Atonement Chapel.  The other half was designated for camper scholarships.

When completed, the Atonement Chapel and Meeting Room will serve up to 125 people at one time.  As part of its legacy, Atonement also gave their altar and chancel furnishings, paraments, vestments and communion ware.  Luther Springs’ year-round staff, Sarah Anderson, Deacon Sue Mendenhall and Tommy Touw are eagerly looking to the day when they can welcome guests and guests can include worship in the Atonement Chapel.

*This project was funded during the Mission Possible campaign; however, due to continued delays with government permits, the work is only now able to begin. Our great thanks to all those who gave to this project during the campaign. We look forward to that time when the sounds of worship will RISE UP after all the closings.


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